My Real Life

March 17, 2012

Don’t Worry…I Sanitized

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am
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Tiny came to a birthday party with the rest of us, to Chuck E. Cheese on Monday.

(Don’t worry…I didn’t forget anyone.)

For the first time, he’s old enough to do something besides have me carry him around.

It’s not much, but he felt like he was 7 and was so proud of himself sitting in those rides.

Big boy.

February 26, 2012

Just One More

Filed under: Birthdays — Amy @ 6:00 am
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Okay, so the monkeys are not the only February birthdays we have in this family.

We also sneak in my brother-in-law, my sister-in-law and my mother.

That makes 7 February birthdays in an extended family of 27.

Just about 1/4 of the birthdays for the year in one month.

This year, my Mom turned 70.

And this year, I took a gamble, and decided to surprise her with the surprise party she has always said she would kill us if we threw her.

Because, the lady dosh protest too much, methinks.

Or, in English, (or, at least,  the English most normal people, who don’t go about quoting Hamlet, use), I think she was lying.

So, I played sneaky squirrel, enlisted my Dad’s help with the guest list and addresses and went to work.

I’m not embarrassed to pat myself on the back about this whole shindig.

It is not easy keeping a secret like this from the woman who spends a good part of each day in my house.

She even gets our mail, and I thought our cover was blown when one of the guests RSVP’d by mail instead of by phone.

However, I played it cool and let my inner Meryl Streep shine and fudged my way out of that one.

I have to say, I think it was a success.

Here’s the progression of surprise as she walked in the door.

And, although it will take you seconds to look at this, believe me when I tell you, she made this face and didn’t speak for a good three minutes.

I kinda thought she might be having a stroke or something, at one point.

However, she eventually smiled and enjoyed herself.

And, later, when I asked if she was mad, she answered “Only a little bit.”

So, the final birthday of February was a success, and now…

I rest.

February 23, 2012

Eleven

Filed under: Birthdays — Amy @ 6:00 am
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Monkey Girl is 11 today.

I strongly urge you to go back and read my post about her from two years ago (found here) because I think I said it well.

And the pictures of her are adorable.

The truth is, I can’t say enough about her.

From the moment the doctor said “Oh my God!  She’s huge!” instead of “It’s a girl!” I’ve been in love with her.

She is an amazing human being.

I love her so much, she makes my heart ache.

Happy Birthday to my precious eleven year old today.

Mama loves you.

February 20, 2012

One Year Old

Filed under: Birthdays — Amy @ 6:00 am
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I find it impossible to believe, but today, my baby is 1.

The baby that entered our lives unexpectedly and changed our world in ways we could have never imagined.

The child that consistently brings out the best in his siblings.

The baby that keeps us young.

The ham that gives a big cheesy smile whenever a camera is pulled out.

The kid that moves and crawls and pulls himself up and leaves me shaking my head saying, “But he was just born yesterday!”

Today my baby is one, and I am so very, very grateful to have this smush of a lovebug in my life.

(You can check out my first posts about this boy here and here.)

February 19, 2012

One Good Deed

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am
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Once again, Monkey Girl asked her friends to bring donations to the local Food Pantry, in lieu of gifts.

And, once again, her generous friends brought both.

The picture above shows the donations to the Food Pantry, which she is thrilled about.

This year, in particular, she is so excited because our school district runs a fundraiser called Coins for a Cause, where students collect their loose change, and then, in April, vote for one out of three charities that will receive all of the proceeds.

This year, the Food Pantry is one of those organizations, and she is hoping beyond hope that it wins.

I think she’s given them a nice start already!

Proud of my girl.

 

February 18, 2012

Slumber Party

Filed under: Birthdays — Amy @ 11:10 am
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It’s good to know that no matter how times change, some things never will.

Like slumber parties.

Don’t get me wrong…

There were some differences.

Like the texting and the cell phones.

But other than that, it could have been a slumber party from my youth.

Monkey Girl has really, really nice friends and they got along beautifully.

We kept it small, and I believe that helped keep everyone happy.

There were teeny-bopper magazines, some dancing, some singing, and just general girl talk.

Monkey in the Middle was policing the event, for awhile, and at one point, came upstairs, shaking his head and mumbling “Inappropriate language.”

We asked what he was talking about and he put his hands over his ears and said, “The girls are using inappropriate language.”

I was a little a surprised, because that’s really not the M.O. of these girls, so I asked “What are they saying?”

He leaned in close and whispered, “They said ‘stupid’ and ‘idiot.'”

I breathed a sigh of relief and then said, “You are right…that is definitely inappropriate language.  Thanks for letting us know.”

There were Mad Libs, and snacks, pizza, sundaes, and four clogged toilets.

As the hours passed, we kept waiting for the volume to lessen, but it didn’t.

So, I began the first of a few treks to the top of the basement stairs to let them know that, perhaps, it was time to wind down.

Real Man and I stayed in the living room, alternately watching television and muting it to listen in on their conversations.

I held my breath when I heard someone say, “Let’s Play ‘Never Have I Ever!'”

I breathed again when I heard them saying things like, “Never Have I Ever eaten five pieces of pizza!”

And then we laughed out loud when we heard Monkey Girl, who does not have a cell phone or iTouch and has been making the hard case for one since the summer, say “Never Have I Ever owned an Apple product.”

