Friday, April 3, 2020

April 3rd. Day 18.

Day 18.

Spring Break is upon us folks in Cobb County.

Break is the correct word to describe so many things, except this damn quarantine.

I'm relieved that I won't have to make my kids focus on school work next week. Their ten hour Minecraft games can now ramp up to a more productive 12 hour Minecraft game.

Both boys had Zoom calls with their respective classes to kick off their day. They were both very pleased to see everyone.

Big E stayed in his bed for an impressive amount of time. He finally made his way downstairs around 11.

I sat down next to Little E and went line by line through his assignments. He still tried to talk his way out of each one, but we made it through.

I got sucked into Author's Purpose Jeopardy. PIE= Persuade, Inform, Entertain. See, Mrs. Yoy is learning things, too. Unfortunately it was like halfway through the game that I figured this out and I couldn't recover from my initial deficit.  Little E hooked the game up to our T.V., which always amazes me that he knows how to do this. I now know how my parents must have felt the first time we showed them how to use AOL messenger. Brain. Explodes.
There is a big difference between "humped" and "jumped" and this typo added an extra element of awkwardness to this game.

We moved onto lunch. Jeopardy! had made me very hungry. Luckily, Mr. Yoy had ordered me my most favorite meal, a Yummus Bowl from Clean Juice. It was a shock to my system to not be eating utter garbage. 

Big E had been rattling on all morning about ghost babies, so I promised him our lunch n learn topic would  be just that. Today I learned that before the IRS was founded, people would claim like 15 kids on their tax returns, because it was based on an honor system, reaping great tax benefits. In real life, these people had zero kids, but the government referred to the fake kids as ghost babies. This farce eventually lead to social security numbers for all.

Tell me you knew that.

After lunch we read our books for the assigned minimum of 20 minutes. I had to put the timer on my phone. Because g-d forbid they do one second of extra work. They will not be had. As a nine year old, if you told me I HAD to read, I'd take my 45 Sweet Valley High Books, find a comfy chair, and I'd see you in like four hours. This clearly is not an inheritable trait.
But you can't leave this kid alone for a minute. I THOUGHT Little E was reading. He wasn't.

After reading time, they were done. Or at least I was. They joined forces in a Minecraft World (again, I have zero idea about what happens here), but they quieted down. Enough for me to try my luck at Instacart. Is there really anything as "Insta" as Wednesday, April 8th at noon?


It might actually be a "hoe", but "ho" makes Minecraft seem way more interesting to me. After playing nicely for about 45 minutes they began fighting. Not in real life. In Minecraft. I cannot make this up. But Mr. Yoy pointed out that it least they weren't actually swinging on each other. I did notice that Big E has picked up the yell/clap from me. He was letting Little E have it and there was my patented move,  you yell and emphasize each word with a clap. It's awful watching someone else do it and I'm going to try and retire that move immediately.

It's currently 5:30. I have not yelled at my kids. I have not left my house, but hopefully will get out for a walk later, and I haven't changed into my daytime pajamas. Mr. Yoy worked from home today. And even though he's been locked in our bedroom most of the day, I feel like it definitely changed the dynamics. We had transitioned from zone defense to man-to-man.

Thanks for reading and all of your support.

Have a good evening!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

April 2nd. Day 18.

Day 18.

I was up early this morning and quickly got up and out for my walk. It was cold. Like 38. I tried to walk out the stress. The disappointment. The sadness.

Big E casually mentioned, as I laced up my sneakers, that he acted like he was happy yesterday, "SUMMER IS HERE" were his actual words, but now that he had had some time to think about it, he really wanted to go back to school and finish 5th grade with his friends. It hit a nerve.

The cold air felt good, but soon my eyes were watering. At least that is what I claimed if passing neighbors happened to comment. But really I was crying. The enormity of what had unfolded over the past month hit me like a train.
 Even the sweet balloons that a neighbor had anonymously tied to a bunch of mailboxes in my neighborhood failed to cheer me up.

