Sunday, March 31, 2013

Big E: Census Taker

We spent the afternoon outside playing with the Yoys' new water table.

I like to equate my kids to bridge trolls.  They will not let you pass our house without having an intimate and entirely inappropriate conversation with them.

Today a new neighbor walked by.  I recognized the dog first as it plays out in their backyard, which I have a clear view of.  I also know that new neighbor's wife is like 10 months pregnant.  I've seen her out back sunning her swollen belly on the few nice March days we've had here in the ATL.

It began innocently with a few hellos and questions about the neighbor's dog.


You know, the usual deets.

Then it got personal.


New neighbor stifled a laugh.

NOT YET.  (A very cryptic response in my opinion)

Big E was not phased.


It was almost in a threatening tone.

Like your life will be over very soon and you'll wonder why you ever chose to procreate.

This time new neighbor laughed out loud and walked on.

Next time he'll take the long way around the block and avoid us.  Lesson learned.

Run.  Just run away.  Whatever these kids are selling you don't want any. Trust me.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday, Bloody Wednesday

Bedtime did not go as planned.

Big E's frustrating preference of barely eating dinner followed by multiple snacks after teeth brushing, while in bed, caused a minor tiff between us.


His response was to throw a book at my head.  It grazed my chin.  But I had had enough.  I stood up to storm out of the room.  It was either that or throw him out the second story window.

Mid-stride, Little E walked into the path of Tornado Mrs. Yoy.  I tripped on him. He went down hard. I went down harder.  I slammed my already ailing back into Big E's bedroom door as I landed on my side.

Little E started crying.  My back was in flames.  I felt like that old lady on the infamous commercial.


I propped myself up on my elbow to assess the damage to Little E.

Blood.  Dripping from his mouth.  On the carpet.  On my iPhone.  Everywhere.


Yes, I dropped a dirty bomb in front of my kids.

I pulled Little E over to me.


Shockingly, he listened.

I lifted up Little E's gum to see the wound to the inside of his upper lip.

It stopped bleeding shortly after.  I began crying.  I'm the worst mother in the world.

MOMMY, YOU HURT ME.  (Little E said it twice for good measure).

Thanks, Little E!  You are really massaging away my raging feelings of guilt.

In summary:

1)  I stormed out of my 4 year-old's room like a 4 year-old.
2)  I took out an innocent bystander in the process.
3)  I cussed in front of my kids.

Where do I pick up my sash and crown for winning WORST MOTHER EVER?

Tomorrow I will work on my temper.  I am an adult.  Big E is not.  And repeat.

Big E: Phone Home

I've attempted to teach Big E my phone number in case he gets lost, kidnapped, or runs away from home and then has major regrets.


He thinks about it for a minute before he confidently gives his answer.


OH WAIT, THAT'S THE CHANNEL NUMBER FOR DISNEY JUNIOR (which by the way Mr. Yoy canceled around the beginning of the year in a cost cutting measure)!

Great, my kid won't know how to contact his worried sick mother, but he'll sure as sh*t be able to watch his favorite television programming from his kidnapper's dark basement.

It's called priorities, people.  Get some.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Big E: Big (Bad) Loser

I have recently introduced board games into Big E's activities syllabus.

I have to admit, I'm astonished by the amount of cheating that Big E attempts to pull-off.

Look, I love to cheat.  I used to win many dart games on the bar scene by slyly adding a few extra points to my score here and there.  No one ever caught on to my hijinks and I earned the reputation of being a mean dart player.

So I know a cheater when I see one.

Here are some glaring examples of Big E's indiscretions.

1)  Chutes and Ladders:  Only the ladders apply to Big E.  He chooses to ignore the chutes.  What goes up does not come back down, at least in his mind.

2)  Candyland:  Big E asks to shuffle and go first.  He pulls the first card which is ALWAYS the cupcake or whatever sweet card lands you like six spaces from winning.  I need to teach him more subtle ways to win.

But there is a bigger question looming.  What is driving him to be such a terrible board game cheater?

Tonight, it was revealed to me during Passover Seder.

This kid HATES to lose.

Mr. Yoy hid the matzo for the boys to search out later in the evening.  By hide I mean he left it on the counter just a smidge above their eye level.  We decided not to hard core hide it, as we didn't want this portion of the evening to last all night.

Little E found the matzo with the help of Mr. Yoy.

Instantly, Big E went all Hulk Hogan on us, with the exception of ripping his shirt off, which would have made the moment much more digestible for me.

He grabbed the matzo which was so neatly tucked into its cover and crumpled it up.  Pieces rained down on the floor. He stomped on it, crying.

