My Real Life

February 17, 2013

Maybe It’s Not So Bad

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

So, regular readers know that I’ve been alternately coming to terms with and completely devastated by the fact that my kids are getting older and I’m not having any more babies.

Some days are better than others, and I’m not always weeping into my decaf tea over the idea.

This post by You’re My Favorite Today has helped me tremendously, because it reminds me that, while there is much to miss, there is also much to which I can look forward.

Enjoy, and if you have older kids, feel free to leave me some other reasons why older kids are better than younger kids in the comments  here on my page!

February 16, 2013

The One in Which I Look Like a Terrible Mother but am Really Teaching My Children Not to Overreact

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

So, the other night, we took the kids to Friendly’s for dinner to celebrate Monkey Girl’s stellar report card.

It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I was exhausted and just didn’t want to cook.

Baby Monkey decided he didn’t feel well and didn’t want dessert (which is how I knew he meant it) so, since Real Man had met us there after work with his Jeep, I took Baby and Tiny home while RM stayed with the two big kids and stuffed them silly with ice cream.

As Baby and I were walking out into the parking lot, he missed the step off of the curb and fell flat on his face on the gravel.

I stopped, turned and said, “You okay?”

He lay there for a second and said, “I think I might be broken.”

I said, “If you were broken, you wouldn’t have to wonder.  I think you’re okay buddy.  Let’s get up and keep going.”

He stood up, brushed himself off, took my hand and kept walking.

All of this was witnessed by a family of five who were also leaving the restaurant at the same time.

The mother of this tribe looked at me as if I was the worst mother in the world.

She was honestly shooting daggers out of her eyes at me for not dropping Tiny, racing to Baby’s side and cooing to him.

I just looked at her and smiled.

And, as I did, her daughter, who was trying to climb into their van missed a step and fell on her knees.

Softly.  Gracefully.  Quietly.

The mother screamed “Oh my goodness!  Hannah!  Are you okay?  Did you hurt yourself?  Oh, honey, come here!  Hannah fell!”

As she yelled, she kept looking at me, as if to say “This is how you take care of a child, lady.”

Hannah was quiet for a second or two and then scrunched up her face and began to yell.

The kid was not hurt.

I promise you.

Yet, because her Mom made a major case out of it, Hannah made a major case out of it.

Trust me, when my kids are actually hurt, I’m the first one to cuddle, soothe, kiss away the boo-boo.

But kids fall and trip and slip and slide and 9 times out of 10…they are just fine.

So, teaching them the difference between a real emergency and a non-emergency is something that I’ve always thought was important.

If everything is treated like a big deal, how do you ever really know when something happens that IS a big deal?

So, as Hannah is wailing and her parents are both, now, trying to clip her into her car seat, Mom and I met eyes once again.

It took everything I had not to glance down at my non-crying child who fell WAY harder than her child did and then glance at her with the look, but I don’t play that way, so imagine my surprise when I realized she was giving ME the look.

I guess she does play that way.

The nerve.

Then I figured, she can give me the look all she wants.  Her hysterics mean that she’s gotta drive home with a screaming kid in the back seat.  My calm means I got to drive home with a delightful boy who asked a million questions about nothing at all.

I win.

Not that it’s a competition or anything.

February 15, 2013

Celebrating 9

Filed under: Birthdays — Amy @ 6:00 am

9 Years.

I had a little girl, and then, 9 years ago, I had a little boy.

Right from minute one, he has been a serious, serious guy.

But a bigger lovey has never been born.

He is a complex guy, my Monkey in the Middle.

He’s a worrier, a stresser, a snuggler, a thinker, a sporter, a laugher, a goofball, and a sweetheart.

Sometimes being all of those things is too much for him to handle, and so we just love him through the tough times and celebrate with him in the happy times.

He’s got the golden touch, and he excels at everything he tries.

I’ve come to believe that there really is nothing that he can’t do.

I can’t wait to find out what he decides to do in his life.

He has a smile that goes from ear to ear and a double dimple that will break girls hearts.

I love this boy.

I love this boy so much, it makes my heart ache.

So, I wish the Happiest of Birthdays to my Monkey in the Middle.

9 is going to be a great year!

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February 14, 2013

My Valentine

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

Yesterday, one of the amazing women bloggers who is a co-contributer to the anthology I am part of, posted this Valentine’s Day post on her blog, Funny is Family.

I loved it, and decided to share it with you today, along with some of my reasons for why Real Man continues to be my Valentine after  almost 15 years of marriage, 19 years of dating, and 25 years of knowing each other.

1.  He puts up with my overactive DVR schedule.  He even watches many of my shows with me.  And, some shows, like The New Girl, he doesn’t watch with me.  Even when he’s laughing at the jokes.  He’s not watching.  Even when he puts down his tablet and moves his eyes to the screen, he’s not watching.

