Thursday, December 29, 2011

Burning Down the House

This week my brother and his wife are visiting us from NYC.  They have an affinity for fires in fireplaces as most NYC apartments do not have them.  Who knew?

Mr. Yoy put a fire on and my sister in law and I sat fireside and warmed ourselves.  It was awesome.  Mr. Yoy decided to run to Publix to get all the goodies for us to make s'mores.

Before he left, we asked him to stoke the fire.

He slide open the screen and used our grilling tools (cause that's how us Floridians stoke fires) to increase the burn.

Right before he left, our smoke detectors went off.  All four of them.  Loud. Deafening.

This is good when we have an actual fire.

This is bad when we don't have a fire, but have two sleeping Yoys.

One of the smoke detectors is conveniently located outside their bedrooms.

Oh please, don't let them wake up.

Who was I kidding?  I'm pretty sure our neighbors down the street heard them.

I fanned the detector with a pillow and it turned off.

Phew!

Mr. Yoy left.  The room became smokier and smokier. What in the world?

Is the flue closed?  


This was our first thought.  Like I said, we are all novices. The most I know about fireplaces is my dad cooked a bunch of birds with ours when we lived in St. Louis and then I cried as I watched them drop into the flames. Traumatic for a three year old, trust me.

Anyway, we ASSUMED this was not the case as the fire had been burning smoke-free already for almost an hour.

The smoke detector continued going on and off as one of us fanned the detector with a pillow.  The others ran around and opened all the doors and windows.  Our eyes were burning.

How have my kids not woken up?  Did I drug them before they went to sleep and just don't remember doing this?

I call Mr. Yoy and tell him to get his butt home ASAP. Our house was potentially on fire.

We made the executive decision to pour water on the fire to put it out.  This was probably like when I first moved to Atlanta and poured steaming hot water on my frozen car windshield.  I thought it was a good idea at the time.

Look, I grew up in Florida and know very little about all things cold.

If you have questions about old Canadian men wearing Speedos at Hollywood Beach, I'm your girl, but snow and ice paralyze me with fear.

Anyway, back to my crazy story.  My brother put the fire out.  The whole house was hazy and smelled awful.  Yeah, I know it is 45 degrees out, but all of our doors and windows were wide open.

Mr. Yoy came home.

He walked over to the fireplace and gave us the diagnosis.

The flue was closed.  It must have closed after the screen was opened and shut to stoke the fire.

We had a good nervous laugh about seriously almost burning this place down.

Two days out and the house still has a barbeque-y smell to it.

We will be taking a nice, long break from fireplacing.

But there was good news to my story.  Neither Yoy woke up.

Well, I guess that is good news, unless we actually have a fire...

Thank goodness for sound machines.

Houston, we have a problem!



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Today's Beef: Shopping Carts

I had one goal for today.

Restock this house.  We had no fresh fruit or veggies after 10 days in Florida.  I was too tired to attempt a food shopping trip yesterday, so today was it.

My brother and sister in law are coming to visit and I'm pretty sure goldfish and puffs aren't part of their diet.

Of course, today it is cold and windy.  Perfect weather for loading and unloading my kids not once, but twice.

We hit up Costco first.  Normally, I'm all about Costco shopping carts.  The first two I grabbed had jacked up safety belts.  They were tangled and stuck and pretty much unusable.

COME ON!

I actually yelled this out in the parking lot as the wind whipped my hair into my face.  My fingers were freezing and I all I could think about were the shorts I was wearing two days ago.  Why in the hell did I come back here?

Take two.  We head to Publix for a quick trip to finish off our shopping list.  I intentionally parked by the cart return so I could throw the Yoys in a cart.

At Publix the carts are smaller, so Big E actually sits in the basket and attempts to open food for the duration of our trip.  Little E sits up front and yells at me.  Oh how I love grocery shopping with my kids.

There was only one cart in the cart return when I pulled up.  I ran over and grabbed it.  I took Little E out of his car seat and plopped him down.  I grabbed the straps and again, they were nothing but a mangled mess.

SERIOUSLY?

Again, I'm the crazy lady yelling at herself in the parking lot.

Just then another man returned his cart.  This time I was smart enough to check the safety strap.  It was also stuck.

At this point, I'm about to put Little E back in the car and just go home.  I was defeated.

I sucked it up.  While balancing Little E under my arm like a football, I unhooked Big E with my free hand and managed to get him out of the seat and to the ground without pulling his arm out of the socket.

I threw my 30lb diaper bag over my shoulder.

BOOK!  BOOK!  BOOK!

Of course, Big E wanted his book.  I reached in and grabbed the book.

I took a deep breath and dragged Big E across the parking lot by his hand while I carried Little E under my arm.  My bag was slipping down my shoulder.  My hair was in my eyes.

I was a mad woman.  Of course, no one offered to help me.  I guess by the 27th all Christmas spirit has left the building.

I made it into Publix with both my kids alive.  As a reward for their cooperation, I put them in the car shopping cart.  They seemed to be super jazzed about that.

It got me thinking.  How hard is it to check the carts to make sure the straps are usable?  What if I was unable to strap my baby in and he took a leap?  I would own Publix, that's what would happen.

All stores need a mommy consultant to point out things that make it difficult for us to shop.  And trust me, you want us to shop.  We spend a boatload of money.

Things like making the aisles a little wider so our kids aren't grabbing everything off the shelves.

Or leaving a cart or two behind in the cart returns instead of taking them all back into the store.

Or just make sure the straps aren't all tangled, like today.

Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest.  I feel better now.
I'm trying, I really am!

Monday, December 26, 2011

I drove all night...

Yesterday was quite possibly the longest day of my life. It's been a good 18 hours since we made it home, so I feel like I can finally talk about it.

I awoke at 8:30 at the Hard Rock in Ft. Lauderdale.  The Yoys were with my parents and I was able to sleep in for the first time since March.  It's not that I keep a calendar of days I sleep past 7:30, but March was the last time I escaped my children, I mean vacationed.

Ft. Lauderdale to Palm Beach Gardens: 62 miles driven

Mr. Yoy and I jumped in the car and drove up to Gardens to retrieve our kids, load up the big red bus, and hit the road for Orlando.  I was under the assumption we were staying the night in Orlando with Mr. Yoy's folks, but you know what they say about assuming things.

Palm Beach Gardens to Orlando: 173 miles driven

Five minutes after we leave my parents, Big E is out cold. He sleeps the majority of the way to Orlando.  This is great as I was not in the mood to spend the next three hours playing I spy or some psychotic toddler version of it.

We were not so lucky with Little E.

Not only did he not let the lull of the highway take him away to sleepyville, he maintained a constant whine for the first hour or so.  I caved and asked Mr. Yoy to make Little E a giant snack cup of goodies to quiet him.  This worked for about 45 minutes until he was done snacking. He then ramped back up the whining/crying.  I contemplated driving into the swamp at Yeehaw Junction.

We finally make it to Orlando around 4.  Mr. Yoy and I hit up the 7-11 for giant slurpees.  We deserve it, dang it!

Around this time Mr. Yoy lets me in on his little plan.  He does not want to spend all day Monday in the car with Little E.  He is not a good traveler.  This has been proven on every trip we've ever taken.

The only time Little E isn't whining is when he is sleeping. The only time he is ever sleeping, is when we drive at night.

I know what's coming next.

We are going to be driving all night.  We are famous for doing this.

As we unload the Yoys in Orlando, Mr. Yoy drops the bomb on his folks.  They are disappointed, but understand that an extended drive with a crying baby is hell on earth.

Orlando to Atlanta: 461 miles driven

After a delicious Chinese dinner, Yoy baths, and a menorah lighting, we hit the road, AGAIN.  The clock reads 8:10.  I do the math.  Even if we hit zero traffic and maintain 77 mph and don't stop for gas, the earliest we roll into the ATL is 2:30.

