My Real Life

April 17, 2013

Why Siri and I Are Not Friends

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

Real Man asked me a question, via text, while I was in the car, so in an effort to not text and drive, I vocally responded with Siri.

What I actually responded was:

“When I took Julia before, they usually have Dance, Dance Revolution or some other game, and then they announce the winner of Coins for a Cause.”

Here’s what Siri thought I said:





I hate her.

April 16, 2013


Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

I had a long day yesterday.

In the middle of my long day, I read this post and it broke my heart.

I cried, alone in my classroom, during my lunch break.

After school, I had a meeting and when the meeting was over, Monkey Girl and I hit the pharmacy to pick up a prescription.

While we waited, I checked Facebook on my phone and saw a bunch of posts about something happening in Boston.

When Monkey Girl and I got in the car, we turned on talk radio and heard more about it.

On the way to the bank, Monkey Girl read me a few news reports, and by the time we were actually heading home, all I wanted to do was get home and hug my babies.

I envisioned us snuggling on the couch, watching whatever the hell they wanted, or playing a board game or coloring or…

You get the picture.

As I pulled in the driveway, Tiny’s babysitter pulled in behind me to drop him off.

He had a runny nose and was grumpy.

She said he had been biting during the day and wasn’t in a great mood.

I picked him up and held on tight and in we went.

Where we were met with Monkey in the Middle and Baby Monkey, both of whom were already whining about homework and the fact that there was roast beef for dinner.

Over the course of the next two hours, there was biting (from Tiny), fresh talk (from Monkey in the Middle), and crying and stomping around (from Baby Monkey).

My parents stopped by because my Dad has been out of town for a week and he missed the monkeys and even they couldn’t get out of here fast enough.

And finally, it got to the point where I just wanted to be left alone for five minutes.

Two hours earlier, all I could think about was getting my hands on those little people and hugging them and snuggling them and just loving the heck outta them.

And now, I wanted an escape.

And the guilt began to creep in.

What was wrong with me?

Had I forgotten about the awful things that had happened to so many people throughout the day?

Had I forgotten about the frailty of human life?  The fact that life is short and that we should appreciate every single second we are given and squander it and wish it away?

And then I realized, no…I hadn’t forgotten.

I still remembered and my heart still broke for all of those who suffered that day.

And I can remember and mourn and cry and at the same time, realize, that life goes on.

It goes on all around us.

I can feel the pain and still be annoyed at the behavior of my kids and not need to feel guilty about it.

It’s okay.

It reminded me of this post by Jessica Watson, one of my co-authors, as she describes how she learned to go on after losing her daughter.

I’ve shared it before, but I think it’s worth another read.

So, hug your babies tight for sure.

But remember…it’s okay to be human.

April 15, 2013

Why I Love The Brits

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’ve been walking around here, talking with a British accent for the past few weeks.

I love the British.

I do.

First of all, I love the fact that their history goes back so far.

Yes, I live in a historic town and can say “Hey, George Washington may have stood on this exact spot.”

They can say “Yeah, Julius Caesar stood here when he came to conquer.”


Secondly, I love the fact that the Brits are so laid back about so many things.

I know, I know…

The British have a reputation as being sticks in the mud, but I really think that, for the most part, they have a much more relaxed attitude about things than Americans do.

I know it’s a European thing, and not necessarily a British thing, but I like it.

For example, on American television, when there is an interracial or gay relationship, it is discussed and debated to death.

It’s a huge deal.

On British television, no one really cares.

It’s nothing “special” because it’s just life.

Love that.

The Brits have more of a dry sense of humor, and I love that, as well.

Their humor is a bit more cerebral…less in your face, and I appreciate the subtlety.

Also, you never really know what’s going to happen on British tv.

The guy doesn’t always get the girl.

The hero doesn’t always succeed.

You don’t always get the happy ending, and I like that.

Sounds weird, but I appreciate them not pandering to me.

Makes me think a little more.

I don’t think it’s any big surprise that when the US takes British shows and make them American, they aren’t always as funny as their British counterparts.

Some of my favorite shows are British.

Dr. Who, Downton Abbey.

I spent last summer watching British movies on Netflix.

Really, really good stuff.

And maybe, just maybe, I love the British because they aren’t from here.

They are from somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, and have never been, and can’t imagine when I’m actually going to be able to go, and they represent a dream I’ve had since I can remember.

April 14, 2013

5 Things I Love Sunday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am


Ryan Gosling teacher memes

Normally, I’m not really into the whole meme thing.