2.  He is willing to drive to the Quik Chek to pick me up one of the ridiculous milkshakes they have there at 9:30 on a school night.  And I’m not pregnant.  Just wishing for a milkshake.

3.  He never gets tired of reading the same books, singing the same songs, going through the same bedtime routines every single night with the monkeys.  Never.  I’ve heard him say “Stand up.  Zip up.  Night-night world.  Shut the door.  Turn out the light.  I love you so much.  You’re a good boy,” more times than I can even begin to count.  And he never says “Seriously?  Again?”

4.  He eats everything I cook with a smile.  Which is nice, considering the monkeys don’t.  But, Real Man…he eats it, makes appreciative noises and pretends I’m Giada Laurentis.  (I choose to believe that he’s only pretending I cook like her…not pretending that I look like her.)  The only time he has ever not eaten what I’ve made was in our first year of marriage when I made pork chops and applesauce in the crockpot, like my Mom used to make.  Except, it wasn’t anything like when my Mom made it and I threw it all in the garbage before he could be sweet and eat it anyway.

5.  He loves me.  Like, he seriously loves me.  He doesn’t care that I don’t look the way I did when we met at 16.  He doesn’t care that I fall asleep in the middle of movies I made him rent. He doesn’t care that I start reading a book and become completely unable to complete any other task around the house until I finish the book.  He just loves me.

Good stuff.

February 13, 2013

Big News!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

I’ve been waiting to share some news with all of you, but I wanted to wait until I got the official okay.

I got it yesterday, and so I am thrilled to tell you that I’ve written a piece to be included in an anthology that will be released around Mother’s Day.

It’s an anthology of funny essays on motherhood, and I am beyond thrilled to be included.

There are 35+ hysterical women writers who are featured in the book, and they are all amazing bloggers.

As I am getting to know them, I definitely don’t feel worthy to be included in their company, but I’m working on it.

I’ve been starting to share some links to their blogs on my Facebook page, and I am going to be featuring some of my favorite posts here, on the blog.

Another exciting change, that has been prompted by the book, is the fact that I will be changing over to a self-hosting blog in the next few weeks.

I’m making the change for several reasons, like wanting some more freedom over format, style, font, layout.

It will also allow me to have ads on the blog and will allow me to become an Amazon affiliate, so around Mother’s Day, be looking for the link to buy the book.

Self-promotion.  Gotta do it.

These are exciting times at My Real Life, and I hope you all come on the journey with me!

February 12, 2013

I Can Relate

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

Recently, I’ve found myself in a situation where I am getting to know, and thoroughly enjoy, some amazingly funny women bloggers.

They are effortlessly funny, and, as a woman and as a mother, I find that I can relate to most of what they write.

Yesterday was a long day.

We had a delayed opening for school, which was a nice treat, and then when we got there, we hit the ground running listening to presentations in all of my classes, then to play rehearsal, then to the post office, to the pharmacy, then home to cook Baby’s birthday dinner, then the party, the presents, the cake, and then as a birthday treat, he wanted to watch an episode of Dr. Who before bedtime.

I finally sat down around 9 pm to get online and click around for a bit.

I came across this post on “Bad Parenting Moments” and I laughed and laughed and laughed.

Someone said to me, just this morning, “You cook four different birthday dinners in a two week span?  Why not just let the kids pick a restaurant and take them out?”

My response was “I would rather swallow a hot coal than take the kids out to dinner four times in a two week span.”

And then I shared the story of Tiny and me in church about a month ago.

We lasted for ten minutes.


Because he sat on my lap and screamed “Help!” from our pew for that exact amount of time, and then I finally called it quits.

The rest of the monkeys are fairly well-behaved in restaurants, but Tiny is in a screaming stage that we never experienced with the other three, and along with the screams goes the tossing of everything on the table on the floor.

So, again, when I read the post, I laughed until my sides hurt.

Because I can relate.

And, if you have kids, I bet you can, too.

February 11, 2013

Celebrating 7

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

Today is Baby Monkey’s birthday, and today he turns 7.

I love this kid more than I could ever actually put into words.

There’s just something about him that oozes coolness.

You never know what you’ll get when he walks into the room, but you know it’s gonna be awesome.

Whether he’s in a Batman or SpiderMan costume.

Whether he has construction paper creations taped to his body.

Whether he has made some intricate Lego creation.

Whether he has created some type of crane or device with a grappling hook.

No matter what, it’s pure him.

Now, he’s 7, and I want to take today and celebrate everything that he is.

Happy Birthday to my sweet, sweet boy.

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February 10, 2013

When I Was a Kid…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:00 am

When I was a kid, my sister-from-another-mister, Gail, and I used to play outside all day long.

Seriously, all day long.

Sometimes, we’d even forget to eat.

If there was snow on the ground, we’d play until we were completely frozen…chunks of snow in our hair, no feeling in our extremities, noses running, clothes soaked through.