We definitely will need to stop for gas at some point, so realistically we are looking at 3am.  We are nuts.  But we are also desperate parents and it makes you do the unimaginable.

I try to doze off early on as I know Mr. Yoy will need me most at the end when we become delirious.

I fall asleep as we cross the state line and when I awake about 30 minutes later we are in a very dense fog. Awesome.  Not only are we driving late at night, but now we are driving in quarter of a mile visibilities.  I quickly check my Weather Channel App.

Heavy Fog Advisory for Georgia.  Sweet.  I wished I would have checked that BEFORE we left.

Mr. Yoy is concentrating so hard I swear I see steam coming from his ears.  Or maybe that is just more fog.  I am concentrating too, even though I'm not even driving. We try to figure out how to work the fog lights.  So this is what they're for!

Well now I'm awake because I'm so worried we are going to come over a hill and barrel into a thirty car pile up like I've seen on the news.  Note to self: stop watching so much news.

Finally the fog thins out and I start to doze off again.

Both Yoys are in and out of sleep.  Little E has brief random fits of crying, but for the most part everyone is quiet.

We pull up to our house a little after 3am.  We are FINALLY home.  We minimally unload the car and have pretty seamless crib transitions, thank goodness.

Mr. Yoy puts on a cheesy lifetime movie for us to fall asleep to.

We deliriously laugh about driving 700 miles with our kids and drift into sleep.

This drive was made possible by the following:
Gallons of Coke Zero
Sunflower Seeds
Mike and Ikes
Peanut Butter Pretzels
Spotify
Humor
Love
I'm not sure how the Golden Gate bridge ended up in South Georgia, but this is what it looked like.

Mrs. Yoy an arsonist?

I know I've joked in recent months that the only way us Yoys will ever move from our 'hood would be if our house magically burned down while we and all of our valuables were elsewhere.

I almost made my dreams come true.  Sort of.

Tonight is the seventh night of Chanukah.  Most Jews have tuckered out by now and gotten lazy on the menorah front.

Not the Yoys.  I live with the chief of the menorah police, Big E.

LIGHT THE MENORAH!  LIGHT THE MENORAH!

He still thinks he is receiving presents every night.  Oh, to be so naive!  

I pulled out the big guns to light the menorah, the giant matches we receive from Bones as a Christmas present every year.

I am terrible at lighting matches.  I would make for a horrible smoker.  I would never ever ever look cool while lighting up.  It would take me 200 strikes before I could light a match.

But these Bones matches are different.  They are the bomb, literally.

As I struck the match a giant flame erupted.  It shocked me.  I yelled out a curse word (bad mommy).  Then I dropped the match onto our counter.  Rookie mistake, I know.

The wax paper beneath our menorah began to burn.  A cloud of carcinogens made its way over to where my children were sitting.

Great.  Here goes the house!

I quickly extinguish the burning paper, but I'm not going to lie.  I was a little shaken up.

Big E was quick to analyze the situation.

YOU WERE SCARED, MOMMY!

I just KNEW this kid was smart.


I'm not as friendly as I appear.


Friday, December 23, 2011

South Florida: Taking rudeness to a whole new level

For about an hour this afternoon I lost my damn mind and agreed to meet my dad up at the mall food court for a fast dinner.

There is no need to go into detail regarding the madness that I witnessed at the Gardens mall. 

I would like to give a shout out to the age inappropriate lady carrying her Maltese in a Louis Vuitton dog carrier/purse.  Very Paris Hilton and she almost pulled it off.

Anyway, as we were escaping, I mean leaving, Saks, we encountered one of my favorite types of South Floridians.

I will affectionately call her by her scientific name.

ONE TOO MANY TRIPS TO THE PLASTIC SURGEON.

As my mom and I tried navigating the Saks doors, her holding the door with one hand and grasping Big E's hand with the other, me trying to steer our cheap umbrella stroller holding Little E through the door, I heard this loud, obnoxious cell phone lady and she was hot on my heels.

She was detailing out her upcoming facelift and what sorts of meds she would be on post-op.

Because she was holding the phone, she did not offer to help me make my way through the door, in fact, as I tried to hold the door open as I pushed Little E through, she went through, too. 

LIKE I WAS HOLDING THE DOOR FOR HER.  AND SHE DID NOT SAY THANK YOU.

As she hopped into her Lexus waiting out front for her, my mom and I shot each other looks of disbelief.

And then my mom graciously wished her good luck on her surgery.

I HOPE YOUR NOSE FALLS OFF THIS TIME.

God, I love my mom.
This lady was dangerously close to becoming the catwoman.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Unsolicited Parenting Advice

What mother doesn't love when a complete stranger walks up to her and puts in their two cents about her parenting skills?

I absolutely love it.  In fact, I wear a shirt around that says something like:

PLEASE TEACH ME HOW TO PARENT MY CHILDREN MORE EFFECTIVELY.  I CLEARLY AM AN INCOMPETENT MOTHER.

Today I tagged along with my mom to her bowling league.  It is a bunch of Boca Jewish ladies, and the people watching is epic.

Little E was crawling around on the floor eating out of his snack cup.  Really he was dumping about half of it on the floor and I was trailing him picking up all the wayward pieces.  He was not actually eating off the floor.

Over the speaker system they announced the Hanukkah party was beginning and 50 women went running towards the spread of chicken, egg, and tuna salads.  I stayed behind with the Yoys.

As she walked by, a woman my mom was bowling against said very clearly, but not directly to me:

I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU LET THAT BABY EAT THAT SH*T OFF THE DIRTY FLOOR.

I felt like someone socked me in the stomach.  Did this woman just criticize me?  And use a curse word in front of my kids?

For the record, he was not eating off the floor, he was eating while seated on the floor.  But he doesn't walk.  So that is his thing right now.  She might know that if she wasn't a total stranger.

I was fuming.  I told my mom I had to say something to her, but my mom asked me not to, as she sees this woman weekly.

I watched Mother of the Year, or as I will refer to her from now on, MOY grab a plateful of food.  She placed her plate on the table then ran up to bowl.

After her turn, MOY sat down and wrapped her bowling ball hole fingers around her bagel sandwich and took a big, juicy bite.

You know what?  I wouldn't DARE interrupt her while she was jamming her sandwich into her mouth which, by the way, was now contaminated with all sorts of nasty germs that reside in her bowling ball.

I'm like 99% sure eating off the floor is cleaner.

I smirked as I distributed hand wipes to all of my mom's teammates. 

Enjoy your e-coli, b*tch.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Where we at?

For the first four hours of our drive down to Florida, Big E had only one question.

WHERE WE AT?

Atlanta.

WHERE WE AT?

Still Atlanta.

WHERE WE AT?

Atlanta suburbs, this is a big city.

I was instantly regretting not springing for the DVD entertainment system.  I wasn't going to survive this first leg of our drive with the inquisition sitting behind me.

Mr. Yoy thought this would be the perfect time to correct Big E's English and give him a grammar lesson.

As soon as the words "prepositional phrase" came out of his mouth, I went into a coma.

I looked over at an Accord in the lane next to me.  It was just a lady driving by herself.  Maybe she'd let me hitch a ride so I could escape the barrage of questions.  I'd even chip in for gas.

Around hour four of our drive, Big E's focus went from where we were to where we were going.

WHERE WE GOING?

Florida.

WHERE WE GOING?

Florida.

WHERE WE GOING?

Hell, but I'm pretty sure we've already arrived.
The best part of our drive to Florida?  Having to do it all again on the way back!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What a buzzkill!

Yesterday, the Yoys spent the day at Disney.

This was our second trip to Disney with Big E.  We took him around the same time last year and while he seemed to enjoy himself, I knew this year he would be way more interested.  You see, he discovered a little thing called MOVIES this year.

Each afternoon, in lieu of his nap, we lay in bed and watch either Toy Story or "2 Toy Story".  Big E loves Buzz Lightyear.  He loves Woody.  He loves Jessie.  He even loves Stinky Pete.