Some make me giggle, but for the most part, I could take them or leave them.

And then I started seeing these, and they definitely make me laugh.

Because they apply to me, because no one would ever say these things, and because Ryan Gosling is nice to look at.

So, here are two:

laminate TFF Ideas of March Premiere 100911


The show, Parenthood.

I’ve been watching this season, but then, my friend, Tara, said I should go back and watch from Season 1 on Netflix.

So, I have been, and I love it.

I identify, in some way, with every single character on the show.

I’ve been them all at different times in my life, and that’s probably why I love it so much.

It’s just a great show about complicated family relationships and how people get through their lives.

I find it to be pretty darn real, and I love it.


This Kmart commercial:


Speaking with a British accent.

Go ahead, call me crazy, but I’ve been walking around here speaking with a British accent for weeks.

I actually have to catch myself, sometimes, at work, because I start to lapse into the accent.

My friends will tell you…ever since I was a kid, I’ve done the accents.

All of them.

My old co-workers at my old school district will tell you I was a master of impersonation on a daily basis.

It’s kinda my thing.

When I was in high school and college, I worked my way through in retail in a local department store.

I spoke in different accents, when dealing with customers, every single day.

Of course, it could get confusing when I would have repeat customers, but I just looked at them like they were crazy when they would say “Wait…I thought you were from Scotland?  You sound like you’re from Texas today?”

Anyway, the kids and I get our daily allowance of Dr. Who and I am a huge fan of Downton Abbey, and even some of the shows that Tiny watches on the telly (see that…the telly…I’m actually writing British now) have little cartoon characters with British accents.

So, I’m surrounded, and I just gave in.

The monkeys are all on board and love it, although Monkey in the Middle will meet his limit some days and ask me to stop, or will remind me before we walk into a store, “No British in here, okay Mom?”

I comply.

There will be plenty of other ways I can embarrass him over the next 40 or 50 years.


The fact that people are actually going to pay money to have me sign a book and read some stuff from my blog on Thursday night.

Yeah, that’s right.

A few co-authors and I will be having a book signing at Westfield’s Girl’s Night Out this Thursday night.

It’s exciting but I, whose nickname could be “She Who Never Knows What to Wear and Even When She Asks People She Always Winds Up Wearing Something Weird” or “She Who is Completely Awkward in Social Situations Even When the Focus ISN’T on Her” is more than a little nervous.

However, it’s kinda awesome.

April 12, 2013

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday,Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:01 am

1. Where do you hide things from your kids?

Hide things from my kids?

I would never do that!

I don’t know what you’re talking about and this answer is in no way influenced by the fact that Monkey Girl reads my blog on a regular basis.

Hide things from my kids…ridiculous.

2. What is your favorite rainy day activity for bored toddlers?

Nap time.

Is that an acceptable answer?


Well, at least not in my house since my toddler hasn’t napped in quite some time.

So, I’ll go with blocks and Legos.

You can make something cool, then knock it down, take it apart and start all over again.

And, really, you don’t have to be creative with what it is you are building, because it’s the knocking down that he’s waiting for, anyway.

3. Are you a punctual person or are you always running a few minutes (or more!) late??

More than punctual.

I’m Early Shirley.

Lateness drives me absolutely insane.


However, I live in a house full of dilly-dallyers.

And it makes me nuts.

I think a perfect example of the difference between Real Man and I is a story from when we were dating in high school.

He, Kim, our friend, Joe, and I were all going to see “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.”

Yes, I know.  Please don’t comment.  It looked funny in the commercials.

Anyway, it was playing at a local mall (which now has the moniker of “Death Mall” because of the murder that occurred there…lovely) and I told everyone the movie started at 6:30.

We got there around 6:25, which is cutting it WAY too close for my comfort, but that’s okay, because it really didn’t start until 8:00.

Real Man has never let me forget that little white lie.

I just hate the feeling of rushing around, trying to get somewhere.

Franticness (is that a word?) and chaos make me nutty.

4. When eating out, do you prefer off the beaten path “Mom and Pop” cafes or tried and true national food chains?

I believe I’ve said this before, but I’m not a “tryer.”

I like what I like and that’s about it.

With food, especially.

So, while I’m totally down with a cute little cafe in a new town (we ate at a great one when we went to Kim’s wedding) and Mom and Pop places, places that are more funky or trendy, I tend to stay away from, because they tend to be funky and trendy with their food.