After I fixed them breakfast, I asked the Yoys to start their school work as it was creeping closer to 10:30AM.


Cool. I knew for a fact that Mr. Yoy had spoken to Big E last night about being more agreeable for me.   He seemed to take that suggestion nugget to heart.


I looked at Little E and walked into the office and locked it.

Aunt Yoy called to talk about everything and I unloaded on her. Not many things can shake my steady disposition, but this has rocked me. I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling this way today, I think after the wine and sleep, this morning brought a completely different, unnerving reality, than just 24 hours ago. I had still been holding out hope that they'd go back for a few weeks. Enough for me to retrieve my sanity. Get a pedi. Take a breath. Have lunch with a girlfriend and complain about first world problems. Resume some normalcy. Basic stuff.

I came out after Little E proclaimed through the locked door that he was done with his work for the day. I have no idea if he actually did any work.

I fixed myself my lunch (spoiler alert, it was a generous slice of Publix cake) and sat down for today's lunch and learn topic:

They are not indigenous to the American West. They are from Eurasia! They roll across the landscape to spread their seed. I guess they are sort of like Aerosmith.  (Science = CHECK)

After Big E ate his lunch of reheated McDonald's chicken nuggets, he did head outside to run laps. That was probably the highlight of my day. He left the house. I used this time to hide their computers. BAZINGA!

Little E and I worked on cards for the residents and staff at Jewish Homelife.

Little E and his Passover word search.

His handwriting is generally trash, so I used this opportunity to work on it with him. His 4th grade teacher can barely read his writing, how would an elderly person be able to read it? (Handwriting = CHECK)

Around 4PM we received an email from our school system telling us their grades as of 3/13 would be their final grades for the year. They could work to improve them, but they would be no lower. I think this was more for the high schoolers, but there is NO WAY IN HELL I will breathe this truth to them. Their current mission statement is already DO THE LEAST, DO IT FAST, NOTHING MATTERS, and this would be the end of the already fragile Yoyser Homeschool for the Defiant and Mouthy. 

I'm currently ticking down the minutes until my coast-to-coast 8PM Zoom call with my family. I'm going to try and fix my face so I don't frighten them. Things aren't looking good. And by things, I mean my face.

Have a good night.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April 1st. Day 17.

Hey, April. We've been waiting for you for forever. And here you are.

New for April: NOTHING.

Today is my wedding anniversary. Mr. Yoy has convinced the boys to wait on us during our dinner tonight, but I'm not 100% convinced my kids won't spit or sneeze in my food, payback for being "too serious about this homeschool thing".

I had a couple of hours of insomnia last night, thinking about all the terrible things happening in our world. So I slept in. And so did my kids. When they came into my room this morning to retrieve their computers, I told them that Cobb County had canceled next week's Spring Break and that they would continue receiving digital assignments. Big E gave a low whine with a quivering bottom lip to match. Little E began crying.


Even if the rest of the day was a total dumpster fire, I had fooled them for about 30 seconds and it made my battered soul feel a little better.

Little E has been rockin' a shirtless school uniform, but because the temps had cooled off significantly, I made him put on a shirt today.
Little E came downstairs to begin school. I found comfort in his positive message t-shirt. Yes, I've got this. I do. Except once I got closer, I realized he had put his shirt on backwards. So do I really got this? Even more concerning, does he...?

The boys got setup for school and I ran back upstairs to chat up Mr. Yoy about our Umi sushi dinner plans and other current events. I could hear Little E's primal screams. They wrapped their way up our stairwell and into our bedroom. Two sets of heavy footsteps sprinting on the stairs and then there he was. Crying. Big E had turned off Little E's computer in the middle of a quiz he was working on. He was so upset. 


Same, Little E, same. We set Little E up on our pimp green velvet couch and locked our bedroom door so Big E could not mess with him anymore. Mr. Yoy went to talk to Big E about being a terrorist. 
Peace and quiet, except for the sound of his brain cranking. 