He shouts out Toy Story nuggets in all sorts of public venues:

TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!

As we crisscrossed Tomorrowland in the people mover, Big E looked down and saw Buzz Lightyear.  In person.  Taking pictures.

It was a meet and greet and Big E was losing his marbles.

Once we exited what might possibly be the lamest ride in the park, we made our way over to Buzz and claimed our spot in line to meet him, grab a picture, and fulfill Big E's life-long dream of meeting Buzz.

This was torture for Big E.  It would be like putting a giant Willy's burrito on my plate and telling me I can't eat it.

Big E kept trying to free himself of me and make his way to Buzz.  After many serious threats, I convinced him to stay with me.

Eventually we made our way to the front of the line.  Mr. Yoy was in place with the camera.  This was going to Big E's big moment.  All that was in the way of five minutes of Buzz Lightyear bliss was a set of brothers.  Buzz took a few pictures with them and was walking over to a table that he was using to "sign" his autograph.

And then it happened. 

Buzz lifted up his giant boot to take a step at the same time that Big E made a mad dash towards him.  They collided because Buzz is in this giant plastic suit and probably can't see sh*t.  Big E caught some serious air and landed on his knees.

I held my breathe and said the prayer of a million mothers.

PLEASE DON'T CRY! PLEASE DON'T CRY!  PLEASE DON'T CRY!

Nothing would have salvaged this moment.  Big E erupted into tears.

His idol, Buzz, literally just drop kicked his a** in front of a crowd of people.

He was hurt.  He was embarrassed.  It was awful.

I tried to calm him down for a picture, but he was on repeat.

NO BUZZ!  NO BUZZ!  NO BUZZ!

Buzz felt bad (I think), I felt bad, everyone felt bad.

I scooped Big E up and Mr. Yoy managed to get a CLASSIC picture of Buzz, Mrs. Yoy, and a screaming Big E.

He calmed down and enjoyed the rest of the day. 

As a peace offering, Mr. Yoy offered to buy Big E a Buzz doll at one of the overpriced shops littering the park.  Big E flat out refused.

Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that this story will be introduced into Big E's horror story rotation?

I FELL OFF A TRAIN!

BUZZ LIGHTYEAR KICKED ME IN THE FACE!


I THREW UP IN MY CRIB!

So much for this Yoy Story (get it?)
DESTROY BUZZ LIGHTYEAR!  DESTROY BUZZ LIGHTYEAR!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Roadtrippin' Yoys

Mr. Yoy is driving us down to Florida so that I can thaw out with the old people.

He'll fly back to the ATL to work all week, while I take advantage of some extra hands.

We are also squeezing in a day at Disney.

I'll try to update you on the bloodbath that is an extended car ride with two small children.

Wish us luck, readers!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Big E: Three years old and already scarred for life

I was reading Big E a train book before bed this evening.

It usually is a very endearing exercise.

I'll say: What's that coming down the railroad track?

Big E will say: A TRAIN!

Tonight when I prompted him, he pointed to the back of the train car and told me of how he fell off, had a boo-boo on his forehead, and had to go to the Trackside Grill for ice.

He remembered everything that happened.  And it was four months ago.

The only thing he left out was the trip to the CHOA emergency room and the astronomical medical bill.

At least we know his memory was not impacted by the head trauma.
Scene of the crime

Stepford Children

These would be the children of the Stepford Wives.

I encountered a gaggle of them at the botanical gardens today.

We met some friends there to peruse the train exhibit.  The kids were enthralled by the trains.  They were laughing and running alongside the trains.  It was unseasonably warm.  It was awesome.

My friend and I chatted about the merits of public versus private school and if public school hurt your chances getting into Harvard, for example.  I'm not saying my kids are going to Harvard, I'm just saying they are applying.

I paused mid-thought as a trio of beautiful little blond children entered the train exhibit.  They were wearing matching dresses in different colors with coordinating bows as big as their heads.

Why don't my kids ever look that nice?  I mean, I know I have boys so I should automatically deduct points for dirt, but even when Big E was a ring bearer in my brother's wedding, he didn't look this good. And these kids were just out at the dang gardens.

Following the girls was a little boy about five years old. He was wearing a white button down.

What in the world?  Who would dress their little boy in a white button down to go play in the dirt?

I glanced over at my disheveled kids in their t-shirts and jeans.  Little E was picking his nose.  Am I failing as a mother?

My friend and I commented about how put together these kids were.  It was almost shocking.

Then we saw their mom.

DING! DING! DING!

She was wearing a crisp pink button down, matching pink slacks, and a black cardigan tied over her shoulders.

We gave each other knowing looks.  We were experiencing an up close encounter with WASPs.  This was a very special treat for us, as we are usually knee deep in JAPs.

The perfect children watched the trains and immediately followed their perfect mom when she said it was time to move on.

I wanted to run after her and ask what her secret was.

Are they robots?

Do you taser them?

Blackmail?

But, as usual, I chickened out.

Now excuse me while I go and iron all of my button downs that have been collecting dust in the back of my closet.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!
Not my usual crowd, but I would probably do well with my inappropriate comments and leggings.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Little E: My own He-Man

We had almost made it upstairs for the night.  I had cleaned up the kitchen and straightened up the playroom so I wouldn't have to come downstairs in the morning and look at the Yoy destruction.  The alarm was activated and the Yoys were on lock down.

Little E had wandered into his playroom and was not playing with one of the tens of thousands of toys in there, but instead, he was playing with the door.  He had removed the door stop and was just opening and closing the door.  Boy was that funny. (insert dash of sarcasm)

Big E was in the middle of feverishly creating a new drawing on his art easel.  I was snapping pictures with my phone to send to Mr. Yoy.

Little E shrieked in excitement and slammed the door to the playroom.  Hard.

It triggered our sensitive glass breaking sensor in that room.  Instantly, the alarm went off.  This thing is deafening.  I jumped up, and ran to turn the alarm off.

I ran back to the playroom and opened the door.  Little E sat on the floor screaming and crying.

For real?  You guys know better than to pull this sort of stuff at the end of the day.  I am not on my A game right now.

Ring! Ring!

Great, now I have to explain to my alarm company that I lose all ability to parent after 5pm.

Hello?

YOUR GLASS BREAKING SENSOR HAS BEEN ACTIVATED. WOULD YOU LIKE US TO SEND THE POLICE?

Ha, funny story.  My one year old set it off with his amazing, superhuman strength.  He was playing with the door, you know how babies are.  He slammed it shut.  You see, he's the strongest kid I know, yet he is unable to walk.  Long story, anyway, we are fine.

Why am I acting like I did something wrong, by the way?

WHAT IS YOUR PASSWORD?

I gave it to her and we were all set.  I'm sure she was rolling her eyes as I rattled off our sad story.

Note to self:  leave alarm OFF if anyone is in the playroom.
Little E in 20 years.  Except he probably won't be a blondie.

Mrs. Yoy: Everything I needed to know about parenting I learned from reality tv.

This afternoon Big E earned himself a timeout for pushing Little E over one heartbeat after I asked him not to.

In the past, I have bear hugged him and sat at the bottom of the steps with him.  Today I decided to try something new.

I placed him on the bottom step and told him he was in timeout and to stay put.  I then walked away.

I expected him to pop right up and follow me, which he did.

I do not expect him to cry out:

I WANT MOMMY IN TIMEOUT WITH ME!  I WANT MOMMY IN TIMEOUT WITH ME!

First of all, time out isn't some sort of bonding time for us, pal.  It means you are in big time trouble.  You may feel like we are cuddling, but we are not.  I'm putting the death hold on you so you don't run off.

Second of all, why should I have to suffer through time out?  I listen to myself just fine.  In fact, I'm the only one in this house listening to me.  I'll cut Little E some slack since he is only one, but that won't last forever.

We spent approximately six minutes doing the same song and dance.  I'd place a crying Big E on the bottom step and he'd get right back up.  I'd return him to the spot, without saying anything (very Supernanny of me). Over and over and over again.

