My Real Life

March 19, 2012

Your Turn

Filed under: Truthful Tuesday — Amy @ 6:00 am
Tags: ,

So, I’m beginning to notice some trends in my readership numbers, and I thought that it was time to find out if, perhaps, my readership is down some days because you just aren’t interested in certain posts, and then cut the fat.

So, today, if you wouldn’t mind…please take a second to vote.

Let me know which regular feature is your favorite and I’ll see what changes might need to be made!

March 6, 2012

Truthful Tuesday

Today’s question comes from reader Jen.

Jen writes:

You, like me have 1 girl and 3 boys. Do you feel you have a different kind of “bond” with your daughter? Don’t get me wrong, I love all my children equally, but for some reason my daughter and I share something different. Maybe it is because she is the only girl, but we have a Mother/Daughter relationship and then a friend relationship. As her mom she respects me, but as her friend, she tells me everything, and isn’t scared to share things with me.

I don’t want to wimp out and not answer the question, but I think I’ve already somewhat explained it with this post from 2009.  Please click the link and read that post and click on the link in that post to get to the answer.

Sounds convoluted, but I swear, it will answer the question and be worth it.

(And if you still feel like I haven’t answered to the best of my ability, I’ll be happy to expound further at another time.)

February 28, 2012

Truthful Tuesday

Filed under: Truthful Tuesday — Amy @ 6:00 am

Today, I don’t answer any questions.

Today, I just share with you something that I saw online a few weeks ago and inscribed itself in my brain.

On my heart.


Because I do take on too much, work too hard, expect too much of myself, and am my own worst critic.

And while I keep my head up high and hold it together and put on a good front, there are many, many days when this is how I feel:

And that’s the truth.

February 21, 2012

Truthful Tuesday

Filed under: Truthful Tuesday — Amy @ 6:00 am
Tags: ,

Today’s question comes from Heather (are we sensing a trend yet?)

Heather writes:

This one may be tougher since you have four kids at multiple stages but is there a stage that you’ve passed through that was really a good thing, but you secretly miss it. Ex: I SO miss the damn pacifier some days. It’s not that I’m a fan ( or ever was) of toting those silly things around and losing them Etc but sometimes, some days, at some moments, I miss the ease of providing instant comfort to a screaming, fussing child. You know, those moments when even the hugs and snuggles don’t seem to even take the edge off of whatever is causing the wails. So, there…I said it….I miss the darn “Pa Pa” somedays. Any secret reveals Amy?

There are definitely stages that I miss.

For example, right now, I’m at the end of a stage that I know I’m going to miss as soon as it’s over.

I’ve been weaning Tiny off of nursing for a few months.

In September, he stopped nursing during the day, and was only nursing first thing in the morning, when I got home from school, and then at bedtime.

Then, a few months ago, we cut out the afternoon feeding, then a few weeks ago, we cut out the morning feeding.

And soon, in a few weeks, we’ll cut out the bedtime feeding.

And that will be hard for a variety of reasons.

1. I am a Mom who did not have difficulty with breastfeeding and have enjoyed it very much.

Tiny is my last baby, and so the last time will be the absolute last time.

I love our snuggle time at night, and while we can still snuggle without it, let’s face it, the kid is mobile…snuggling isn’t something he does much of these days.

2.  He falls asleep while he’s nursing at night, and if he’s not nursing, we are going to have to switch up his bedtime routine.

We’ve always been lucky that our kids go to bed without any issues.

However, it’s going to be a change, and for awhile, he’s going to cry and be furious with us that it’s time for bed, despite the routine of books, songs, bed, and it’s going to be SO tempting to just scoop him up and feed him to sleep.

I’m not going to cave, and I know he will learn to fall asleep quickly, but it’s going to be tough. (for me)

3.  It somehow signifies the end of “babyhood” to me.

And that makes me sad.


On another note, while I am thrilled for him that he is now so mobile and that his world has opened up and that he is learning independence, it would be nice if I could still put him down in the middle of the kitchen floor with some Tupperware and a spoon and know he isn’t going anywhere while I cook dinner.

Now, I put him down, fill a pot with water, run to catch him at the bottom of the stairs.

I bring him back to the kitchen, put the pot on the stove, run to catch him before he eats a stray small toy.

I bring him back to the kitchen, turn the stove on, run to catch him before he pulls the blinds off the wall from the sliding glass door.

You can imagine the rest of the story.