They finished up their work at an alarmingly fast rate. I even quizzed Little E on his assignments, and whether he actually did them or not, he was able to explain everything. what.

We checked out our garden and were shocked to see sprouts only after three days. We numbered all the pots (eight of them) and had to look up what green vegetable we were looking at.
It was broccoli and there were audible BOOS about this. I mean, they planted the seeds so why are they so surprised and angry? It wasn't ever going to be chocolate chip cookies.

The boys dug out their walkie talkies. I suggested they take them out on their bikes and play a game. Big E had a much better idea. He turned the volume up all the way and placed the walkie-talkies next to each other.
And I thought the techno music was bad. I wasn't prepared for the constant feedback screeching sound that had become the soundtrack to my morning.  I was trying to do some Sisterhood work and this was really helping.  Little E stealthily stole one of the walkie-talkies and I quickly buried it in some random bag, hopefully never to see the light of day, again.

I distracted Big E from the prospect of searching for his missing walkie-talkie, with the prospect of lunch. He requested SPIZZA. This is a meal he made up, I think. It's pasta (usually spaghetti) on top of pizza. And since my nutrition standards consist of 1) Is it moldy? and 2) Does it take under 2 minutes to prep?, SPIZZA was an acceptable choice for lunch.
Here it is in all its carbohydrate glory.

This afternoon's activity was brought to you by the mailbox and a can of lysol spray. Little E and I walked up to our mailboxes to retrieve about a week's worth of mail. 

Mo' Money

First off, we finally got our stimulus check. This put me in a fantastic mood, which led me to purchase this chair from the Sharper Image Catalog, which conveniently also arrived in the mail today...

The Absolute Best Chair Ever

My neighbor has one of these beauties and I'd be lying if I didn't admit to thinking about breaking into her house to visit with this chair. Also, just leaving this here in case Mr. Yoy wants to buy me a last minute anniversary present. What do they say about your 14th wedding anniversary? A massage chair from the Sharper Image Catalog? 

But our best surprise came in the form of a letter from our family in St. Louis. They sent one questionnaire to each boy with great dilemmas such as WOULD YOU RATHER BE BALD OR COVERED IN HAIR?


We spent the afternoon out back. I blew bubbles, while the boys ran around and popped them. I'm counting this as P.E. for the day. We haven't played with bubbles like this since they were little guys. My neighbor, and older single woman, walked by and commented that we must be bored. I looked at her with pleading eyes. Look, I'm just trying to survive here, lady. These boys are TOUGH.

Little E and I attempted to bake cookies. It started out promising...

But mid-bake of our first batch, news that the governor had called off school for the rest of the year sent me reeling. I took the cookie dough, went to the pantry, and had my moment. It included some tears, I'm not going to lie. The doorbell rang and woke me from my trance.

TWO BUCK CHUCK: For all that ails you.

My neighbor was handing these out like water bottles at a soccer game. I was so grateful that I started to cry again. She asked if I was crying for myself or for the boys. Initially, I thought it was for myself. I'm stressed. But then I saw Big E's face and I knew I was crying for him, too. He's in 5th grade. No graduation. No 5th grade hall walk. He won't be back to say goodbye to all his teachers and friends that are off to different schools. It's all so final and sad.

Mr. Yoy will be home in a bit with our anniversary sushi. I'm trying to keep positive. We are healthy. Our parents are healthy. And as my friend pointed out, I'll have months worth of funny blogs to read through years from now when we look back on this insanely trying time.

I hope everyone has a good evening!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March 31st. Day 16.

March 31st? I'm still not convinced this is a real date, but I'm down for anything at this point.

With the forecast of rain looming over us, I got out for a forty minute walk. If you recall, Little E, the keeper of the original schedule, declined to go on this exercise jaunt as he "wasn't wearing any underwear". I guess that's a legit excuse. I was glad I got out into the fresh, pollen-filled air, as the rain started soon after I walked in the door.