I tried to reason with him.

Your timeout would have been over three minutes ago if you would just stay seated!

I don't know why I bother.  You can't reason with a three year old.  I know this.  I figure if we can talk about tampons, we should be able to talk about things like listening to mommy.  It should be a two way street.

Finally he stayed.  I sat in the dining room with Little E and listened to Big E whimper his way through his timeout.

I was awash with happiness.  I know it seems silly, but this was a major victory for me.  Thank goodness I am the most stubborn person on earth and did not give up the battle.

After three minutes I went and retrieved Big E.

I got down on my knees so I was eye level with Big E (again, very Supernanny).

Do you know why mommy put you in timeout?

Sob Sob Sob

Because I pushed Little E over.

Ok, now go and apologize.

I'm sorry brother (accompanied with a nonviolent hug)!

For my next trick, I'll learn how to keep Big E in his toddler bed.  That is, if we ever decide to take him out of his crib.
Seriously, if anyone wants to nominate the Yoys for this show I will not be offended.  Also, if you want to nominate for What Not to Wear, I will also not be offended.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Just how dirty are you?

Before you get all judgy-judgy on me, I would like to say that I pretty much solo parented this whole weekend. We did have a babysitter last night to watch the Yoys while we attended a swank Buckhead holiday party and a boxing match.  Weird combo, I know, but that's how us Yoys roll.

I bathed my kids on Friday evening before we went to Tot Shabbat (or as Mr. Yoy called it this week, Tater-tot Shabbat).

Saturday we stayed around the house and I pretty much lost my damn mind.  By the time our sitter arrived to relieve me of parenting for the day, I had zero left in the tank.  Plus, I had run out of caffeine beverages, so I was a mother on the edge.

This led to the decision not to give the Yoys a bath last night.  I didn't feel too bad about it, as it's not like it is 80 degrees outside and they smell.  Plus, they are both suffering from dry skin, so skipping a bath is probably good for their skin.  At least this is how I justified my decision at the time.

This afternoon I took the Yoys over to the Dwood Yoys to visit.  We then had an early dinner and headed home for baths and an uneventful bedtime.

About halfway home, I noticed Big E had become uncharacteristically silent.  Before I even switched on the overhead light, I knew I'd find him slumped over in his car seat and he was.

We got home and I first unloaded Little E.

Then I literally sat in the garage watching Big E for five minutes while I internally fought with myself about whether I should wake him and bathe him, or just throw him in his crib.

He is getting borderline nasty.

But he is so quiet and peaceful now.

He'll probably never go back to sleep.

And those three glasses of wine last night may still be affecting your judgement.

Either way, he had to come out of the car seat, so I went in to get him.  He remained slumped against me as I carried him upstairs.  It was decision time.

I thought back to an episode of Oprah that was all about bad mom confessions.  One lady admitted to not bathing her twins for two weeks once, because she was too tired.

I smiled.  If that lady can admit that I national television, I can put Big E to bed without a bath.  I promise to pressure wash him tomorrow.  I pulled off his skinny jeans and put him in the crib.  He was out.

Now, Little E was a different story.  I had found crumbs of a corn muffin he ate yesterday in his diaper today. This kid was definitely getting a bath!

So, I've got one super clean Yoy and one dirty Yoy, which for me averages out.  And if there is anything I pride myself on, it's being average.

Big E will be wearing this to school tomorrow as a fair warning to all those that encounter him.

Big E's apology to Uncle Yoy

Even though these words didn't actually escape his lips, I know deep down, he truly wanted to say them and completely mean them.

I'M SORRY I THREW THAT GOLF BALL IN YOUR FACE FROM POINT BLANK RANGE.

I'M SORRY I THEN CRIED ABOUT IT FOR 30 MINUTES AFTERWARDS INSTEAD OF APOLOGIZING IMMEDIATELY AND POSSIBLY OFFERING UP AN ICEPACK.

I HOPE YOU STILL LOVE ME.

Signed,
Big E
Big E's weapon of mass destruction.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A: What is 30 minutes?

Q:  The amount of time I left one of the Yoys outside.

Before you freak out and call child protective services, let me explain.

I was unloading the Yoys this afternoon.  It is like herding cattle to get Big E, Little E (not so much), and Poodle Yoy into the house.

Big E wanted to bring some leaves in from the garage (really?) so I just shut the big garage door and walked in the house.  When he was ready to come in and dirty up my clean house, he would.

I dropped Little E in his highchair to feed him.  As he was stuffing food into his mouth at a world record pace, I took the opportunity to safely unload the dishwasher.

Unloading the dishwasher when Little E is on the loose is very dangerous.  He has an affinity for all sharp objects and will immediately try and "help" me unload the knives.

Big E finally came in the house and brought a handful of leaves over to Little E's tray of food.  As I defused the highchair situation, I noticed someone was missing from this picture.

Where was Poodle Yoy?  Her home base is at the bottom of Little E's highchair eating the rain of food that falls down on her like pennies from heaven.

Silly, Mrs. Yoy, I must have accidentally left her in the garage.  In the dark.  In the cold.  I open the door and call for her.  Nothing.

I give a fake knock on the door.  That usually flushes Poodle Yoy from her hiding spot.  Nothing.

Then I panic.  Is she outside?  Is my poor, perfectly groomed poodle wandering the streets of our 'hood? It wouldn't be the first time I've done this.

I fling open the front door.  Sitting about two inches from the door, staring so intently, was Poodle Yoy.  It was like she was trying to will open the front door.

SORRY GIRL!

She ran right in the house and took her rightful spot under the highchair.

All is right with the world.
Please let me in! Please let me in! Please let me in!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Yoys: Sitting Ducks

I just started Big E in a gymnastics class at a gym right by our house.  There is a homeless shelter nearby, so there are all sorts of creepies loitering around.

With two gymnastic classes under our belt, I can safely say Big E will NOT be competing for the U.S. national team.  There are many things he excels at, gymnastics is not on that list.

After class today, I was loading up the Yoys into the Sienna.  Big E was arguing with me about going out to lunch.  Our usual lunch date was booked and the thought of going out to eat with the two Yoys was not very appealing to me.

I WANT WILLYS!

Ugh, I knew I ate too much of that stuff when I was pregnant with Big E.

WE ARE GOING HOME!  GET IN YOUR CAR SEAT SO I CAN BUCKLE YOU IN!

In the midst of our heated discussion, I noticed out of the corner of my eye what I would call a "sketchy" person walking towards us.

I have always maintained that I hate loading the kids in the car because I feel like a sitting duck.  Please, come up and take my car, my purse, my kids, anything you want really.  See, I'm too busy trying to get two uncooperative children in their car seats.

I keep my eye on Mr. Sketchy as I continue arguing with Big E about Willy's.

WE ARE EATING AT HOME!

GET IN YOUR SEAT NOW!

I'm trying to rush and get everything closed up, but there is no way it is going to happen.

Mr. Sketchy exits the sidewalk and heads into the parking lot.  I'm the only one around.

Why does he feel the need to walk on the side of the car I am loading up Little E?  He could have stayed on the sidewalk.

My adrenaline is pumping.  He keeps looking at me with this weird look.  Sh*t.  This is it.  He is going to do something crazy.

Well I'm not going out like this.

Years ago I was swung on by a homeless man on my way into work on a Saturday during tax season.  I just covered my face and then ran.  Typical for downtown Atlanta.

Today, I went into protective mother mode.  I started full on yelling at Big E.  He didn't deserve it and I apologized once we were all safely in the car.

I just wanted Mr. Sketchy to know that I was one crazy b*tch and to keep on walking.  We were not interested in what he had to offer.

As he walked closely by me, I picked up the umbrella stroller.  If he tried anything, I was going to bash his face in.  He kept walking and I watched him as he turned around and looked at me.  And again and again and again.  He kept turning around and staring at me.