We had to be told to come inside.


My kids?

Not so much.

They are itching from the first flake to go outside and play in the snow, but for some reason, the “idea” of playing in the snow seems to be more tantalizing than actually playing in the snow.

My kids are more work when they are playing outside than when they are playing inside.

My doorbell is constantly ringing, and when I answer it, I am met with:

“My glove disconnected from my sleeve and snow touched my skin!”

“He threw snow in my face!”

Or, the one that instantly sends me over the edge:

“We’re bored out here!”

I think of the forts and the snowmen and the sledding and the hours and hours and hours that Gail and I entertained ourselves in the snow, and it boggles my mind that my kids need so much guidance to play in the snow.

Inside, they are remarkably creative with their play and they can play in the basement for hours, building, creating, imagining.

What is it about the snow that makes them forget how to play?

I wonder if it might be because we don’t have snow like we did when I was a kid.

Maybe because it only really snows once a season now, they don’t really know what to do with it.

Stupid global warming.

Maybe they’re just snow lazy.

I don’t know…all I know is that Monkey in the Middle and Baby Monkey have been at the front door three times since I started writing this post and I finally told them that I didn’t want to hear from them for at least fifteen minutes.

They aren’t wearing watches.

Fifteen, Fifty…it’s all the same, right?


The country mouse.


The city mouse.


No wires came down, thank goodness!


Half of the snowblower blades broke partway through the blow-out.


After I wrote the above post, the monkeys proved me wrong by playing restaurant on the back deck for an hour.


The twenty-somethings who rent the house across the street are definitely NOT “snow lazy.”  We think they are on their way to the world’s largest snowman.


February 9, 2013

It’s All Fun and Games…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

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…until someone tries to eat Baby Monkey.

February 8, 2013

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

1. What holiday do you wish did not exist?

Um…Columbus Day?

I’m not sure I even really get this question.

Everyone needs a reason to celebrate sometimes.

Oh…got one…St. Patrick’s Day.

Not to get on a soapbox, here, but it appears to me, that In the U.S., St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated solely as an excuse for people to start getting drunk as soon as they get up in the morning, and I really can’t get on board with that.

It’s turned into a dangerous, stupid holiday.

Of course, that’s just my opinion, and millions of drunk wanna-be-Irish would argue with me, but that’s okay.

I’m used to being on the opposite side of most arguments.

2. What is your favorite romance/love movie?

Love Actually is definitely up at the top of the list.

I love The Holiday, which I think I’ve mentioned a few hundred times before.

I love the story of The Notebook, as it’s a story of enduring and lifelong love.

I love the story of The Bridges of Madison County.

The scene at the end where she is in the truck with her husband and they see Robert’s truck in the intersection and he hangs the thing from his rearview mirror and she stays in the car, but is crying.

Good stuff.

You’ve Got Mail and A Walk to Remember always get me.

I can’t believe I’m admitting to this, but The English Patient was a pretty good love story, as well.

Then, not a movie, but a television show, Scandal is an insane show full of Washington intrigue and a very passionate love story about two people who cannot be together.

The episode named The Trail is the best example of love at first sight that just can’t be shaken that I’ve ever seen.  (It’s on
3. Do you make a big production out of celebrating Valentine’s Day?


Every day is Valentine’s Day around here.


We don’t, really.

The kids do it up at school and that seems to take care of it.

Real Man and I exchange cards and I get the monkeys a card and a little treat, but that’s pretty much it.

was kidding when I said every day was Valentine’s Day around here, however, there is some truth to it.

We constantly tell the monkeys (and each other) how much we love each other, and there’s more than enough hugs and kisses to go around on a daily basis.

4. What is something weird you did as a child? (or even now!)

Everything I did as a kid was weird.

I’m still fairly weird as an adult.

I asked Real Man this question and he said that the way I take medicine is weird.

I take a mouthful of my drink, then I drop in the pills, shake my head around and swallow.

If I put the pills in my mouth first, they get stuck on my tongue.


The monkeys think it’s weird that I sing everything to them.

I don’t realize I’m doing it, but when I think about it…they’re right.

I can’t sleep in bare feet.  I must have socks on, or else I honestly cannot fall asleep.

And, if I’m sleeping and a sock falls off, I’m up.
5. What makes you love your husband, really LOVE him, you know since Valentines is coming up?

He makes me laugh.

Really laugh.

And he does so effortlessly.

When I really need it, when we are just sitting around being silly…on an every day basis, Real Man makes me laugh.

Out loud.

Also, he’s an amazing father.

You fall in love with your husband all over again when he becomes a father.

Real Man has  a way with all of our kids, and is a naturally good father.

He’s always there…steady…consistent…trustworthy.

I can count on Real Man.  Always.

Finally, I still get excited when I know I am going to see him, as he still takes my breath away.

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