My Real Life

January 29, 2012

All the Little Pieces

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am
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So, the other day, Baby Monkey came home from school and wanted to make snowflakes.

Apparently, they were making snowflakes at the Kindergarten craft table, and he wanted to make some at home.

No surprise.

So, I started folding up the paper and he started saying, “No…no…that’s not how we did it at school!”

Because I never do it quite right.

Then, I remembered that I had recently read a post at Kristen, The Frugal Girl’s blog about Easy, Frugal Crafts for Kids.

In the post, she gave a little tutorial on making snowflakes.

I always just folded up the paper a bunch of times and started cutting.

Apparently, there is a method to making good snowflakes, and my friends, Kristen has found it.

So, I pulled out the laptop and showed Baby Monkey the tutorial.  We started folding and cutting and the result was great!  The best snowflakes I’d ever made, for sure!

Monkey Girl and Monkey in the Middle were impressed with our creations and decided that they, too, wanted to make snowflakes.

So, they got some paper, folded according to the tutorial, cut and made their own beautiful creations.

It was fun.  It was great.

It is now all Baby Monkey wants to do.

Which is not a bad thing.

He hasn’t turned on the computer in days, hasn’t watched a tv show, hasn’t thought about the Wii or the Xbox.

Still at the kitchen table at 8:00 Friday night.

Fold and cut.  Fold and cut.  Fold and cut.

His creations are beautiful.

Here are some of my favorites.

The only downside is that my home is now littered with little, tiny pieces of white paper.

They are everywhere.

I’ve even found a few floating in the toilet.

Don’t ask.

So, while I’m frustrated at the mess this new hobby has brought into my life, I think this is one of those things I’m just going to let go.  He cleans up after himself when he’s done, and if he misses a few, so be it.

The product, and by product I mean the smiles on my Baby’s face and the pride in his eyes, definitely is worth the mess.


***Remember!  I’m still taking questions for February’s Truthful Tuesday feature!***

January 12, 2012

Lies I Tell My Children

I’m a liar.

A big fat liarpants.

My pants are on fire and there is no extinguisher big enough to put them out.

I don’t set out to lie to my monkeys, but sometimes the lies just sort of spill out of my mouth.

However, I take comfort in the fact that most of us lie to our children, so I am not alone.

And, they aren’t harmful lies.

So, no harm, no foul.


Lie #1:

“When I was your age, I didn’t have anything to keep me occupied in the car and I actually had to TALK to my parents!”

When I Tell It:

I tell this lie when the kids are rushing around, looking for a DS or some electronic gadget to play with in the car while we drive the 5 minutes across town to karate or choir or some other activity.


I always, always had a book in the car.

I rarely spoke to my parents when we were in the car.

My Dad was always blasting 50’s music from the radio when he drove.  If I would start to have a conversation, I’d get to the middle of my sentence and he’d lean over and hold up a finger and say “Just a minute, Aim…I LOVE this part!” and if it was possible to turn it up louder, he would.  My sentence, my story forgotten in the magic of DooWop.

If my Mom was behind the wheel, it was hymns that were blasting from the religious station, and, quite frankly, I couldn’t get lost in my book fast enough.

My books were my saviors in the car and I never had to talk to my parents when we were driving.

Lie #2:

“The only way I was allowed to stay home from school was if I was dead!”

When I Tell It:

I use this one when someone is clearly not sick enough to stay home, but they are giving an Oscar-worthy performance.


I stayed home from school a time or two.

I’m still kickin’.

Lie #3:

“When I was little, I would NEVER have complained about what my Mother made for dinner!  I ate it and I liked it!”

When I Tell It:

Whenever I make: beef stroganoff, baked mac and cheese with cream of mushroom soup mixed in, tator tot casserole


Truth be told, my Mom was a pretty kick-ass cook when I was a kid.

However, when she made certain things, I complained.


I did have to eat it.

But I absolutely, positively, 100% did not like it.

Lie #4:

“I wouldn’t have dreamed of using that kind of language when I was a kid!”

When I Tell It:

When the kids are using questionable language.