I threw the stroller in the van, jumped in, and locked the doors.

I was shaking from the adrenaline pulsating through my body.  But, we were all in one piece.

He looked back one more time as stepped back onto the sidewalk he should have remained on the whole time.

It took every ounce of my willpower not to run him over. He deserved it for acting so creepy.
Mrs. Yoy:  Giving Michele Bachmann's crazy eyes a run for their money.

Thanks for the hypothermia!

Yesterday, I socked Big E away in my bedroom while our cleaning people finished up.  Big E always ends up bothering and disrupting them.

He was laying in our bed drinking water from his sippy cup and watching Toy Story 2 for the 9th consecutive day.  We have a ways to go, but we are definitely aiming for the world record.

When the movie was over he informed me he had spilled water on our freshly made, clean sheeted bed.  I ran my hand over most of the bed but didn't feel anything.

I brushed him off.

That's ok, Big E.

Fast forward to my bedtime.  It was Siberia cold in our house.  I couldn't wait to jump into our bed and hunker down for the night.  As I stretched out my weary legs, I felt it.

A patch of ice.

Right where my feet would go.

What in the world?

Ah, the spilled water!  Dang!

I quickly snapped my legs back up and curled into ball. Which is how I remained until this morning, when the sheets and comforter were finally dry.

I know I could have gotten up and thrown everything into the dryer for a few minutes.  But it was 11.  And I was a zombie.  And it was snowing inside our house.

Anyway, I learned a valuable lesson.

No little Yoys or drinks allowed in the bed.
What my bed felt like last night.  Thanks, Big E!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mr. Friendly

At lunch today, Mr. Yoy and I concluded that Big E definitely has his personality.

I was frightened of my shadow as a child, but Mr. Yoy was a friendly little guy.

Big E stopped a bus boy (more of a man) who was on a mission to set up some tables.

HI!

MY NAME IS BIG E!

THE IS MY BROTHER, LITTLE E!

THAT IS MY MOMMY!

AND MY DADDY, MR. YOY!

I AM THREE! (as he holds up 5 fingers)

I HAD A THOMAS BIRTHDAY CAKE!

I PEED THROUGH MY DIAPER! (a few days ago)

The man graciously engaged in polite conversation with Big E, but I'm sure he was thinking:

THIS KID IS WEIRD AND WHY WON'T HE STOP TALKING TO ME?

Finally, the bus boy was able to breakaway from his conversation with Big E and get back to work.

Remind me to never tell Big E the following:

1) Social security numbers

2) Alarm code

3) Credit Card numbers

4) I.Q. score

5) My weight

6) Any deep, dark secrets or gossip

Because, clearly, he is just waiting for the opportunity to drop all of this good, juicy info on some random stranger.

I suggest you do the same.

Maybe Big E will be a journalist.  He is very adept at holding conversations with adults.  He especially enjoys peppering them with thousands and thousands of inappopriate personal questions.

Monday, December 5, 2011

So...at least we got the whole tampon talk out of the way

Yes, I'm aware that I have a three old.

Yes, I'm aware he's a dude.

But that doesn't stop Big E's endless, annoying curiosity.

At Costco today I bought a giant box of tampons.  I'm hoping these last until I hit menopause because there are A LOT of them.

Once we got home I unloaded the car of fruit, diapers, Yoys, and tampons.

Big E either thought the box was a new toy or food, but in any case, he was going in.  He carried it off to the dining room and went to work.

After dinner, we were Skyping with my folks and Big E walked up to the camera holding the tampon instruction pamphlet for my parents to read.

Uh, Big E, I'm pretty sure neither Poppy nor Grandma has a need for tampons, so maybe you can fold that up and we can talk about school or something?

WHAT IS THIS?

WHAT ARE THEY FOR?

PONS?

I take a deep breath.

OY FREAKING VEY!

I ended the topic with a jumbled explanation about how mommy sometimes uses them in the bathroom and he'll never need one unless he gets a bloody nose or something.

He seemed satisfied with that.

FOR NOW.
Bloody nose or maybe a toy gun and bullets.

Tighty-Whities, Take One

It started with a declaration.  Big E told me he had to poop.

I asked him if he wanted to try to sit on the potty.  I dangled some marshmallows in front of him and he was sold.  He tore off his diaper and sat on the potty.

He sat and sat and sat and sat.  He was also giving me a play by play.

I passed gas.  Can I have a marshmallow?

The rules are that something has to come out of his body, gas does not count.

After 45 minutes of both of us sitting in the guest bathroom, I started getting claustrophobic.  I moved his toilet out into the family room, so I could at least watch Georgia get murdered by LSU.

Nothing ever came out, but I did give him a few marshmallows for his good faith effort.

I asked him if he wanted to put his diaper back on and he refused.  I asked him if he wanted to put on his underwear and for the first time ever he said YES!  This is a really big deal.  Usually he loses his marbles at the sheer mention of underwear.

I bound up and down the stairs and returned with a tiny pair of tighty-whities.  These things are so cute, I can't stand it.

Big E pulls them right up.  I am so excited, I plotz.

We spend the next hour playing and watching the game.  I repeatedly ask Big E if he has to use the potty.  I get the same answer every time.

NOPE!

Big E then asks for dinner.  He climbs up on the bar stool and enjoys some dinner.

Everything is going fantastic.  This whole potty training thing is going to be a snap.  What ever was I worried about?

As he was climbing down from his seat post dinner, I noticed a look of panic flash across Big E's face.  I looked down on the floor.  There it was in all its glory.  Lake Lanier.  On the floor of my kitchen.

Fortunately for me, I have Poodle Yoy and am used to cleaning up urine.  I went to work and I tried not to make a big deal out of it.  I didn't want Big E to get upset and not want to wear his underwear anymore.

I pulled off the soiled tighty-whities and Big E proceeded to run around naked until bath time.

I consider this a small step in the daunting task of training.  He didn't go on the toilet, but he finally put on his underwear.

Score one for Mrs. Yoy.
This picture is bullsh*t, by the way.  There is no one smiling in this process, except maybe the manufacturers of toddler underwear.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Little Drummer Yoy

Big E has succumbed to the lure of the Christmas lights. How could he not?  They ARE so pretty!

Tonight, as a special treat, we went for a drive to look at the lights.

We had the Sirius XM holiday channel blasting in the car (with the exception of the drive by our Rabbi's place) and we were basking in the holiday spirit.

Ooooooo.  Look at those!

Sorry, Big E, those are actually the lights for I-75.

We weaved our way through the North Buckhead and Vinings neighborhoods.  Surprisingly, some of the mansions did not have any lights, just a wreath or two.  I guess they are too classy for crazy decorations.

We found a house that had these giant, inflatable holiday M&M characters decorating the entrance to their driveway.  The word "amazeballs" slipped from Mr. Yoy's mouth.  I didn't know if I should take a picture or attempt to eat them.

My brain went into overdrive.  How could I work these giant M&Ms into Big E's potty training?  Blow one up and keep it in the bathroom with him as a cheerleader?  Not a bad idea, not a bad idea at all...

Next on our adventure, we stumbled upon a crazy holiday party at this incredible mansion.  We spent a few minutes running scenarios that would result in us gaining entrance to the party.

For the record, we decided if we sent Big E up to the door first, we'd totally be in, even if we were dressed like a bunch of schleppers.  He may be the devil, but he has the face of an angel.

As we chatted about how beautiful the lights were, we realized Big E had gone silent.  I flipped on the overhead light.

Big E was conked out.  In fact, he was snoring.  Really?  I guess terrorizing Little E all day is exhausting for him.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Yoy version of Elf on the Shelf

The Elf on the Shelf is a fabulous idea.  I wish I would have thought of it.  It is blatant bribery, which I totally support.

The problem for us, is that the elf doesn't really tie into Hanukkah.

So how can we, the Yoys, play mind games with Big E for the entire month of December?