So, I’m missing the stage where he could sit up, but couldn’t crawl.

Because, let’s be honest, that is the easiest stage of babyhood.


With the bigger kids, I miss when Monkey Girl was little and I could dress her in little girl clothes.

I got to pick them out and dress her however I wanted.

Cute little stockings, pink jumpers, adorable MaryJanes.

This is NOT the case anymore.

A – My choices are generally met with a roll of the eyes and a “I really don’t like that,” and

B – No one looks at tween clothes and says “Aw!  How cute!”


With the boys, I don’t think there is anything that I really miss that they’ve outgrown, but I know that soon, there will be.

Like, when they are teenagers and I’m missing the days when my grocery bill didn’t require me to take out a third job.

But, then there will be things I can look forward to, also.

Like, being able to say, “Do your OWN laundry!”

So, I guess it will all balance out. 🙂

February 14, 2012

Truthful Tuesday

Filed under: Truthful Tuesday — Amy @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , ,

Today’s question comes from reader, Heather.

She asks:

Injury or illness ?
I believe we all as moms handle one better than the other….for me, its injury. With the exception of major stuff (which we’ve mostly avoided so far–notice I said mostly) I find injuries to be much more concrete (no pun intended) and much more easily dealt with than illness. Skylar once decided to turn on a halogen desk lamp and proceeded to put her 21 month old finger on the lens til she got a 2nd degree burn. Not fun, but I knew what to do. Illness in my house means incessant whining, tissues all over the house, and battles over nose blowing etc. Not my cup of tea. And you?


I am a phenom in an emergency situation.

I immediately become the calmest person in the room and just kind of switch into soothing action mode.

I don’t know where I learned that, as neither of my parents are particularly good in an emergency.

(Sorry guys, but you know I’m right.)

I’m pretty lucky, because the monkeys are rarely sick, and when they are sick, a little medicine perks them right up and they are fast healers.

I can say that when any of them vomits (which is less often than once a year, which is VERY lucky) it’s just like the scene from Stand By Me…Barf-o-Rama.

I hack and gag my way through the whole thing, but like I said, the monkeys are rarely sick.

So, I don’t have to really test myself.

However, if I’m completely honest, (and if he was completely honest, which I think he would be if you asked him), I’m a terrible, terrible nurse when Real Man is sick.

Because, if he’s sick, half of the team is down for the count, and we need all hands on deck around here.

So, I’m appropriately sympathetic for the first day, but by day two, I can be heard saying things like, “Maybe it’s time to call the doctor,” and “Did you take anything for that?” or “Wow, you’ve been sick for awhile…maybe you’d feel better if you got up and did something.”

It’s not pretty.

I think I might be missing the sick husband sympathy gene, and I feel badly for that because he’s just an awesome man and can’t help it if he gets sick.

(He is the only one of us who never gets a flu shot, but I won’t go there right now.)

So, injury is my area of strength.  Illness…not so much.

February 7, 2012

Truthful Tuesday

Filed under: Truthful Tuesday — Amy @ 6:00 am
Tags: , ,

“I don’t know how you do it,” is a phrase I hear a lot.

When I hear it, I smile and say “I have really good kids and a really supportive husband,” because it’s the truth.

Then they say “Yeah, but still, I don’t know how you do it.”

I often wonder what exactly this “IT” is that they think I do.

And I certainly hope that “IT” doesn’t equal “ALL” because I don’t do it all.

One of the blogs I read, “Tiny Twig Goes Out on a Limb,” covered this very topic, last week, and I thought she did a beautiful job.

You can read her take on doing it all here.

As for me, I certainly don’t do it all, either.

Here are my contributions to Tiny Twig’s list:

1.  I don’t deep clean my house.  In fact, I have a cleaning lady that comes every other week.  She scrubs, she shines, and does the deep cleaning I could be doing instead of hanging with the monkeys when I get home from work.  Let’s be honest…we’re in the midst of play season.  Add that to my teaching day, plus piano, and I’m leaving at 7:15 in the morning and not walking in the door again until 5:30, sometimes 6:00.  I wanna play Wii tennis or chess or cut stuff out of construction paper with the monkeys.  I don’t want to have to deep clean the house.  So, for about 3 hours, once every two weeks, my house is sparkling clean.  The rest of the time, it’s clean enough.