Now, you have to understand that in our house, the “S” word is “stupid,” the “F” word is “fat,” and the “D” word is “dummy.”

Well, except for Monkey in the Middle’s occasional excursions into “damn-ville.”

So, it’s not like we’ve got a late-night cable show going on over here, but, still…we’re trying to put off the real bad language as long as possible.

The Truth:

Technically, NOT a lie.

I didn’t dream of using those words.

I said those words.

I said worse words than that.

I said them a lot.

There are more lies I tell my kids.

Lies like “Santa’s watching” and “If you just close your eyes, you’ll fall fast asleep.”

I also tell lies like, “I’ve never seen a drawing of a tree look so realistic!” and “That is the coolest rock I’ve ever seen!’

There are lies of omission: “Oh, I didn’t mention we had to stop at the grocery store on the way to the park?”

And there are lies to soothe the nerves: “Baby, no one will even notice the happy face drawn in permanent marker on the side of your face.”

It’s kind of a part of parenting that you don’t know is coming until it starts.

And once it starts, you, strangely, fall into it with ease.

Do I feel guilty about it?

A little.

Part of me feels like I’m teaching my kids to bend the truth to get what they want, but then I remember they won’t realize these were lies until they have their own kids, and they are telling the same stories and coming to the same realizations that I’m coming to, today.

Except for Santa.

Monkey Girl is cool with it.

But when Monkey in the Middle finds out, there will be hell to pay.

However, in the long run, do I think it’s going to harm my children in any way, shape or form?

Absolutely not.

Probably not.



September 28, 2009

Your Questions Answered

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:33 am
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Diana writes:

“I am the most unorganized person. How do you keep it all together?  I get so lost in my everyday life and I have no kids.”

Diana, let’s be clear.  There are many days that I don’t keep it all together.  We have days where I’m racing out the door at the last minute.  There are days when I’m up way early because I just didn’t get to the laundry the day before.

Most days are good, but that’s because I’m an organization freak.  I have to be.  With three kids, if I’m not on top of things, no one is happy.  I think I mentioned before that I actually was always quite interested in being a professional organizer.  I find a certain kind of calm in organizing things.  (I’m actually very good at organizing other people’s things. 🙂 )

So, I do a lot of pre-work to keep our days running smoothly.  I’m like the man behind my own curtain.

I make the lunches the night before.  Toss in the laundry in the morning, switch it to the dryer when I get home, fold it when the kids go to sleep.  I do a lot of cooking on the weekend so I don’t have to do much during the week, or I do a lot of easy meals that are nutritious, but not time consuming.  The kids have chores and responsibilities that help keep things going, but not so many that they can’t enjoy being kids.

The most important reason I stay organized is so I can really be with the kids when I’m with the kids.  I want to be able to do the housework on my time so that I never have to say “Not now.  Mommy’s busy.”  That is really what’s most important to me.  They will only be little for awhile.  I want to create some lasting, loving memories now, while I can.

So, even someone without kids can get some pre-work done to set the stage for smoother days.  Planning ahead, knowing what needs to be done…that’s the key.

And…that’s the only question I got.  So, maybe we’ll try this again sometime.  Save up those questions. 🙂

September 8, 2009

Real Scary

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:10 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

So, Labor Day started out like any other holiday.  We slept late…wait, no we didn’t.  The monkeys were up at the crack of dawn, which means so were we.  But that’s okay.  They’re fun monkeys.

We played in the morning, inside and outside.  I cooked up some sausage for two batches of pasta and meat sauce and put it in the freezer.  We did laundry.  You know…the usually puttering stuff you do on Labor Day.

Then I took Monkey Girl for a haircut.  When we got home, we all read some library books together.  We had a date for dinner at my parents at 4:00, so around three, I gave the boy monkeys their bath and Monkey Girl took a shower.  We put on their jammies and were ready to go.  (We figured to do baths and jammies beforehand, so when we got home we could read books and go right to bed, as it was a school night.)