Mr. Yoy took Big E to the toy store on Sunday and let him pick out his Hanukkah present.  They returned home with a giant GeoTrax train table.  We brought it in the house and it has been residing on the floor in the dining room since.

Everyday Big E asks to open it.  Everyday we tell Big E he has to be on his best, best behavior and he can have it. Everyday Big E is a total train wreck (pun intended) and the sun sets with the table still in the box.

Mr. Yoy and I were talking about it and we decided THIS was our Elf on the Shelf.  Except we are going to call it the Train Table on the Counter, mostly because this table isn't going to fit on any shelf in this house.

So far I've only seen a mild uptick in the quality of Big E's behavior and listening skills.

Does this Elf thing actually work?

Mostly I've received dozens of daily affirmations.

I'M A GOOD BOY!  I'M A GOOD BOY!  I'M A GOOD BOY!

Um, just because you say it on repeat throughout the day doesn't make it true.

I'M RICH AND SKINNY!

See, Big E, it doesn't work that way.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted on how the train table idea is working for us.
This is the first time I've actually seen a picture of the elf and I have to admit, this guy is a tad creepy.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Batting .000

I received my first holiday card in the mail today.

I love getting holiday cards (hint, hint to all that are thinking of sending one to the Yoys).

We have never sent one out in the past, but I've been feeling the pressure to conform.

I was motivated enough this afternoon to dress the Yoys up all matchy-matchy (my favorite!) and attempt a photo session in Little E's bedroom.

I literally said these words to Big E:

IF YOU SMILE FOR THE CAMERA I WILL GIVE YOU CANDY, CAKE, MONEY, AND THE UNOPENED TRAIN TABLE IN THE DINING ROOM!

My kids are what I like to call non-cooperating participants when it comes to picture time.

I took 126 pictures this afternoon over a period of about 10 minutes.

I also took about 12 years off my life.

I didn't get one usable picture.  I swear.  I'm going to go back over them later, but I glanced at them earlier and wanted to cry.

Big E kissed, smothered, bit, and kicked Little E in the oversized chair in Little E's room.

Meanwhile, I was making exotic noises trying to get them to 1) look at me and 2) crack a smile.

Anyone looking in from the street would have seen/heard the ruckus and most likely called child protective services. It was insanity at its best.

My throat is sore this evening from screaming, howling, growling, and other unfazing sound effects.

I have to stop and wonder, how can these evil beings belong to me?
 We'd wish you Happy Holidays, but we are too busy reading our books!

Happy New Year from our asses!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Paging Nurse E

Mr. Yoy woke up this morning feeling a tad under the weather.

As I dressed Big E, I told him to go into our room and say good morning to Mr. Yoy, as he was not feeling great.

Big E ran into our room and asked Mr. Yoy how he was feeling.  Nurse E concluded that all Mr. Yoy needed was some lotion.

You see, Little E has been having major skin problems as of late and we have been using antibiotic and steroid creams, as well as tons of lotion on him.

Big E, being a human sponge, now believes that lotion is the cure-all for what ails you.

Maybe he is on to something.

He bolted out of our bedroom and returned to Mr. Yoy with a tube of Aveeno lavender baby lotion.

It was sweet that he was trying to help, but clearly he got his medical training in the Bahamas.
Cures dry skin as well as every other thing that could possibly go wrong with you.  And also tastes like sweet potato.

RECALCULATING!

Last night we met Mr. Yoy for dinner in an attempt to lift his spirits.

When I told Big E that we were going to pick daddy up at work, he confidently rattled off the directions to Mr. Yoy's work.

Get on the highway, get off at Northside, turn left.

He sort of had it right, but I think he was just giving me the directions for Goldberg's, which is, unfortunately, closed for dinner.

I won't be getting rid of my Garmin anytime soon.
RECALCULATING!  RECALCULATING!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Sad Day for the Yoy Family

Today Mr. Yoy's brother passed away.  It was not unexpected, but it hurts all the same.

I mourn for the loss of Uncle M.  He was a quiet, but sweet and kind man.

I mourn for my husband and his brothers.

I mourn for my in-laws.

I mourn for my children who will never know their Uncle.

Uncle M loved the boys.  He was always the first to look at the thousands of pictures I sent out and email me back a funny comment.  He was an avid reader and fan of the Mrs. Yoy Blog.  He loved the daily updates of the doings of his nephews.  I am saddened that someone who took such interest in their lives won't be around to see how the Yoys turn out.

So I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell a story about Uncle M.

When Mr. Yoy and I first moved into our house 5+ years ago we had builder-grade landscaping in our front yard. It wasn't ugly, it was just nothing special.  Uncle M had a landscaping company and he offered to come up to Atlanta and help us out.

He sketched out a plan and we headed to the Home Depot Landscape store.  We spent hours there picking out plants and trees and mulch.  We loaded all of this stuff in the back of Uncle M's pickup and drove home.

He then spent the better part of the next two days in the hot Atlanta sun digging and digging and digging.

Apparently our house was built on a rock quarry, or at least it seemed to be, based on the quantities of rock we were pulling out of the soil.  It was serious blood, sweat, and tears, but after two days he had planted a row of hedges, three crepe myrtles, three hydrangeas, and a slew of rose bushes, all without complaining.

This was something Mr. Yoy and I could never have done on our own and Uncle M did all of the work, free of charge.  Yes, of course we helped (a little), but he was the brains behind the operation.

I was grateful when the job was complete and my front yard looked amazing.

I am even more grateful now.  You see, every Spring, when my flowers and trees bloom in unison and make our house look like the botanical gardens, I will think of Uncle M and the beauty he brought to the world.
Dedicated to Uncle M.  May his memory be a blessing.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Search and Rescue

I was performing my usual post-Yoy bedtime cleanup effort. Tonight, I was especially diligent because in a few, short days we have an olympic gold medalist staying at our house (for blogging purposes, I'll refer to him as Mr. Gold).

I'm not sure what I think will happen, but I'm petrified Mr. Gold will show up with white gloves and do a dust check on my baseboards.

I was organizing this sweet wooden fire/police station my brother and SIL sent to Big E for his birthday.  This thing is amazing.  It came from this catalog, One Step Ahead. It is like crack for moms.  Don't deny it, ladies!

The station came with a ton of furniture, including a toilet which I find fascinating.  Big E does, too.  In fact, it's his favorite piece of toy furniture, even though he refuses to use a real life one.  Irony at its finest.

It also came with two policeman and two fireman.  As I was lining up all the tough guys in front of the toy flat screen TV, I noticed we were down one fireman.

Blast!  We've had this thing a total of five days and Big E has already lost 25% of his manpower.  Plus, my brother and SIL are visiting next month and I didn't want to tell them that my kid is irresponsible with his toys and not worthy of such awesome presents.

It was now my mission to find the fireman.

First, I pretended I was a three year old.  This is getting easier and easier the more time I spend with my kids.  If they can get away with this sort of behavior, then I should be able to as well.

If I were Big E where would I stash the fireman?

I looked in all the drawers, book cases, filing cabinets, and trash cans in the room.  Nothing.

I checked under our china cabinet.  He was not there, but I did find a sippy cup circa 2009 filled with what was once water and now resembled Guinness.  This was headed straight to the trash.  Gag.

Next I checked under the couches and the coffee table.  No fireman, but I did find the "K" piece to his train puzzle that had been missing for some time.  Score!

Finally, I opened up all the seats in his fleet of cars.  There, jammed into the compartment under the seat, was a hair brush, a stuffed soccer ball, and the fireman.

I shouted out an excited YES!  Too bad I was by myself and had no one to high five.  I felt like this situation warranted one.

The house is currently clean and organized.  If only I could keep it that way until Mr. Gold's visit.

I'm sure the evil Yoys will be back to destroy all of my work tomorrow.

At least I can sleep soundly tonight.
Not Big E, but that is the fire/police station.

Privacy. What's that?

