My Real Life

December 28, 2012

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday — Amy @ 8:51 am

1. If you had to give 1 million dollars to just one person (not your spouse), who would it be and why?

Wow.  That’s tough.

I’m answering this question last because it is a hard one to answer.

Would I give it to Monkey Girl with the stipulation that she must divide it equally between she and her brothers when they all hit a certain age?

Would I give it to someone who needs it the most, as in one needy person or would I give it to someone who could help the most people with it, like a philanthropist?

I hate the “just one person” part of the question, because I’d love to give it to a school district or I’d really love to give it to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

I really don’t know.

I have a feeling this is one I’ll never need to worry about, but it is interesting to think about.

2. What bathroom stall do you typically go to FIRST? 

The last one.

That way, no one is walking by, casually looking to see if there is someone in there.

I’m an observer of human behavior, and in every crowded public bathroom, in which I’ve ever been, I watch the women cooly look out of the corner of their eyes through the slots in the door (because they are never fully private) to see if someone is in there.


I just bend over and look for feet.

I seem to be in the minority, which is why I take the last stall.

3. How do you prefer to shop: In-store or online?

That’s a hard one.

I like to shop online because it frees up my time.

I don’t have to drive anywhere, I don’t have to take four kids with me, I don’t have to change out of my jammies.

However, I like to shop in stores because I like to see what I am buying, as I’ve been tricked before by pictures online and have been disappointed with what showed up at my home.

I guess I’ll go with online being the preference, however, in certain circumstances, you gotta get to the store.

4. What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods?

It’s been windy, it’s been snowy, it’s been rainy and it’s been darn cold.

Nothing out of the ordinary for winter.

Just yucky.

I’m ready for a real snowstorm with a lot of good packing snow so the kids can go out and play in it without it disappearing in their hands.

That’s winter.

5. Do you own a pair of Tom’s and what do you think? Overrated, underrated or about right?

I do not, and while I like the idea of them donating a pair to a child in need every time someone buys a pair, I think the shoe, itself, is overrated.

I also have flat feet, and have very, very few pairs of flat shoes because they hurt my feet, so that could certainly play in to my feelings about Toms.

August 10, 2012

Five Question Friday

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

1. What is the funniest thing you saw on Facebook/twitter this week?

People not willing to keep an open mind, politically.

Funnier (and more pathetic) than any eCard out there.

2. What is your favorite Olympic event?


I could watch gymnastics…men or women…all day long.

I miss my days of gymnastics, and it’s exciting to watch and exciting to live vicariously through those little fireplugs.

Love gymnastics.

Oh, and beach volleyball.

Misty May and Carrie rock my world.

Ooh…and women’s soccer.

They rule!

3. Do your kids to chores around the house? If so, what are they?


They all make their own beds.

It’s not necessarily done the way I would do it, but it’s done.

Monkey Girl empties the dishwasher and does her own laundry.

Monkey in the Middle gets the mail, brings in the empty trash cans, and sweeps under the kitchen table after dinner.

Baby Monkey puts away all remote controls for televisions and game systems.

They also are expected to help with anything I ask for help with, like setting the table, etc.

Or, you know, “Be a dear and bring Mommy her Bon-bons!”

4. If you get bad service/food do you complain or keep quiet?

Bad food?  I speak up.

Bad service?  Depends.  If it’s willful bad service, it’s reflected in the tip, and I am a very generous tipper, usually.  If it’s terrible, I’ll say something to a manager.

5. If you could pick ONE frivolous item for your home, what would it be? (massive room sized closet? swimming pool? greenhouse? etc…)

I’d love a swimming pool in our backyard.

LOVE it.

Wouldn’t have to pack up to go to the pool every day.  That would be awesome.

I’d love a library, with floor to ceiling, built in bookshelves.  The kind that needed a ladder on rails that could roll around the room.

I’d also love a staircase with a slide next to it.

In the morning, I’d so love to slide down the stairs.

On purpose.

July 27, 2012

Five Question Friday…The Monkeys Tell All

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

First take, unrehearsed, uncut.


July 20, 2012

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday — Amy @ 6:00 am
1. What’s your view on men wearing sandals (yay or nay)?
I’m fine with it.
Sandals with socks…that’s a different story, but sandals in general, no problem.
Men deserve to have cool feet in the summer just as much as women do.