By 1:30, there were just a few whispers left, and the sounds of sleeping girls took over the rest of the basement, so we headed up to bed.

And at 6:30, the peals of 10/11 year old girl laughter began to ring out throughout the house, once again.

They got some doughnuts in their system and were ready for an hour long game of Sardines, which, (for the uninitiated), is Hide-and-Seek, but only one person hides.  If you find them, you hide with them.  When the next person finds the two of you, they hide with you, etc., until there is only one seeker left.

Then, there was about an hour of regular Hide-and-Seek.

The boys played with them, and the girls were sweet to pretend not to see Baby Monkey as he hid in super secret hiding spots, like under the coffee table, or just stood really still, apparently thinking he was being stalked by a group of T-Rexes (who, as ANYONE who has seen Jurassic Park knows, can’t see you if you don’t move).

And then there was Tiny Time.

They all sat in a circle in our empty dining room and just kind of passed Tiny around.

He loved it and did some of his best flirting.

Then, the girls got distracted with one of his toys and decided to play hot potato.  That lasted for about 45 minutes.

And then, they rolled up their sleeping bags, got dressed and said their goodbyes.

The house will is quieter without them, but I’ll miss those girls.

Maybe it’s the teacher in me who is used to never having less than 25 kids around me at all times, or maybe it’s the Mama in me who loves a house full of happy, laughing children.

But I enjoyed that slumber party just as much as Monkey Girl did.

I’d go down to check on them and come up with a big, stupid (forgive my language, Monkey in the Middle) grin on my face.  Real Man would ask what I was grinning about and I’d say “Just the slumber party.  They seem to be having a really good time.”

No one cried, had hurt feelings, got sick, had their underwear frozen or their hand dipped in warm water.

And really..what more can you ask for?

February 15, 2012

8…So Great!

Filed under: Birthdays — Amy @ 6:00 am
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I have this boy.

You can see some of his remarkable cuteness here and the story of how he joined us here.

He’s 8 today.

He’s pretty spectacular.

He keeps changing on me, and in the past few months, I’m beginning to see glimpses of the man he is going to be.

He’s full of love and emotion.

He cares deeply about others and stands up when someone is wronged.

He loves rules and order and structure, but is just as silly as the rest of the monkeys when the mood strikes him.

He’s a sweetheart and a good boy and he just keeps growing.

I’m so proud of this guy and the person he is becoming.

We’ve had a bit of a rough go of it, he and I, but we’ve always find our way back to each other and now we’re better than ever.

We’re a team, he and I.

I love this kid.

More than he could ever possibly know.

February 11, 2012

When We Were Six

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am
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Baby Monkey is 6 today.

I could wax poetic, but I’ve already done that, here and here.

So, instead, I think I’m going to sum up my little guy by quoting Real Man.

About a month or two ago, we were at dinner and Baby Monkey said something that was typical of his usual dinner chatter.

I don’t remember what it was, but I do remember Real Man’s comment.

He said, “Baby Monkey…how is it that everything you do is tinged with awesomeness?”

And that is the perfect way to describe Baby Monkey.

There’s a little awesome in every single thing that kid says and does.

Everything.

I love him.

And that’s all there is to it.

January 3, 2012

As I Turn Forty

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am
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Today I turn 40.

Today I turn 40 and life is good.

Today I turn 40 and I am holding a baby in my arms and I am dancing in the kitchen and I feel as though I am 22 and just starting out in the world.

Today I turn 40 and I look back on the mistakes I’ve made and realize how much I learned from them.  I mourn for the roads I did not travel, yet I rejoice where the roads I did take have led.

Today I turn 40 and I find myself surrounded by good people.  Friends I have known since childhood, whom I love as my sisters; friends I have made along the way who take me for who and what I am and like me anyway; family who is near and willing to help anytime for any reason; a husband I have known since I was 16, loved since I was 22, and is truly my best friend; and children who make my heart ache because I am so in love with them.

Today I turn 40 and I like me.  I am comfortable with who I am and no longer feel the need to fit anyone else’s mold.  What you see is what you get, and I think what you are getting is pretty damn good.

Today I turn 40 and I want to share with you something that I found online a few weeks ago.  It’s not my autobiography, but it certainly could be.  And as I turn 40, I’m excited to walk down this other street and see what adventures lay ahead.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE SHORT CHAPTERS
by Portia Nelson

I
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

II
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

III
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

V
I walk down another street.

 

February 23, 2011

Monkey Girl Turns 10!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:40 am
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I guess it’s only appropriate that, in a week full of posts about the birth of my last baby, I talk to you about the birth of my first baby.

Because, 10 years ago, today, Monkey Girl was born.

And my life was forever changed.

For the better.

So very much for the better.

I’m going to refer you to my post about her birthday last year because it has the best pictures of her as a little one, and explains how I felt about her birth.

But, I’m also going to tell you that I consider myself a very lucky woman.

This oldest child of mine is just…remarkable.

Her capacity to love is unreal.

Her concern and care for others, over the course of her 10 years, has always been inspiring.

Kids are supposed to be ego-centric.  It’s the way they are wired.

Not Monkey Girl.

She’s funny, she’s intelligent, she’s creative.

She’s everything I wish I could be.

I love this girl so much, I can’t even stand it sometimes.

And, I hope she always, always knows it.

So, celebrate my beautiful, oldest child with me, today.

She’s worth every second of celebration you can give her.

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