Poodle Yoy thought she had hit the jackpot.  Until she sniffed out the tasteless crackers.  If she came with a thought bubble, it would read "WHY COULDN'T THEY HIDE THE CHICKEN?"

Big E then decided he would hide the matzo himself and then find it and, therefore, win the game.

In the meantime, Mr. Yoy handed Little E a crisp $20 for his discovery, which he promptly handed over to me.  Which is why, he ends the day as my favorite child.  Yeah, I said it.

Anyway, once Big E had won (in his mind), he settled right back down.

Big E opening the door for Elijah (and Hulk Hogan).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mrs. Yoy: Unemployed?

This fall, if all the stars align (I'm talking to you Atlanta Public School pre-k lottery!), both Yoys will be in school every day, for at least part of the day.

I will have four blissful hours each morning.


I've heard this response more times than I can count.

For the record, I have never left work.  I have just changed employers and taken a major pay cut.  I do have a few mornings a week for myself, but mostly it is me and them.  All day, every day.  The grandparents all live out of state.  My beloved babysitter fell and broke some important things that have sidelined her. Mr. Yoy works 17,000 hours a week.  It's me.  Only me.

I'm not complaining about it.  Well, not really.  You see, I chose this route.

And I'm not trying to start a mommy war.  Each woman's decision after having a baby, whether it is to stay home, work full-time, or somewhere in between is a very personal choice.  Moms struggle and are exhausted no matter where they spend their time during the day.

For all of your inquiring minds out there, I will not be returning to "work."  Mr. Yoy has been very supportive of my decision to stay home with the Yoysers and has never once hinted that I need to find a job once the boys begin school.  I'm not saying I'll never work outside the home again, I'm just saying it's not happening now.

So what will I do with all my free time come August?

Ideally I'd like to slip into a coma each morning and make a dent in my cumulative sleep deprivation.

Mostly likely, I'll spend my time grocery shopping, maybe a workout, and volunteering at their respective schools.

It's not super sexy, but I've got a job to do!

Big E v. Daylight Savings

Over a week has gone by since we set the clocks ahead one hour, and I'm still dealing with the ramifications.

Tonight, I put the Yoys to bed around 7:30.  I feel like that is a respectable bedtime for a two and four year old.

Big E thought differently.  His closing arguments in his case against it not being bedtime went well beyond ten minutes.  The daylight at bedtime thing is really rocking his world.

Finally, Big E requested a phone call to Uncle Yoy to verify my claim that bedtime had arrived.

Uncle Yoy confirmed that it was indeed bedtime.

For the record, I wore this kid out today.  Two hours at the botanical gardens where he operated on only one speed:  Olympic Sprinter.

After that, we headed to the mall where he lunched and then spent an additional 1.5 hours in the new play area.

He nodded off as we drove home and I know for a fact he was up in the middle of the night playing as he woke me up at 6AM to tuck him back in.  And his bedroom light was on.

And still, I cannot get this kid to peacefully go to sleep. 

Any suggestions?  Does he need a satin sleep mask?  Do people even use those anymore?


Monday, March 18, 2013

Reality Bites


Saturday afternoon we took the Yoys over to a local Synagogue to see Lisa Loeb (LL) play music from her plethora of children's albums.  She was in town courtesy of the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival.

Before I dive into the gory details, I'd like to say that LL never ages.  Her glasses may change, but she looks the same to me.  I find this amazing as she has two little kids and I feel that the four years I've spent as a mother has aged me approximately 27 years.  

Onward we go.

I was pretty relaxed about the show because it would be loud and my kids could be cray-cray, along with everyone else's and all the parents would just lean back and smile and give each other knowing glances.

There was a group of children sitting politely on the floor directly in front of the bimah (stage) where LL was strumming her guitar.  My kids and Cousin Yoy, were not included in this group.  Mostly because I just used the word "politely".

The Yoysers began in the back of the Sanctuary.  Popping up and down from the benches like a punch of crazy moles.  But LL was magnetic and soon a group of kids had gravitated towards her singing.

Up went Big E, Little E, and Cousin Yoy.  Now they were on stage with her.  LL was beyond patient and gracious with her stage crashers.  She engaged them and they were thrilled.

Big E made sure to introduce himself and his brother and give LL a brief family history.  You know, social security numbers, medical records, 401k accounts.  Just the usual shallow and friendly banter.

He paused between songs directly in front of her to dig out a booger and eat it.  

I was sweating, purple and hissing at Mr. Yoy to gather our kids.