2.  This brings me to point number two.  I love to play games and do stuff with the monkeys.  I do.  But, I don’t want anyone thinking that’s all I do when I’m home.  I would think that’s evident just from the mere fact that I write this blog, which takes up a bit of time.  But I also like to read, to run on the treadmill, to play the piano, and do other things to relax, and a lot of these things don’t involve my kids.  My children are my life.  But, my children aren’t my life.  I have other interests, as well as being a Mom, and I think that’s just fine.  On Facebook the other day, my Mom posted that she called here to talk to Baby Monkey and while they were on the phone, he called over his shoulder to his siblings, “I could use a little quiet, here.”  He got that from me.

3.  This comes as no surprise to regular readers, but I suck at laundry.  I simply cannot stay on top of it.  Can. Not. Do. It.  In fact, (and this is absolutely no joke), if I knew someone I could hire to do our laundry, I would.  I don’t like spending money, but this would be somewhere I would absolutely spend my money.  I hate it.  I don’t know why I hate it so much.  It’s not the washing or the drying.  It’s the folding, hanging and putting away.  And the fact that I’m doing laundry for 6.  So, we’re all always looking for this shirt or those pants and my answer is always, “It’s probably still dirty.”  And sometimes, we wear it dirty.

4.  I don’t do it all, because I don’t have to.  I have an incredible husband and we’re a team. You want to talk about someone who does it all?  Talk about a single Mom.  My friend, Jodi, does it all and does it by herself and does it beautifully.  She’s who I look up to.

So, these are just a few of the things that I don’t do, or even that I don’t do well.

No one does it all.

No one should even try.

I do the best that I can and try not to beat myself up over the stuff I’m not doing as well as someone else is doing it.

Because, odds are, I’m probably a rock star at something they are struggling with.

January 31, 2012

Truthful Tuesday

Filed under: Truthful Tuesday — Amy @ 6:00 am
Tags: , ,

In today’s edition of Truthful Tuesday, I answer a question from DH.

DH writes:

I noticed that you keep a physical journal as well as your blog. I also keep a journal, and I try to write daily. But I find, the more I keep up with my blog, the less likely I am to write in my journal, and vice versa. Do you have the same issue? If not, how does your journal differ from your blog, such that you have fresh material to contribute to both simultaneously?

Good question, DH!

I do keep a handwritten journal for myself.

In fact, I have several journals and I write when I need to.  Sometimes I write in my journals several times a day.  Sometimes I can go a month without an entry.  It’s for me, and so there is no pressure to write every single day.  The blog and the journals are not for the same purpose, so I don’t worry about keeping both “fresh.”

Where do I get my journals?

Believe it or not…at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Every year, I take the 8th graders to D.C., and while we’re there, my friend, Tara and I, get our kids to the National Gallery and hit the gift shop.  Their selection of journals is unmatched, and I usually buy a journal and some stationery.

And, of course, check out the art.

But, onto the journals.

This journal is going to be my next diary-type journal.  The one I am currently using is just about full, so this one is on deck.

In this journal, I started my CrowdourcingLove project, because it’s my writing journal.  Sometimes I’ll get snippets of stories I want to write in my head, and I write them here.  Sometimes it is just a sentence that I imagine, and here is where I deposit it, until I create the perfect story to build…around just that one sentence.  I also write dreams that I’ve had that stay with me in this journal.

This journal is my journal for Monkey Girl.  The day I found out I was pregnant with her, I began keeping this journal for her.  I used to write regularly in this journal, but as you can imagine, it became sporadic, over time.  My plan was always that I would give her this journal when she became pregnant for the first time, but then I realized she may not want children, or perhaps won’t be able to have children.  So, perhaps when she’s 21.  Or, perhaps tomorrow.  Why wait?

This is my personal journal.  It’s a mish mosh of pages, and is probably very representative of the creative part of my brain.

I post pictures that inspire me in some way or another.

I photocopy parts of books that I want to always have handy to re-read again and again.

Articles that have touched me.

Love notes that came at just the right moment.

This one from Monkey in the Middle.

Amazing moments.  See Tiny in there?

And then, there’s the writing.  The pages and pages filled with my writing.

I write what I’m thinking and feeling and what’s happening and my hopes and dreams and conflicts and whatever is on my mind and in my heart at the moment.

I love my journal and am a big advocate for people keeping a journal or a diary of some sort.

The blog I write for myself, for my kids, for you.

The journal is just for me.

*Please feel free to submit a question for Truthful Tuesday any time!  Put it in the comment section of any post!*

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