Whenever we go into the city, Kim, Erin and Michaela are always very accommodating of me and we eat somewhere they’ll have something I like.

However, if I can’t make that trip, they are totally eating somewhere awesome.

That being said, I’m not a fan of places like Applebee’s or TGIFridays or Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill.

That’s just a little too…I don’t know.  It’s just not for me.

5. Does your significant other snore? Do YOU snore?

Real Man used to snore loudly enough to knock things off the shelves.

Monkey Girl used to snore that loudly, as well.

However, Monkey Girl had her tonsils and adenoids out when she was five and has never snored since.

She talks up a storm while she sleeps, but no snoring.

Real Man just had his tonsils out and his uvula taken out (yes, the punching bag in the back of your throat) last year, and since then is a much more peaceful sleeper.

Which makes me a much more peaceful sleeper.


As for me?

I like to believe that I sleep like a beautiful angel, but think I probably look more like a Lindsay Lohan mug shot.

April 11, 2013

The Truth

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

You want the truth?

I’m tired.



Weary to the bone.

I don’t believe I’ve ever been this tired in my entire life, and that, my friends, is not an exaggeration.

It’ll pass.

I just happen to be in a ridiculous place right now.

Thank goodness I actually like everything that I’m doing, because I have friends who are running at the same pace at jobs they hate, or all alone when they come home at the end of the day.

But, even loving it does not take away the fact that I’m tired.

Just. So. Tired.

One of my favorite songs of all time is American Tune by Paul Simon.

It keeps running through my head, these days.

Over and over and over.

So, give it a listen and then it can run through your head for awhile.

And give me a break.

‘Cuz I need it.


April 10, 2013

It’s War

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

Have you ever seen the episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” where Deborah and Raymond are waiting each other out to see who will take a heavy suitcase upstairs?

They both are too stubborn to be the one to take it up, and finally, Ray’s Dad picks it up and on his way up the stairs, he actually falls through the stairs, and then they both feel awful.

Real Man and I have had similar wars throughout the years.

In our first home, before we had a dishwasher, the dishes in the sink would be a small war.

Not always, but there would be times when we’d let them pile up and pile up, neither of us wanting to actually do the dishes until they finally just got overwhelming and one of us would give in and do the dishes.

Usually Real Man would give in on that one.

Sometimes, after the laundry is done and the work clothes are hung, our t-shirts/underwear/socks will still be in the basket, waiting to be put away.

And they wait and wait and wait.

I usually lose that war.

Nick Mom recently did a one-minute video called Garbage Chicken.

Because marital games of chicken do, in fact, exist.

Our longest war, to date, is the war of “the box in the corner.”

This box.


We moved into our home in July of 2011.

The movers left this box in our bedroom because we forgot to label it, and when we opened it, it was a mish-mosh of stuff that belonged in our room, belonged in the office, belonged in a variety of other places throughout the house.

So, we dealt with the boxes that were specific and figured we’d come back to that one later.

I went through it and pulled out the stuff that belonged in our room, and Real Man said he’d deal with the rest later.

It’s now April 2013.

I’d say that’s later.

And the two of us continue to live with this box in the corner of our bedroom.

I don’t think either of us even know what is in that box, anymore.

We have now piled things on top of that box, and use it like a piece of furniture.

You can see there are some unmatched socks, a few books, and some other random things that the kids dropped in our room and we just set up there.

Once something is placed on the box, it becomes invisible, never to be touched again.

One day, archaeologists will find that box in the corner, and when they open it, they may find the mysteries of life.

They may also find two skeletons, each pointing toward the box, mouths poised to say “You do it,” and “No, you do it.”

But they will definitely find that box.

In the corner.

Of our room.

‘Cuz I’m not losing this one.

April 9, 2013

Everyone Needs a Laugh Tuesday

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

I think I am hilarious.

I say things and laugh and laugh and when I stop laughing I look at those around me and…


Apparently, Tiny takes after me.

Kid is his own best audience.

He does stuff and cracks up and if we don’t laugh hard enough he says “Tiny funny!”

Here is Tiny in action.

What’s he doing, you might ask?

Watching a video of himself.

Who needs a laugh track when you can laugh at yourself?

Want some more laughs?

Then make sure to order I Just Want to Pee Alone!

Now THAT’S funny stuff!

April 8, 2013

Spring is John Bender

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

I know, I know…

Everyone is all “Whoo-hoo!  Spring is here!” and while I can share their sentiments to an extent, overall, I think Spring is a jerk.

A big, fat jerk.

