My Real Life

April 14, 2012


Filed under: Adventuring — Amy @ 6:00 am
Tags: , ,

A few weeks ago, Baby Monkey went to a birthday party at the FunPlex.

He loved it.

He came home and told his siblings about it, and suddenly, they, too, needed to go to the FunPlex.

I’ll be honest…I thought it was pretty cool.  Kinda like a small, indoor amusement park/boardwalk all-in-one.

So, I put it in the back of my mind.

We had our week off for Spring Break, and we packed a lot in.

We also had the Monday after Easter off, and I was wavering between taking a day off and just chilling or doing one more fun thing with the monkeys.

I went for fun.

So, I told the Monkeys we were going to run some errands and then do something super fun, but if there was any complaining on the errands, no super fun.

They were angels on the errands, and I kept dropping little clues, in our conversation, about where we were going.

Monkey Girl began a notes sheet, on her iTouch, with the clues to try and figure out the mystery.

It was pretty darn cute.

Once the errands were done, I headed down and pulled into the Funplex parking lot to the cheers and thanks from the monkeys.

If you ever want to go, be the first ones there and you miss the crowd and it’s a much more fun experience.

We had a great, great time.

Bumper cars were the favorite activity, but they tried everything multiple times, thanks to the wristbands that got them on all the rides.

Monkey in the Middle LOVES racing games.

Back to the bumper cars.

The funniest part was that, after we had been there for about an hour, I got a text from my friend, Jean, with whom we had been to the Crayola Factory on Friday.

The text read “r u at funplex??????”

I wasn’t sure why she was asking, because I knew I hadn’t mentioned to her that I was thinking of going, so I just texted back “Yep.  Kids r in heaven.”

And in the door walked Jean, her two kids, her two nephews and her niece.

She had been planning to take her nephews, as a gift, for a few months, but never mentioned it to me, either.  When they pulled in the parking lot, she recognized our truck and said to her kids, “Guess who is here?”

It was fun to see them, the kids were thrilled, and I got to hang out with my friend for another day.

And when all was said and done, I had three very happy children.

And one very happy, but exhausted baby.

This picture was taken 5 minutes after we got in the car.

Just in case you didn’t get the full effect of the exhaustion:

April 8, 2012

How We Spent Our Spring Break

So, this past week was our Spring Break.

Despite the fact that I wanted to relax and just unravel my mind from everything that has been happening around here in the past few weeks, (and get some laundry done), we were busy, busy, busy.

Because, let’s be honest…Spring Break is for the kids.

And so, I did my damnedest to make sure it was about the kids.

Real Man took Monday off and we went to the beach.

On Tuesday, we really yucked it up and the four big kids and I had dentist appointments.

They were wonderful at the dentist, but there were four of us, so the whole experience lasted almost three hours from start to finish.

Tiny was interested in the toys for about 5 minutes.  The other 2 hours and 55 minutes?  Not so much.

We spent the rest of the day playing outside and having fun, finishing up the night with A Dolphin Tale.

On Wednesday, we headed over to my parents house, first thing in the morning, as my Dad was heading out to Ohio that afternoon.  The kids and my Dad played dominoes, did jigsaw puzzles and taught him how to play Words With Friends on his Facebook account.  (I think we may have another addict on our hands)

I spent the morning chasing down Tiny who was loving exploring Grandma’s house.

We had lunch, I gave my Dad a haircut and then we headed out.

By that time, Tiny had snuck in a 10 minute nap, but, unfortunately, that meant he would not sleep again, so at that point, I had everyone go to the bathroom and we headed to our favorite park.

The place was packed but we had a blast.  There was swinging and climbing and sliding and ice cream trucking and everything in between.

We got home in time for me to make dinner, and then we ate, and the monkeys relaxed by watching Mr. Popper’s Penguins in the basement, while Real Man and I watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  The kids were in hysterics in the basement and Real Man and I were intrigued in the living room.  I had read the book, previously, and think that this is a case of the book being better than the movie.  I never read the second one, but I think I’m going to start that one tonight.

Thursday was a day of playing with friends.  The boys had friends over from 11-2 and then we took an hour break and the kids had our old neighbor kids, and good friends, over from 3-5:30.  I would have to say a good time was had by all.

I had to laugh, because my friend, Jen, had recently posted this on her blog.  Ah, playdates.

Friday was a doctor appointment for Mama, then the monkeys and I picked up my friend, Jean, and her kids and headed to Pennsylvania to the Crayola Factory.  Another perk of living where we do!

I had received a deal through Living Social for 4 people for $20, which is half off the regular price.  It covered the older monkeys and I, and Tiny was free.  So, the 8 of us only paid $5 each.  Fantastic.