2. What song do you love but are embarrassed to admit?
I’m not embarrassed to admit anything about myself.
Clearly, I write a blog.
So, I can’t really answer this one.
I’ll be-bop with the tweens, waltz with the great-grandparents and do anything in between and hold my head high while doing it.

3. What summer camp should they make for moms? 
Hiking camp.
You bring the kids and they are cared for by competent professionals who will engage them in stimulating, creative and physical activities, and the Moms can hit the trail, sans kids.
Mom can hike at her own pace, without having to slow down, tie a shoe, having to answer “Are we there yet?” or stopping for 13 pees in the woods.
When she comes back, the kids are exhausted from their day, so when they all get home, Mom can get a nice shower and relax with a nice, hot cup of tea and a book, while the kids relax.
Yep…once a week, this would be a great summer camp!

4. What is the most romantic song? (Not necessarily your favorite or your wedding song…)
That’s a tough one, because I’m a sucker for a love song.
However, I’m a huge sucker for “Song for  Winter’s Night” by Sarah McLaughlin.
Beautifully sung, and a song about longing and love.

5. Do you have an embarrassing pregnancy story?
Not really.
At least, I can’t think of any.
I gained about 60 pounds with each pregnancy, so I waddled and looked horrific each time, but I wasn’t embarrassed.
I sneezed and peed a little in my pants when we were at the mall about a week before I was due with Tiny, but hey…it happens when you have an enormous baby playing tether ball with your bladder.
When I still had two months to go, people were asking if I was overdue, every single pregnancy.
I cried like a baby for my last 3 c-sections before they put the spinal in, because I was so terrified, and they all turned out just fine.
I think everything that happens, embarrassingly-wise, is par for the course with pregnancy.  It doesn’t pay to get worked up about it…it happens to everyone.
I’m awful, because I have little sympathy for first-time pregnant people who act like they are the only people who have ever been pregnant.  Take it in stride.  Quit complaining.  Enjoy it.  There are so many people in this world who would give anything, ANYTHING to be where you are right now, so buck up and smile.

July 13, 2012

Five Question Friday

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

1. Is love at 1st sight possible?

I absolutely think so.

I don’t think love can be defined, and I think it happens for everyone in different ways, and I 100% believe that for some people, it can happen instantly.

2. How did you choose your pet’s name?

My very first dog was named Nellie.

I named her after Nellie Bly, the first female investigative journalist.

I SO wanted to be an investigative reporter.

Anyway, we had Nellie for one day and one night.

My Dad and I sat there with blood pouring out of our noses and realized that Nellie and our allergies weren’t going to mix.

So, back she went.

My next dog, Keebler, lived a long, happy life with our family.

My friend, Gail, and I named him while sitting in the back seat of my Dad’s car, on the way home from the pound.

He was in a cardboard box, and there were newspapers on the bottom of the box.

One on of the papers was an ad for Keebler Fudge cookies.

Keebler, it was.

I got Scooby Doo while I was in college.

I loved Scooby Doo when I was a kid, and decided that if I ever had another dog, after Keebler, his name would be Scooby Doo.

So, my roommate, DeeDee, and I went with Scooby Doo.

When Real Man and I got married, we also got a dog.

We named him Linus, as that was our favorite Peanuts character, but after one day, we decided he’d get beat up by the other neighborhood dogs with a name like Linus.

So, we changed it to Ben, because I had always loved the name.

So, Ben, or Bennie, it was.

Loved that guy.

3. What are you considering giving up (cable, home phone)?

I go back and forth about giving up our land line and just living off our cell phones, but I like having a central number for the family.



4. How much do you pay your babysitter?

Um, with hugs and kisses?

Right now, our only babysitters are our parents.

We don’t go out much, so we don’t use them much at night, but they are huge helps to us in the morning, getting the kids on the bus, and after school, if I have meetings, getting the kids off the bus.

One of these days, soon, we know we’ll need to get an actual babysitter (of course, Monkey Girl is getting older) but right now, it’s grandparent-nation around here.

And believe me, we are SO grateful.

5. How “young” is old enough to babysit?

It really depends on the child.

I think I started when I was 11 or 12.

Monkey Girl would like to start and is going to take the Red Cross babysitting course so she can get going on it.

She’ll be a great babysitter, and would probably be fine now, but I think she can wait until she was 12.


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June 29, 2012

Five Question Friday

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

1. What’s your favorite childhood snack that you still eat as an adult?

I’m going to go with Double-Stuf Oreo’s.

And can I tell you that I hate that “Stuf” is spelled like “Stuf?”