For no other reason, other than the fact it was raining, Big E grabbed his shoes and went outside to play soccer with the back of my house.  Normally, I wouldn't encourage playing in the rain, but the prospect of being locked inside with him all day, trumped my fear of him catching pneumonia.

I opened up the trash to throw out my gum. And there I saw the evidence. The Yoys' breakfast. They ate Fruit by the Foot. Seems like a nutritious way to start a productive day. Sigh. I was already behind the eight ball. As soon as their sugar overdose kicked in, I'd be done for.  Who's ready for some quiet reading?!

School work began and ended shortly after this. We were wrapped up with work by 11:45AM. This leaves a loooooooooooooooooooong stretch of the day for us to be together. With free programming.

So what did we do, you may ask...

In a simple stroke of good luck (for me, of course) Big E discovered techno music. Yes. Yes, he did. He worked on some sort of semblance of breakdancing. As a child of the 80s, I was not impressed. They did it so much better in Breakin'.  But I did break out the glow sticks and the Molly. Go big or go (stay) home! Just kidding. Or am I? Of course, the techno beat provided the perfect rhythm for me to bang my head against the nearest wall. Big E got his exercise in (P.E. -CHECK!) and I found an outlet for my feelings that wasn't chocolate based.
Our lunch n learn topic for today was about counterfeiting money. I'm mildly concerned about my children's topic choices. Things seem to be getting dark. Fast. But this may come in handy when the economy collapses and Mr. Yoy is left to perform all legal work pro bono.

Side note: I had an eerily odd conversation with a checker at Target in January. He had recently graduated high school. Somehow we got to talking about how my kids watch these crazy YouTube videos, but it's all educational stuff.  So they are learning things, it's just the weirdest stuff on Earth. He confessed that the last few years of school he would look up all the topics he was learning in class on YouTube to supplement his education. And now, this is our reality. {CUE SPOOKY MUSIC}

After lunch, I was able to get Little E outside for like ten minutes of bike riding. It's better than nothing, I guess. Big E is in full hibernation mode. He hasn't left the four foot radius in front of our fireplace. I promise you, it's not hot. But calling this fireplace weather is a stretch.

Thankfully, the heavens parted and we received an Amazon delivery. During one of my middle of the night, insomnia shopping sprees, I purchased these:
Ted's Montana Grill is dead on when it comes to the number of bowls of half sour pickles I can consume (infinity) and the fact that these wax sticks keep my kids busy and quiet. It seems so simple and yet here we are.  Little E made me a coaster and Big E made a war scene complete with a combat zipline and tank.

Then I heard a car door slam. Visitors? People to see?

We ran to the back patio and there they were in flesh and blood, the highlight of our day, our Dunwoody family. They sat on the far side of the patio and we opened the back door but stayed inside. And we chatted. And it was nice and so normal except we were afraid to touch each other, but still so great.

Tomorrow is April, people. April 1st. April Fool's Day. I have heard my kids whispering about their prank planning, so I'm on high alert.  But I've got the best one up my sleeve. To wake them at 6:30AM and tell them that school is back in session!

Have a good evening!

Monday, March 30, 2020

March 30th. Day 15.

Day 15.

Six o'clock already I was just in the middle of a dream...

Monday. Manic Monday. But really it could be any day. The Bangles were really on to something. My Manic Monday pendulum swings from grateful that we are healthy and can be together to feeling trapped and worried that things will never be "normal" again. But chin up, I've got some momming and teaching to do.

Little E woke up pumped because he was going to have his first zoom call with his entire class. He wore his Rosh Hashanah finest to log on and tell his classmates and teachers all the crazy, weird stuff we've been doing to fill the hours. He's currently on hour four of building some centipede origami thing that technically is an assignment from his Target teacher, but he has done ZERO of his regular classwork in a gold medal procrastination performance. I can't even come at him for not doing his work because he keeps pulling up his teacher's blog and showing me this assignment. So, there's that.
Big E was big-time jealous that Little E got to see his class. As Little E showed everyone his Passover parsley plant he was growing, Big E wrapped himself in my beloved curtains, and creepily observed his little brother.