If you’ve never been, I will warn you it is tight and is probably not organized in the best manner possible.  However, it’s a blast for the kids…particularly if you have Crafty Craftersons like Baby Monkey and Jean’s little girl.  They could have spent hours in every single spot in the place.

A good time was had by all, and it was nice, for all of us, to spend a day with our friends.

Saturday was another great day.

We woke up and I made pancakes for the monkeys.  They loved them.  Tiny still needs to learn moderation, as he tried shoving an entire pancake in his mouth.  Take it slow, little one…take it slow.

Then, Real Man suited up in his sweats, sweatshirt and comfy socks and headed into the office and closed the door behind him to update Quicken and do our taxes.

The monkeys and I suited up and headed to the center of town for the Easter Egg Hunt.  So much fun and the kids all saw friends from school, which made it extra special.

I’m amazed at how much work must go into it, considering how many kids live in our town, but it was really well-run, I thought.  (Except that it started late, but the Bunny shows up on a fire truck, and, apparently, there was a fire call a few minutes before he was supposed to arrive…I guess that takes precedence.)

Each child got a bag with a small chocolate bunny, jelly beans, 2 Blow Pops, 2 pieces of Laffy Taffy, and the most important things, a toothbrush and toothpaste. 🙂

Then, the green was divided into different sections…1-3 year olds, 4-6 year olds, and 7-10 year olds.  My Mom came with us and went with Monkey in the Middle to the 7-10 year old section and I stayed with Baby in the 4-6 section.  When they blew the whistle, Monkey Girl held Baby’s bag and he ran around and got the little foil covered chocolate eggs and dropped them in his bag.

When that was done, there was a raffle.  Each gift bag also had a plastic egg.  On the outside of each egg was a number.  They must have called 50 numbers (I may be exaggerating, but it certainly felt like 50) and those kids got large chocolate bunnies.  My monkeys were so hopeful, but no winners in our house.

When it was all over, we walked over to the library where we had some books to return.  Everyone picked some new books, a few movies and then just browsed for awhile.  Tiny crawled around, checking everything out. So far, he hasn’t discovered the fun of pulling all of the books off the shelf.  I’m sure it’s just a matter of time, but so far, it’s just a nice space for him to crawl.

We went home, had some lunch and then, while Tiny napped, moved ourselves to the basement so as not to distract Real Man.  The big kids bundled on the couch (it was a chilly egg hunt) and watched some On Demand shows and Baby Monkey and I sat at the craft table and colored with the coloring set he got at the Crayola Store on Friday.

We colored every superhero imaginable, and then he decided he wanted to try his watercolors.  He wasn’t thrilled with them.  I never was, either, as a child.  The idea of painting never really lived up to the reality of painting.  It was always my least favorite thing to do in art class, as well.  Bob Ross, I ain’t.

Then, it was time for me.  I went and got my hair cut. hour and a half of sitting in a chair, having someone wash my hair, then sitting under the dryer while my roots lighten up, then having my hair blow dried, which is something I never do for myself.  Heaven.  Brought my iPad so I could read (currently reading The Girl Who Played with Fire) and just chilled.  The woman I go to knows that I’m not a chatter, and so she generally leaves me alone.  She has said that it’s relaxing for her, as well, not to have to consistently make up things to talk about.  We work well together.

Came home, got the monkeys, ordered some pizza (I decided that I could take one night off during break…I deserve one night…right?), fooled around with Photo Booth with the big boys:

Ate dinner and then colored our eggs.

Today, we’ll be celebrating Easter with family and then probably just crashing.

Monday is our last day of the break, and I don’t have anything planned.  I’ve snuck in the laundry throughout all this fun and so I don’t even have to spend my last day doing chores.  I can just do whatever and go wherever the day takes us.

This was, probably, the best Spring Break I can remember since the aforementioned Spring Break of ’93 when Kim and I were snowed into Jersey and couldn’t get back to college.  It was just fun and great time with the monkeys.

It’s made me start to dream about summer and imagine the fun we’ll have then.  3 more months to plan and dream!

April 5, 2012

Day at the (Chilly) Beach

Filed under: Adventuring — Amy @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , ,

Monday was the first day of our Spring Break.

Real Man took the day off and we bundled everyone up and headed down to the beach.

One of the best things about where we live is our proximity to everything.

We can make a day trip to the beach.

We can make a day trip to NYC.

We can make a day trip to Philly.

We can make a day trip to just about anywhere.

So, on Monday, we traveled in nice, light traffic to Point Pleasant.

Our first stop was the Aquarium, and then we walked the boardwalk, checked out the arcades (without spending a dime, although Baby Monkey found a nickel, so some may say we ended up ahead of the game), and walked on the beach.