I am a modest person.  As a child during P.E. class, I mastered the "changing your clothes without showing an inch of skin" move.  I was amazing at it.

When I became pregnant with Big E, I did not realize that my modesty would soon fly out the window.

Fast forward to Piedmont Hospital. Big E was almost a month early, so Dr. Yoy decided to have a special team of nurses in the room when I delivered.  When she mentioned this initially, I thought it sounded like a fantastic idea.

So there I am, delivering a baby.  I'm not going to go into too much detail, but you are definitely in a compromising position.  In walks the preemie team, all seven of them.

For an instant I was embarrassed.  I wanted them to leave.  But it was weird, my modesty took a back seat to Big E's well being.  So what, now there were ten people in the room just staring at my parts.

It definitely didn't end there.  Post delivery all sorts of nurses, doctors, etc. are rummaging around your body.  I accepted my fate.

What I didn't realize at the time, was this was preparing me for having company 24/7 for the rest of my life (at least it seems that way).

I have not gone to the bathroom or taken a shower alone in three years.

Last night, Mr. Yoy was watching our sorry, sorry football team play.  He asked Big E if he wanted to join him.

NOPE!

Instead, he came with me to the bathroom where he proceeded to offer help, suggestions, and narration.

YOU NEED TOILET PAPER?

YOU NEED THE LIGHT?

YOU MAKE DIRTS?

Ugh, please, please, please.  Go watch football with Mr. Yoy.

I then made my way to the shower.  I needed to wash away the grime that comes with caring for two boys.

Why don't you go and watch football with daddy?

NOPE!

Instead, he stood at the shower door, pressed his face into the glass, and chatted my ear off.

IS THAT YOUR WASH RAG?

IS THAT YOUR SOAP?

ARE YOU CLEAN?

WHAT'S THAT? (none of your business)

I can't even remember what it is like to be by myself. And why am I always being interviewed?

Please tell me I'm not the only mom that feels this way.
It may not be Big Brother, but it is definitely one of the Yoys.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Art of the Whisper

When do kids have the ability to learn to whisper?

The Yoys' bedroom doors are very close together.  When Little E is napping, Big E and I are often in his room or the bonus room.

In a whisper, I'll say to Big E:

Please whisper, Little E is napping.

Big E responds in full, if not extra amped-up-on-purpose, volume:

OK, MOMMY!

No-whisper, like mommy is doing right now.

OK, MOMMY!

Ugh, I give up.  Is it really hard to teach this concept?  I'm being honest,  I really don't know when toddlers can learn to control the volume of their voice.

Til then I'll be praying I finally discover the mute button somewhere on Big E's body.

Or maybe earplugs for Little E.
Where is it?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Another Million Dollar Idea

This came to me today on my drive home from lunch.

I was bogged down in thick Atlanta Thanksgiving traffic. Yes, here in Atlanta, Thanksgiving traffic starts Wednesday morning.

We were on the verge of Little E's nap time.  He was starting to get edgy.

The slower I drove, the louder Little E's cries became until it evolved into full-on screaming.  Oy.

LIGHT BULB MOMENT!

I wish I had lights and a siren like an ambulance or fire truck that I could flip on in crying emergencies that would allow me to zip home.  I promise I would use it sparingly and only when the Yoys had a true meltdown emergency.

For a moment, I congratulated myself on such a good idea, but then was brought back to reality by Little E's hysteria. Poor little guy.  He just wants his bed.

I reached back with my crazy long monkey arms and tried to soothe him.  It was no use.  He had crossed over to the dark side.

I spent 45 minutes in the car with a screaming Little E.

Now excuse me while I go down a bottle of Chardonnay and try to unwind from the drive.
This looks just like my van.  All I need is the siren!

Poor Planning

Today I met Aunt Yoy at Jason's Deli for a pre-Thanksgiving feast.

Aunt Yoy arrived first and pulled three highchairs over to the table.  I was impressed given her wounded state.

I walked in barely holding onto my kids and the diaper bag.  I was a frenzied mad woman.

Little E was reaching over my shoulder and grabbing snacks out of my bag while yelling at me to open them. He doesn't actually talk yet, but I assume he's trying to say:

OPEN THESE DANG APPLE CRISPS, MOMMY!

I throw Little E into one highchair and Aunt Yoy throws Big E into another.

We both order and sit down to wait for our food.

Right over Aunt Yoy's shoulder, directly in Big E's line of fire, is the frozen yogurt machine that dispenses free yogurt for all.  I pray he doesn't notice the thousands of people walking up and pouring themselves giant swirly cones.

The food arrives, Big E eats about three bites and then zeros in on his target.

I WANT YOGURT!  I WANT YOGURT!  I WANT YOGURT!

Ugh.  We should have faced him the other way.  I partially blame Aunt Yoy for the unfortunate configuration, but also blame myself for not being more aware of our situation.

As you can imagine, the rest of the meal went as follows:

I WANT YOGURT!

FINISH YOUR LUNCH!

I WANT YOGURT!

EAT YOUR PASTA!

I WANT YOGURT!

I WANT A GUN!

Obviously, he finally wore me down.  But in my final act of defiance I poured him the absolute smallest amount of yogurt possible.  It was payback for ruining our lunch.

And I didn't even get to enjoy one of these...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The "S" Word

Santa.

Now that Big E is three he is very aware of the upcoming holiday season.

The lights!

The music!

The decorated trees!

The fat, old guy in a red suit that brings you lots of presents (sounds way better in theory than on paper)!


It is the rite of passage for any Jewish child.  And no, it is not a bar mitzvah.

It is the moment he learns he is different.

Christmas IS the most wonderful time of the year.  As a 35 year old, I still suffer miserably with Christmas envy each December.  I peer out my front window and look at all the lights and the glittering trees peeking through my neighbors' front windows.  Oy.  If only.

Big E has already mentioned Santa to me.  I ignored him. I don't know if I am ready to go into it.  I feel like this conversation may be even harder than the birds and the bees.

WHY DOESN'T SANTA COME TO MY HOUSE?


Yes, we are the Chosen People, etc, etc, but no child wants to be different.  I guess it is a blessing that he is at a Jewish pre-school so he isn't being inundated with Christmas things.

As a child growing up in West Boca, there weren't too many of us Hebs floating around.  I always had to be my class representative.

I hated that my teacher made us all sing the dreidel song to offset the 27 Christmas songs we were learning in music class.  Please, don't humor me.

I hated standing up in front of my class and explaining Chanukah.  Especially after I skipped all that Sunday School.

UMMM....YEAH CHANUKAH HAS EIGHT NIGHTS....I THINK.

It's not that Chanukah isn't a fun and wonderful holiday. It's just that I feel like it has been blown up to compete with Christmas and there really isn't any competing.

Yeah, you can say we get eight nights of gifts.  But as a child, nights six, seven, eight were filled with such gems as a thesaurus, night light, and maybe a keychain.  I promise it doesn't equate.

I'm hoping to dodge the Santa bullet for at least one more year.  Maybe next year he will be able to understand a little better.

So while everyone is opening their presents, eating their delicious meals, and singing amazing holiday songs, the Yoys will be pouring over our take-out Chinese food menus and deciding which movie we will hit up.

Happy Holidays!
I guess it doesn't help that I watched Elf while delivering Big E.   I freaking love that movie!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Carrot Test

Big E is forever claiming he's hungry.  Every time I open the refrigerator or the pantry (even if it is to just throw out trash) he declares his starvation.

I have no idea if he is, in fact, experiencing the signs of hunger or if he is just conditioned to say this.

Instead of just endless snacking all day, I have come up with a genius way of telling if the little guy is truly hungry.

Always on hand here at the Yoys is a giant tub of steamed carrots.  Not what you had in mind for a snack? But what if you were so hungry you'd eat just about anything, including steamed carrots.

So this is my trick.

Today I was putting away groceries and Big E was whining that he was hungry.