He was too busy checking the score of the Gator game on his phone.  During Shabbat.  At Temple.

Uncle Yoy made several trips up to the bimah to retrieve all three of the Yoysers. They promptly returned to the stage.

Big E began bimah diving.  Cousin Yoy was busy strumming LL's spare guitar and attempting to open the arc to sneak a peak at the torahs.

My kids discovered the handicap ramp and ran up down like a herd of thundering elephants.

Mr. Yoy kept reaching out and plucking them as they ran by.  But they were so far gone off the deep end, it didn't matter.

And all the while, LL sang away.  She was fantastic!

After the show, I bolted.  I saw many people I knew, but I was so mortified I wanted to hide.

A few side notes:

1)  There were many other crazy children up on stage with LL so I guess it could have been worse.
2)  A big fan of the blog, Miss R., was there and able to witness a blog entry live and in person.  Lucky her!

Thanks to Lisa for letting our kids enjoy her music in their own way.


As I watched Little E swing his leg up and successfully clear the side of his crib, I suppressed the urge to vomit.

It wasn't for fear that Little E would injure himself attempting to escape his jail, I mean crib.

It was a premonition.

I will soon have two zombie children trolling around my house at all hours of the night asking for sh*t like cookies, their leap pads, or to be tucked in.

My sleep.  My precious sleep, already tempered by the inability to hold my bladder longer than four hours, a snoring elderly poodle, and the occasional Big E pop-in, will now be subject to another line of assault.

I need to hire either a night nurse or a security guard to man the hallway in between our bedrooms.

Mrs. Yoy NEEDS her sleep!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Big E: PETA's Latest Spokesboy

Every week, I hard boil a pot of eggs to keep on hand for snacks.

I'm not going to launch into an egg commercial, but they are pretty awesome.

I was starving when we arrived home from school yesterday.  I was ravenously peeling my egg.  Big E walked up and pointed to the yolk.


And, scene.

My former most favorite snack in the whole wide world.

Let My People Go

Passover is right around the corner.

Here at the Yoys, we have yet to purge all the delicious bread products from our pantry.

But don't get me wrong.  We are super amped about Passover.  We even brought out of retirement the giant cardboard bricks to do some building and wrecking.

I use "we" very liberally.

It ended up being me, sitting on the floor, while Big E barked at me to build a tower, a bridge, a tunnel, and finally, a pyramid.

And after 30-something Seders under my belt, I finally appreciated what my people had gone through in Egypt.

Big E was Pharaoh and I was tasked with building his stupid pyramids.  All he needed was a crazy hat and some killer eyeliner (The Ten Commandments Movie Joke!)

This sucked.

Dry your eyes, folks.  It gets better.  I had the last laugh on my taskmaster.

Big E requested he be entombed in his tower of terror.


If only Little E's hot cottage cheese breath didn't bring the whole structure crashing down.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Little E: Nailed

Today is Wednesday.  So just like clockwork, I tossed the boys into the tub to wash off whatever happens at preschool.

Little E had an unidentified yellow mess crusted to the side of his face.  The jury is still out on whether it was mustard or paint.  I wasn't willing to taste it, and Little E told me he ate cottage cheese for lunch.  Which is, in fact, a bold faced lie.

Little E had other plans for bath time.  Like not taking one.

He refused to sit down.  He screamed.  And then he tried to climb out.

This is super dangerous on so many levels.

His wet, stubby legs are never going to scale the side of the tub.  And so I know how this story ends.  He slips and falls and cracks his head open.  Meanwhile, Big E obliviously sits there and bathes in his brother's blood.

Um, no thanks.

I try and force him to sit down.  That doesn't really work.  His screams escalated.

I reached for him again, but this time my fingernail nicked him right under the eye.  At first I thought I got him square in the eye ball, but lucky for him it was a tad south.

A trickle of blood slid down his cheek.

I felt horrible.


He cried over and over again.

Sigh.  Bad mommy.

When (IF) we renovate the Yoys' bathroom, we'll have to get Little E a tub like this so he can escape in a safe fashion.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Mr. Yoy: Clearly Don't Pull His Finger

After months of boycotting the Yoys' weekly Shabbat school program due to their ill behavior, I have begun to reintroduce myself.

The first few weeks back haven't been too bad.  For the most part, the boys have behaved and Big E fully understands that any bullsh*t from him will result in my self-exiling, again.

In between songs today, Big E walked up to me, pulled my finger, and yelled out FART!


I growled at him and give him my sternest-you-are-in-serious-sh*t look.  

He did it again.  And again.