It reaffirmed Monkey Girl’s wish (for the time being) to be a marine biologist and work with dolphins, in particular (because she was outraged that the aquarium had no dolphins)…we even had to rent A Dolphin’s Tale from Redbox upon our return ($1 well-spent…really touching movie).

It made Monkey in the Middle very happy because he pointed out all of the security cameras in the aquarium and on the boardwalk.  One of his favorite pastimes.

Baby Monkey loved it because the Point Pleasant boardwalk has a train that rides in a circle around all the rides, and even though the train wasn’t on and we didn’t ride the rides that were functional, we walked by the train twice and that, alone, made him happy.  And, he loved that fact that he almost blew away on the beach.

And Tiny contemplated his own mortality as sharks three times his size stopped in the window to check him out.  He is one tasty morsel.

For Real Man and I, it was precious time spent with our family at one of our favorite locations.  We laughed all day long.

Well, except for when we got home and Real Man and the older boys were out in the backyard having a catch, when, in the neighbors yard, a hawk swooped down, grabbed a squirrel in mid-sprint, choked it to death with it’s talons and proceeded to rip it to shreds and eat it.

We didn’t laugh so much then.

But it was cool.

Wild Kingdom ain’t got nothin’ on the suburbs.

It was one of the nicest days I’ve had in a very, very long time.

March 23, 2012

Five Question Friday

My apologies for the format of today’s Five Question Friday.  Today, WordPress and I are not friends.
1. If you were free to just hop in the car and drive, where would you go? Or, if you could hop a plane and go anywhere, where?
Hop in the car and drive, huh?
Well, I’ve been dreaming about getting an RV, taking a year off with the family and just driving around the country for years, now.
So, I’d want to go up to New England, then out to the midwest, down south, out to California, spend some time in the southwest and then some serious time up in the Pacific Northwest.
Basically, all over the US of A.
In an RV…not a car.
Hop a plane and go anywhere?
I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland.
And England.
And Denmark.
And Iceland.
And Australia.
And Austria.
Okay, so everywhere except for the Middle East and the Far East.
Is that specific enough for you?
2. What’s your most recently read favorite book?
Well…recently I’ve been reading some racy romance novels.
They are mindless and entertaining and my brain has just needed a break from any kind of real thinking.
Right now, however, I’m reading Stay Close  by Harlan Coben.
He’s one of my favorite authors.
He grew up in a nearby town and his stories all center in my neck of the woods.
And they are awesome.
Anyway, this latest one was just released this week, so I downloaded it to the Nook and am hooked.
3. What’s your favorite Spring Break memory?
Um, we never went anywhere on Spring Break when I was a kid.
I never went anywhere on Spring Break when I was in college.
So, I guess my favorite Spring Break was in ’93 when there was a terrible blizzard and they closed Route 80 and I couldn’t get back to Ohio from NJ for an extra three days.
Kim was stuck in NJ, too, so it was extra Spring Break with Kim, where we did amazing, crazy things like eating raw cookie dough, lemon squares, Doritoes and milk while watching shows like Duck Tales and General Hospital, on the couch in her basement for days on end.
Ah, my wild days.
4. What do you put in your child’s Easter basket? Or, for those w/o kids, what was put in your childhood basket?
Traditionally, candy.
However, we’ve been working hard to cut the sugar around here, so last year there were a few treats and then they each got a gift card to the local Dollar Store (which was like pure gold to them).
They didn’t miss the sugar, and it meant that we didn’t have Easter Candy hanging around until Halloween.
Because, believe me when I tell you, we still have their Halloween candy hanging around.
So, this year, maybe a treat or two and a gift card or something to somewhere exciting (to them).
5. Do you get a summer haircut?
Last summer, I did.
Tiny was still pretty new and was all about grabbing my hair.
I had lost almost all of the baby weight and wanted to complete the transition from being pregnant with an extra 60 pounds on my frame to being me again.
So, I got a hair cut.
Loved it.
My hair is back to being long again, though, and I’m currently going through a hair dilemma.
Long or short.
Just can’t decide.
However, if this is my biggest problem today, I’m doing alright.

April 4, 2011

Spring Break!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 10:17 am

It’s Spring Break and I’m just feeling like a pig in mud over here.

I’ve got all my babies home with me for the week!

It seems like everyone in our small town has packed up and headed to Florida.

I know at least 7 families who are there as I type.

We’ve never gone anywhere for Spring Break, but we are just looking forward to a week together.

Real Man has to work, obviously, but we might drive in and meet him for lunch one or two days.

We’ll hit storytime at the library (which is something Tiny and Baby and I have been doing) one day.

If the rain stays away, we’ll go for walks to the park.

We already have a pile of books from last weeks trip to the library that we’ve been making our way through.

Yet, the thing I’m looking the most forward to is being able to get a kiss or a hug or a snuggle whenever I darn well want one!

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