I offered him steamed carrots.  He countered with goldfish.  Just like the guy on Pawn Stars, I gave him a worse offer.  That is what you get for trying to bargain with Mrs. Yoy.

Steamed carrots or nothing.  End of story.

I WANT CARROTS!

Either he is really hungry or he is just desperate, but either way he just scarfed down a whole bowl full of veggies.

And he just told me I'm pretty.   The carrots are clearly improving his vision.

Victory is mine!
Carrots:  My litmus test.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hide and Seek

Bath time around here usually starts with an ill-timed game of hide and seek.  As soon as I turn the water faucet on, Big E heads for the hills.

Maybe I've seen one too many suspense movies.  Or maybe I'm just on edge from the recent crime wave in our 'hood, but for whatever reason, when I go searching for Big E, I get a little jumpy.

I cleared our walk-in closet, the laundry room, and under my computer desk.  These are all Big E hiding spot favorites, and tonight he was not in any of them.


Where is that little booger?

I walked into his bedroom.  His closet door was cracked. BUSTED!  I had him now.

As I crept up to the door (imagine creepy music playing) my heart began to race.  I am not sure why.  Who did I expect in the closet?  Martin Burney?  Maybe.  I took a deep breath and flung the door open.

Nothing.

Right at that moment Big E popped out from behind his rocking chair and yelled:

HI MOM!

I jumped out of my skin.  Seriously, my vertical was very impressive.  I wished my high school basketball coach was there to witness it.  She was always trying to get me to jump more than two inches off the ground.

I turned around to see his smiling head peering around the side of the chair.

Big E, you scared the jeepers out of me!


He seemed very proud of himself.


I have to admit, this was only half as scary as the night he channeled Hannibal Lecter.

I'm off to count the additional gray hairs I earned tonight.
Hoping I find Big E instead of this guy in my house.

My million dollar idea

We went to the aquarium this morning.  While I think the kids enjoy looking at the fish, I get the feeling they could take them or leave them.

I took they Yoys to a less populated upstairs area to eat lunch.  Big E ran wild with his friend, Lady P, while Little E crawled around.

Then it dawned on me.  Why bother taking them to the art museum, zoo, aquarium, etc?

I need to buy a giant warehouse.  Carpet it, add some lights, a water fountain, comfortable seating for the moms, and a bathroom and we are in business.

The kids don't really care where we take them, as long as there is a giant carpeted space for them to run around.

Forget Kangazoom, Monkey Joe's, or any other of those bouncy house, climby places.  They are teeming with germs, anyway.

Come to my giant carpeted warehouse and let your kid run until they drop.

How did I not think of this sooner?
Just add carpet and watch the magic happen.

Big E's existence: one giant time-out

Big E is turning three this week.  He is losing his baby-ness and turning into a little boy.  It is bittersweet for me.

There are some positives of him being older.  He UNDERSTANDS everything I say to him so communication has moved far beyond crying, grunting, and pointing.

On the flip side, while he understands what I am asking him to do/not do, etc, I'd say he listens to about 10% of what I'm saying.

Frustration doesn't even begin to describe my daily interactions (or maybe more appropriately named, battles) with Big E.  He saves his absolute worst behavior for me, like it is a special gift or something (where can I return it?).

I look at his sweet face and remember what a good baby he was.  Seriously, he was insanely good.  Don't worry, I'm getting it back in spades with the one-two combo of his current behavior and Little E constantly being on his period.

I feel like I'm always yelling at him or telling him no or being a mean mommy.  I hate it.  I want to be the fun and playful mommy.

I know that at this age he is exploring his independence, but I'm about one "NO, I'M NOT!" away from dropping him off at a fire station.  Is there an age limit for doing that, just wondering...

Anyway, I'd love to hear any suggestions for taming a three year old monster.

Or, if you'd like to take possession of one.
Big E, my wild thing.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bedazzled by Little E

Have you heard of the BeDazzler?  You may remember it from the onslaught of infomercials.  This little miracle machine attached rhinestones to all sorts of fun stuff like shirts, socks, and jeans.

This machine has probably seen its time.  But, back in the 1980s, these things were in high demand.

This past week, Big E made an art project which included the adhesion of rhinestones to a plastic cup.  His new cup was proudly on display in his room.

This morning, we were rushing to get ready to leave for a book fair.  The Yoys were in Big E's room reading books and playing.

I looked at Little E and he had that look I know so well. He was storing something in his mouth.

With the help of Grandma Yoy, we pried his jaws open and there on his tongue were two little rhinestones, sparkling away, begging to be eaten.

Good-ness!


I reached in there and fished them both out.  Little E put up a good fight.  At one point, I thought I had lost part of my finger.

I always comment on how different the Yoys are.  And this is another example.  Big E rarely ate random objects. Little E puts everything in his mouth.  The good news is, he doesn't like to chew.  He is more of a dissolver.  This gives me some time to extract dangerous and deadly items from his mouth.  I just have to always be on the lookout for that telling Little E face.  Then I know it's time to open his mouth up and receive my surprise.

I do give Little E credit for trying to decorate his tongue. I wish I would have taken a picture.
Sort of what Little E's mouth looked like when we pried it open.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Revenge is a dish best served cold...

If you are looking for a feel good story, here it is readers! This is dedicated to everyone who read about our dental trip this morning and was fooled into thinking Big E was an angel.  Or maybe I should dedicate it to anyone ever frustrated by the lack of good customer service.  In any case, enjoy!

Tonight I took my mom and the Yoys up to the mall to walk around and grab an early dinner.  Post dinner we passed by my ex-most favorite clothing store in the world.

We are exes because their store manager was a royal b*tch to me about 8 months ago after I had been a loyal customer of theirs going on 15 years.

For those of you that know me, you are aware of my giant stature.  My ex-favorite store was the first to offer tall sizes in their pants and jeans.  I no longer had to custom order my 36 inch inseam khakis from the overpriced J-Crew catalog.

But my ex's coupons kept on coming in the mail and as I walked by the store windows day after day, I longed to try on pants that actually fit me.  Tonight my mom nudged me to go in.  She would walk around with the Yoys in the stroller and let me browse.

Well, looking wouldn't hurt.  It's not like we are getting back together.

Before I knew it, I ended up with an armload of clothes to try on.  What AM I doing?  My mom strolled the Yoys back to the dressing room because they were getting "edgy".

Big E begged to get out of the stroller so mom sprung him loose.  He wanted to come in the dressing room with me, which was fine.  I already shower and go to the bathroom with an audience, so trying on clothes is cake.

As soon as I shut the door, Little E went insane. Apparently he, too, wanted in on the dressing room fun. We were beginning to make a scene.  My mom grabbed our purses and Little E and all four of us ended up in the dressing room the size of an airplane bathroom.  Talk about a good time.

I'm frantically pulling clothes on and off.  Little E has a constant whine going on.  It's like white noise to me, but I'm sure everyone within earshot was wishing we'd leave.

Then Big E had a poonami and slowly we were being hot boxed to death in our little dressing room.

Little E was holding on to the chair with his sippy cup in his mouth.  He lost his balance and plunged to the floor. In the process he impaled his tongue with the straw. Now he was really screaming.

For the love of pete!  Can't a girl get some new sweaters?

In the middle of his screaming fit, Little E dropped out his remaining dinner from his mouth.  He stores food in his cheeks.  It is a habit we are trying to break before he chokes to death.

I quickly grab a few tops that I think I like.  We have got to scram.  We rush out of the dressing room. Unfortunately there were 4+ ladies waiting to check out all with incredulous looks on their faces.  They had heard everything.

Whatever.  You try being a fashion forward mom.

We left the dressing room a mess.  A little food, a little smelly, but a smile crept onto my face as I saw the store manager enter the dressing rooms.  I hope Ms. Nasty walks into that dressing room and gags.

VINDICATION IS MINE!

P.S. This is almost as good as my bridal boutique story, but I'll save that for another day.
Nothing says togetherness like trying on clothes with your whole family watching.