But, a jerk like John Bender.

You know…John Bender.

Judd Nelson’s character in The Breakfast Club.

A world-class jerk.

But, you kinda liked him.

In fact, you kinda liked him a lot.

Yes, there are good things about Spring.

For example, the kids are outside and my house has at least a 47% more chance of staying clean since no one is inside messing it up.

This is a good thing.

Along with the clean house, however, is the fact that Spring is the time of year when I need to fulfill the clause in my contract as the mother of three boys that says I must display a level of athleticism which I do not actually possess.

A few days of good weather and we’ve already had tournaments in frisbee, basketball and driveway hockey.  Give us a few more days and they’ll rediscover the kickball, football and baseball.

Which would be fantastic, because I love that my kids want to be active and play outside.

However, according to my boys, none of these games, apparently, can be played without me.

I think my boys missed the stories about my complete and utter lack of coordination or sports ability.

It’ll be a long, long few months before the pool opens and chlorine and their friends can take over the task of entertaining them in the great outdoors.

However, the outdoor play is way more exhausting than indoor play, so it also means that the monkeys crash hard at night and our nightly game of musical beds is (blessedly) on hiatus for a few months.

Also, it means we can start cooking on the grill and that’s always a plus because it gives me a break from slaving over the stove and having to actually come up with something everyone likes for dinner.

But, despite the good, nay, the wonderful, things that Spring brings, it’s a jerk.

At school, spring means standardized testing which is nonsensical, illogical, and wrong.

Spring means the students are looking to the end of the year and need to be reminded that we are still in it for the long haul and there is still much to be done.

Senioritis hits 8th graders just as much as it hits seniors.

I should be grateful that none of my children play baseball, because Spring means baseball, and I am not a fan.

Even though I don’t have to go to any Little League games, it still corrupts my television screen and reminds me of the millions of games I had to sit through when I was a kid, watching Channel 11 with my Dad.

Cuz when I was a kid, we had one tv and my parents decided what we watched.

The worst part is that Spring brings allergies to our house.

We’ve only had a few nice days, but already, I’m stuffed, my skin and eyes itch, and I’ve had to pull out my inhaler.

Monkey Girl has started the weepy eyes, and we are in the days of eczema itching for Baby.

Spring is here and it’s Allegra and Benadryl cocktails all around.

So, spring has some redeeming qualities, but the bad makes me a little happy that spring was so late to arrive this year and has me hoping that summer starts early, despite the fact I teach in an un-air conditioned classroom on the second floor and the last day of school for teachers isn’t until June 28th.


Eat my shorts, Spring.

April 5, 2013

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday,Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

1. Would you go to your high school reunion?

I would and I have…twice.

I hit our 15 and our 20.

It was nice, in that all of that high school drama nonsense was gone.

Everyone was genuinely happy to see everyone else and it was a really nice night.

Well, for the 20th.

The 15th was kinda crappy.

It was at a hotel and I really didn’t enjoy it.

The 20th was at a hotel, also, but Real Man and I decided not to pay.

We went to the local bar, where we knew everyone would wind up, and waited.

A few of our friends wound up showing up there, as well, and we saw people who went there before the reunion and then, basically saw the entire class after the reunion.

Didn’t have to spend a dime and still had the reunion.

Where, of course, Real Man had to introduce people to me who said, “Oh!  Is this your wife?  Introduce me!”

To which Real Man had to respond “Um, this is Amy…she graduated with us, remember?”

Imagine us in high school and guess which one of us was the cool one and guess which one of us was the nerd.

2. What’s something that you’ve recently splurged on; either for yourself or someone else?

I don’t splurge.

I just don’t.

I don’t have the money for it (although, I guess if I did, it wouldn’t be called a splurge) and I don’t really have the desire for it, either, because I get so overcome with guilt when I buy something for myself.

Oh, it does say for someone else.

I guess I didn’t splurge, per se, but the Easter Bunny splurged a little on the Tardis tent he brought the kids.

So even though I am not the Easter Bunny, I’ll count that.

3. How do you handle your child’s fever?

With Tylenol or Advil.

And lots of snuggles.

I’m not a panicker with fever.

I remember, when Monkey Girl was a baby, our doctor saying that kids fevers traditionally get higher than adult fevers so a 101.5 may be scary for an adult, it’s not such a big deal with a kid.

104…that’s high.

But, generally, we hover around the 101.5 mark.

4. What’s the nicest thing to happen to you lately?


5. What is your current favorite song?

It’s a tie:


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