Big E finished his work in about 28 seconds. Or at least it felt like it. It was 11:30 and he was already accelerating lunch time. I'm just thinking ahead here...if we eat lunch at 11:30, then we eat dinner at 4:30 and everyone is asleep by 8. I think this is how it goes...except nobody in this house has seen a pillow before 10:30PM since we've been in quarantine jail. So I think this is the day the Yoys get introduced to the phenomenon known as the 4th meal.

As I got up to prepare lunch, I caught sight of Big E outside chatting with his friends, from a distance, of course. For the record, it is 73 degrees here in Georgia. So I guess my question would be...

Today's lunch n learn topic was about the world's shortest and longest wars. The longest war was about 700 years long, which to me, seems like a lot of effort. You have to be really stubborn to hold a grudge for multiple human lifetimes. Which leads me to the world's shortest war. This video was way wrong. It said like 14 hours. But I'd like to throw my hat into the ring. The war on my daily sanity is usually won about 2.5 hours after my feet hit the floor. The victor is always my children.
We are very heavy on wars in this house. If Big E ever runs for office, you'll want to remember this fun fact. 

After lunch, I decided to head out into the sunshine and work on the yard. I had some weeds that had taken over this one spot and it was all I could see when I looked out my window. I asked Big E to help and surprisingly, he agreed. I explained that we had to get these weeds out of the ground.

Big E solemnly asked me this question. I tried explaining that in certain states it was legal (and probably never in Georgia), but per the Federal government it was illegal and we had a nice conversation about Federal vs. States' Rights.  It also reminded me that he was always listening. GOVERNMENT = CHECK.

Big E abandoned my weed pulling and joined our neighbors for some lap running around the neighborhood. They ended up running for about an hour, and I was so happy that he finally left the house, got some sunshine, and worked up a sweat. P.E = CHECK.

I did my own adult level P. E. class. After weed pulling, I dug out a dead shrub and swept out the garage and front porch. Then I ate a donut. I'm basically Homer Simpson now. 

Big E attempted to have his after school Kids TV Club online. The teacher's sound wouldn't work. Oh, the irony. He did get another assignment due next week. I paid hundreds of dollars for this club and now I have extra work. He has to make a comedy video.


Hold up, Big E. Whatever street you are about to go down, I want to turn around right now. 

4pm. I was still struggling to get Little E to finish (or debatably START his classwork). But I found my friend and we hung for awhile.
Yes. Yes I did.

After peanut butter chocolate time, I took the boys out back to jump rope. P.E, again, CHECK! We listened to such classic 90s gems as Jump Around and Jump! I showed off my mad jump roping skills, courtesy of my high school basketball coach, while simultaneously trying not to pee my pants. 

Bladder collateral damage from carrying the Yoys is no joke. 

It's 5:30. A fine time to start preparing our third meal. I took the Switch out of hibernation, so Little E is quietly playing at my feet. Big E is working on his Boy Scout requirements for an online call later this evening. The poodle just walked in, looked me dead in the eyes, and peed in my office. Everything is as it should be.

I hope everyone has a good evening!

Friday, March 27, 2020

March 27th. Day 12.

Day 12.

I guess it's now the weekend?

Does anyone have any big plans?

I think we are going to spend 13+ hours/day on our computers, in our daytime jammies, and possibly take a ride in our car to nowhere. It's going to be E-P-I-C.

Day 12 of the quarantine was brought to you by pollen, Zoom and the new Netflix series Unorthodox (great book, btw).

Maybe my kids did their homework...I just ran out of gas today to care. Right before the weekly finish line. I stumbled and fell. 

I had a 1pm Zoom Challah baking call. Up until then, the boys had been pretty chill. No fighting. No talking. I'm not even sure they were breathing, with their faces glued to their screen and all.
But as soon as I logged on, you can bet your sweet ass they started a live action version of the Hunger Games, Big E as Katniss and Little E as Foxface. Good thing I was muted.