We hopped in the car and started driving.  We hadn’t gone far when Baby Monkey called from the backseat of the van, “Mommy! Daddy!  Look at my head!”  We turned around and his head was perfectly still, but his eyes were rapidly darting back and forth.  Rapidly is an understatement.  His eyes were moving back and forth faster than it is humanly possible to actually move your eyes.  Real Man held out his finger and said, “Look at my finger,” and Baby Monkey grabbed the sides of his head to try to stop his head from moving, which was unsuccessful, since it wasn’t his head that was moving at all.  It was his eyes, but he didn’t seem to understand that. 

I would say the whole thing lasted about 45 seconds.  Finally it stopped and Real Man and I just looked at each other.  It was pretty clear that Baby Monkey had just had some type of seizure.  Real scary.

So, we took the big monkeys to my parents and dropped them off, then took Baby Monkey to the ER.

I hate the ER.  I especially hate the pediatric ER.  There is always an adult crying and I’m always so incredibly sad for them because I know they are hurting because a child is in pain.  There is nothing sadder to see than a sick child, particularly because they are usually being so brave about it.  The pediatric ER breaks your heart, and it takes a really special type of person to work there.

We finally got a room, and we settled in.  The nurse came in and checked him out.  She asked if he had taken his cute pills, because he was the cutest little guy she’d ever seen.  About 5 minutes later, some other woman came in and said that the nurse said she had to come look at the cute guy.  10 minutes after that, someone else came in for the same reason.  So, that made him feel special.  And really…he is ridiculously cute.

The doctor came in and asked a bunch of questions.  She checked him out and said she wanted to consult with another doctor.  Nothing like waiting.  I understand and am glad that she was consulting with someone.  However, not knowing is torture.

Then, the other doctor came in and checked him out.  More consulting.

Long story short, they think that the odds are that he had a seizure.  The other possibility is that he had some type of vertigo episode which would be a result of a childhood migraine (my mother and I are both migraine sufferers), however, he hasn’t complained of any head pain.  So, we have to go see the neurologist this week.  The office opens in a few minutes and I will call then.

I’m home with him today because we need to keep an eye on his eyes for today and it’s easier to do in a one-on-one setting than it would be at daycare.  However, if today is fine, tomorrow he can go back to school. 

He seems to be fine.  He was fine as soon as it was over last night.  He’s just a happy-go-lucky little monkey.  Kids are amazingly resilient.  Much more so than adults.  He never whined, complained or looked at his watch.  He said thank you to the nurses and doctors.  He was disappointed he didn’t get to have spaghetti at his grandparents and didn’t get to play at their house.  But, he rolled with the punches, smiled at everyone and made the best of his situation.

I think we could all learn some important life lessons from our children.

September 2, 2009

Be the Real You and Let Others Be Themselves

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:19 am
Tags: , , , ,

I realize that the grammar in that title isn’t perfect, but then, I’m not perfect either.  And that is the point of this particular post.

I’m going to take a break today from family stories to share with you something that I think is a really important message.

Yesterday was the opening convocation of our school district.  No kids, just hundreds of teachers coming together to begin the work of the school. 

As is tradition, our Superintendent got up to give a speech.  Usually, he gives a long (but quite motivational) speech to the teachers, but this year, he decided to let someone else do the talking for him.  He showed us a video by a man named Ken Robinson.  The whole gist of the video was about how we need to inspire our students to creativity.  It was excellent and quite timely in an era where No Child Left Behind is squashing the creativity right out of our children.

My favorite part of the video was when Ken Robinson told the story of Gillian Lynne, a world famous choreographer.  Have you heard the story?

I’d like you to take a moment and watch the following video.  No, please don’t watch all 20 minutes of it (unless you want to…it was actually quite good).  Move to the fifteen minute mark and then watch the story of Gillian Lynne.  The story only takes about two to three minutes, but it’s an excellent story.  I think the moral is something that we all need to remember in our dealings with children and with other adults.

We are all individuals.  We all need to be able to play to our strengths, whatever they may be.

So, again, for today, just give it a shot.  Check out the story of Gillian Lynne.  I guarantee it makes you think.

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