I could feel my face heat up and turn bright red.  I glanced around to see who had heard our exchange.

For the record, I do not sit around my house having my kids pull my fingers while farting on demand.  I'm sure you didn't need me to clarify that, but I did regardless.

But where on Earth did Big E pick up such a disgusting and rude party trick you may ask?

Look no further than Mr. Yoy.  It's a shame he missed Big E's grand debut of the pull-my-finger gag in the midst of Shabbat services.

Being the only female in our family, this is my destiny, my life sentence.  Pray for me.

I can't wait to uncover other little awesome nuggets Mr. Yoy is passing down to the Yoys.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mrs. Yoy: Censorship Is My Friend

The following books have been forever banned from the Yoy bedtime library.

1)  Books with sounds.  The Yoys fight to the death over who gets to press the train whistle button.  I'm not having it.

2) Books with flaps.  The Yoys (AGAIN) fight to the death over who gets to lift/rip off the flap.  Spoiler Alert:  Peek-a-boo!  It's always the same damn baby under there.

3) I SPY books.  They may only be a few pages long,  but their length to actual reading time ratio is alarmingly high.

4) The entire Five Little Monkeys series.  This just incites bed jumping and overall wildness that is incompatible with bedtime.

Follow these guidelines to insure a much smoother (and shorter!) bedtime routine.

And feel free to add onto the list.  I'm always looking for ways to further streamline the bedtime process.

You are welcome.

One of the forbidden...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mr. & Mrs. Yoy: Partners in Crime

I began blogging because I wanted a creative outlet to vent the frustrations and joys and madness of quasi-single parenting.

I always say that Mr. Yoy works all the time, and by all the time I mean my kids point to Mr. Yoy's office building and refer to it as his home.

It's not that Mr. Yoy hates us (at least I don't believe he does), it's just that he is working his a** off to ensure our future is financially stable.  And while I joke and (fake) complain about it endlessly, I get it and I respect his work ethic, integrity, and sacrifice.  It is incredible and endless.

Today, Mr. Yoy was rewarded for his outstanding work.  He was promoted to partner at his law firm.

And in a weird way, I felt like I was promoted, too.

All the weeknight dinners and baths and stories that I do solo each and every night.

All the weekend days when I'm scurrying for things to do with the boys while all our friends are spending time as a family.

All the evenings sitting in swampy Buckhead traffic as I shuttle the Yoys to the office so they can have dinner with their dad.

All the fun events I missed because my babysitter was busy.

Suddenly, it didn't seem so bad.

I'm not unrealistic.  I know that Mr. Yoy's future as a partner holds nothing but work and more work and probably a ton more bullsh*t than we ever anticipated. But his sacrifices have not gone unnoticed, to me nor his firm, and it fills me with such pride.

Now on to more pressing issues.

Did I hear someone say diamond ring upgrade?

Infringers beware!  Mr. Yoy is coming for you!

***Dedicated to all my fellow lawyer widows out there!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Big E: Down On Skid Row

It was finally bedtime at the Yoys.


Big E shot upstairs like a rocket.  I should have been suspicious, but I was just very tired and grateful.

It took Little E a tad more convincing.  I finally corralled the herd and headed up to face my next challenge.  BEDTIME.

I heard a suspicious noise coming from Big E's bathroom.


My heart leapt into my throat.  How will this sentence end?




Sadly, it was none of these benign problems.

Big E had used the little potty to take a major poop and was trying to carry the contents to the toilet.  But he failed miserably.  Thankfully, it was mostly urine that flooded the bathroom floor, but it was close to seven and I had mentally checked out for the day.  At least I thought I had.

I got to work cleaning up the bathroom floor, the little toilet, the big toilet and everything in between.  Big E shuffled around with his jeans around his sneakers.


I took a deep breath.  One thing at a time.  I was currently mopping up Lake Yoy in the bathroom.


These words will haunt me forever.


I stood up and made the short walk to my destiny, Big E's bedroom.

I've been around the block a few times to know what was coming.  And there it was.  In three separate spots.  Skid marks decorating his recently steam cleaned carpet.


I abandoned the bathroom and set to work on the carpet.

Maybe it was the fumes from the carpet cleaner, but I excused myself and called my cousin to vent about the last ten crappy minutes of my life.  It was either this or walk out the door.


I headed back to the bathroom.

Both Yoys were at their sinks.  Soaking wet.

If I'd been playing poker, this would have been my dramatic I FOLD moment.

I don't know why Big E insists on using this.   I'm keeping it out in the miraculous chance that Little E wants to try and use it.