I don’t like the chocolate part of an Oreo, unless it is completely saturated with milk.

I LOVE the cream, though, and so Double Stuf is the cookie for me.

I would go with Archway’s Iced Spice cookies, but they don’t make those suckers anymore.

They make Iced Oatmeal, in a terrible imitation, but no more Iced Spice.

2. What food will you not eat the low fat version of?

Um, anything?

I kid, I kid.

I don’t know…The low-fat version of a lot of foods is dry and cardboard-y, but I’ll give it a try.

Ooh, I just asked Real Man and he reminded me that I won’t eat Low-Fat Triscuits.

I love the greasy, saltiness of real Triscuits, and I don’t want the low-fat or sour cream and chive or any other version of Triscuits than the original.

So, leave the Triscuit alone!

3. What’s your favorite way to cool off during the summer?

1.  Swimming in the ocean.

2.  Going to the pool.

3. Drinking an ice cold glass of water.

4.  Air-conditioning.

4. What’s your favorite summer read?

I like reading summer romance novels.

Nora Roberts and her friends.

Nothing too racy, stuff set at the beach.

Just easy reads that don’t require much thinking and whisk me away to more vacation in my head.

5. What are you doing to stay cool in this awful heat?

It’s not really too bad where I am.

We’ve been trying to stay outside as much as possible.

We can take the heat, and when it gets too much, we head to the pool or turn on the sprinkler.

June 22, 2012

Five Question Friday

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

1. What do you keep a stock pile of?

Toilet paper.

6 people in the house, 4 of them kids, 3 of them boys, 1 of them 6 years old.

The answer?

Toilet paper.

2. If Ben & Jerry asked you to invent an ice cream, what would it be?

Either something fruity and sherbet-y or something like a big container of frozen peanut butter with little bits of chocolate thrown in.

You’d need a chisel to get it out of the carton, but it would be worth it, because you’d have huge chunks of peanut butter in which to sink your teeth!


3. How do you blow off steam?


You’ll know if I’m in an incredibly good mood, or if I’ve had an incredibly stressful day by the music emanating from the kitchen.

Rockin’ dance parties in the kitchen, while I cook dinner, help to eliminate huge amounts of stress.

Take me OUT to go dancing?

I’m relaxed for a week.

I love to go out dancing, but haven’t been in forever.

Except for Mark’s wedding, and that was awesome.

4. What would you do if you had an hour to yourself anywhere within a ten mile radius of your home…no kids, no hubby, just you?

I’d probably wind up going hiking.

There’s a little trail with BIG rocks to climb up, in the town in which we used to live, which isn’t too far away.

There are other, more challenging trails that I enjoy, but not within a 10-mile radius.

I love that trail, because I love the rock climbing.

It’s physically exerting

Monkey Girl loves to go on that trail with me, but if I had the hour to myself, I’d go alone because there is something to be said for being able to go at your own pace, and being able to listen to the ground under your feet and the animals around you.  Sometimes it’s nice to be able to be in my own head, without having to actively listen to someone else, as my career and my life at home seriously revolves around active listening.  I’m good at it.  But sometimes…I just like to be in my head, with my thoughts.

5. When you were 16, what was your curfew in the summertime?

Um…I have no idea.

I think, maybe 11 or 12?

I wasn’t doing anything that would cause my parents to need me to come home early, so I’m not really sure.

Kim? Erin? Michaela?

A little help?

June 15, 2012

Five Question Friday

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

1. Would you grow your hair out to donate it?

Been there, done that, would be more than happy to do it again.

2. What song makes you think of summer?

California Girls by the Beach Boys

Summer in the City by the Lovin’ Spoonful

Both of these automatically bring me to the summer, no matter the actual season.

I know I’ve already led you there, but let me redirect you to my friend, Shane’s, blog, in which he outlines “Summer Lovin’ and the Songs of Summer.”

3. Are you a flip flops or sandals kind of person?


I love my flip flops, but I don’t love plastic-y, cheap flip flops.

I have Addidas flip flops that have a gel-like cushiony foot base.

I love them.

However, I love my sandals for dressier occasions.

Strappy sandals, sandals with heels.

Love them.

My favorite shoes are my trail walking sneakers, but I enjoy my flips and my sandals, as well.

4. Favorite summer treat (ie ice cream, snow cones, etc)?

Dairy Queen large chocolate cone with rainbow sprinkles.

I have actually dreamed of these cones.