As the dough proofed in the oven, I made it through two episodes of Unorthodox. I'll have lots of questions for our 10:30am ZOOM call tomorrow.  My kids SAID they were doing their schoolwork during this time. They switched things up today and did no work in the AM. They felt they would be more productive on a Friday afternoon, which is about the funniest thing I've heard in the two weeks I've been in school prison with them.

Little E FaceTimed his best friend. I listened as Little E tried to relay a political joke I had read to him (it was long) to his friend. It was painful and confusing and wrong all at the same time. But his sweet friend laughed, all the same. 
Little E also showed him the origami he was working on for his school assignment. 

We attempted an online shabbat call with our family around 6pm. It was chaos, but it's always chaos. My challah was delicious. We ate it for dinner. 

After dinner, Little E opened up all the seed packets we'd received in the mail. I'm about to dig deep into my Missouri roots and start farming.  I have been on a veggie strike since I've been quarantined and I'm going to pretend that growing my food is enough of an effort to make me want to eat it. 
Look for the Yoyser family farmer's market coming to a driveway near you.

We had been doing so well growing our Passover parsley until Little E got mad at Big E for something super stupid and smashed his plant. We've got some next level revenge plots happening here at the Yoyser household. 
Et tu, Little E?

Anyway, I want everyone to raise a glass. Whether it's water, or wine. or Benadryl. A toast. To us. Two weeks down and and at least four to go...

Good Night!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

March 26th. Day 11.

Day 11.

Hey y'all! It's Thursday. You may or may not know this.

I took a few deep breaths this morning, and got out of bed with the intention of being a more patient human today. I am proud to admit that Big E and I got into zero fights today.

{Virtual High Fives}

I took their computers out of hiding and they began their schoolwork. No one complained and the boys even sat far enough apart that they weren't tempted to initiate fight club in between subjects.
Little E parked at my feet while I went through our toxic mail. Enjoy these Costco coupons and a potentially deadly virus.

I learned a few things today. I learned my kids created a meme of Little E eating Big E's math homework and then sent it to their shared math teacher. This is just a glimpse of their future...sending stupid photos out via e-mail. 
I give you, "My Brother Ate My Homework"

I learned about my penchant for drama. As I received the news that the boys were definitely out of school until late April, with a possible restart date of April 27th, I went outside, and yelled WWWHHHHHYYYYYYYYYY!!!?????, fists shaking and all. By the way, if they go back that week, that would be the absolute best birthday present ever. I'm just throwing that out into the universe, for whoever needs to hear it. 

I then came back inside and hooked this feed bag up to my face for my lunch. It helped. A little.

The boys finished up their work, ate their lunch, and hopped on their computers for zone out time. And I am ok with this. I was giving myself a break. I bowed out to the office where I'm proud to admit that I watched 16 episodes of Schitt's Creek. Really, it's the only thing getting me through quarantine. That and carbs. 

Little E received a special LEGO delivery from my folks, so he got busy building, Big E continued planning war strategies for his inevitable takeover of the world, and I received a special gift from my neighbor, Ms. C.
Georgia allergy season coinciding with a pandemic is a cruel, cruel joke.

I spent dinner hour chatting outside with my neighbors. Speaking to other adults face-to-face helps me relax. It reminds of the countless mornings we stood at the bus stop complaining about things that don't matter anymore. Oh, the good ol' days...

I'm signing off so the boys can get ready for their 8PM trivia call with our family friend, Mr. M. His goal in life is to stump them. Sometimes he succeeds, sometimes he doesn't. Tonight's riveting topics: History and Geography (CHECK and CHECK).

Tonight, I'm thankful that we are healthy. That I did not yell today at anyone, except Netflix and Poodle Yoy, who just took a steamer in the hall outside the office. And that I have the support of my friends and neighbors. The text chains alone are good enough to publish. 

Good Night!