5. Do you do something special for the father of your children on Fathers day?

I can’t answer this question on the grounds that Father’s Day is two days away and the father of my children reads this blog and I wouldn’t want to ruin any surprises the monkeys or I might have in store.

However, I can safely say that, in the past, we have made him breakfast, bought him lovely gifts, and tried to let him chill and relax for the day.

As for this year?

My lips are sealed.

June 8, 2012

Five Question Friday

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

1. Did you do anything special for your kids on the last day of school? Or did you parents do anything special for you?

Our last day of school isn’t for another week, and I’ve never really done anything special for the kids because their last day of school is also always my last day of school.

Although, that night is the first sleepover night of the summer, and they get to start their later, summer bedtime, and we usually have a family movie night that night, so I guess that might qualify.

However, those are things we usually do on Friday nights all year, so maybe not.

Except that, it being the first night of summer vacation ups the fun quotient.

So, yeah.

Or, no.

Who cares?  It’s summer!

2. What’s your favorite summer tradition with your children?

I don’t have a summer tradition with my kids, and these questions are starting to make me feel like a bad parent.

We go to the beach every year for vacation, so I guess that could qualify.

This year, however, Monkey Girl has already begun outlining some of the trails she wants to hike with me, so I’m hopeful that this could become a new summer tradition, because I am SO into it.

Love to hike, love my girl.

3. What was your favorite thing to do during the summer as a kid?


I’d go to the pool with Erin all day.


I’d ride bikes and climb trees with Gail all day.


I’d play on the playground all day.


It would rain and I would lay around and read books all day.

I played when I was a kid.

All day, every day.

I didn’t watch tv.

We didn’t have a computer.

I just played.

And it was awesome.

4. How old were you when you were married? Were you a Bridezilla?

I was 26 when I got married.

I don’t think I was a Bridezilla, because I consider myself to be fairly laid back, but I’d need Kim, Erin, or Michaela to chime in here. (My sister-in-law was my Maid of Honor, but I don’t think she reads the blog.)

Or, I guess, Real Man could chime in, also.

But, I’ll say again, I think I was fairly laid back about the wedding.

Except when it rained on the wedding day and we had to change our venue for pictures and we were so late to the reception that we missed the cocktail hour and I never got my potato pancakes dipped in applesauce or my mini-hot dogs, which were ALL I could think about all day.

I mean, other than how happy I was to be marrying the love of my life.

Other than that…pretty laid back, I think.

5. What is your favorite girl name?

I’m partial to classic names like Julia, Olivia, Emma, Sara, Madeleine, Lily and Anna.

And, I guess that’s the answer to that.


June 1, 2012

Five Question Friday

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

1. What were you scared of as a kid?

I believe we’ve covered this topic, ad naseum, but I will answer again.


Porcelain dolls.

End of story.

2. Do you sleep well in a hotel?

Like a baby.

In fact, sleeping in a hotel is one of the few times that I actually sleep through the night, undisturbed.

It’s like it takes some sort of responsibility off my shoulders, and it’s just enough to allow me to sleep.

All night.

It’s a beautiful thing.

3. If you could meet any celebrity, dead or alive, who and why?

Hmmm…tough one.

I’d love to meet Jennifer Garner.

I think we’d be friends.

I’d also love to meet Reese Witherspoon, just to see if we really do resemble each other in person.

I’d like to go back in time and meet Heath Ledger and tell him to clean up his act, otherwise, his little girl is going to grow up without him.

I’d like to meet Mark Wahlberg.

Just to stare for a bit.

I’d like to meet Billy Joel and have him just play the piano for me for a few hours.

I’d like to meet Stephen King.

I’d just be happy to sit in a room with him in absolute silence and be in awe of his talent.

And, although I don’t think he’s a celebrity by today’s standards, Lord, would I love to meet Mozart.

Like Stephen King, I’d be happy just to sit in a room with him, although I’d want there to be a piano so I could watch his mind at work.

4. It’s a hot summer day. Do you prefer to be pool side or at the beach?

At the beach.

Because that means I’m on vacation.

The pool is great, but the pool means I’m home.

I don’t have a beach down the street, so if I’m on the beach, I’m away from home, and that, my friends, is a lovely thing.

I don’t even mind the extra work that the beach is, with four kids.

I welcome it.

Because it means I’m on vacation.

5. What is your favorite summer dish?

Tuna noodle salad.

Especially because no one else here will eat it.

So it’s mine.

All mine.

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