Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy Holidays From The Yoys

My blogging is way out of order as I'm on vacation and my brain is not fully functioning.

We spent Christmas Eve at the club pool.  The boys enjoy swimming, but more importantly, they enjoy the free ice cream.

After lunch we swung by the ice cream cart where a nice employee was handing out the goods to all the children.

She smiled at my wet, food-crusted children.

DO YOU KNOW WHO IS COMING TO YOUR HOUSE TONIGHT?

Ah, sh*t here we go again.

Big E thought about it for a second.

NO ONE IS COMING TO OUR HOUSE TONIGHT.  WE ARE HAVING DINNER AT MY AUNT AND UNCLE'S.

I was hoping that would be the end.  But this poor lady was mining for some Christmas excitement from my kids and all she was going to get was a lump of coal.

WELL ARE YOU EXCITED FOR TOMORROW?

She came in from a different angle.

I made the slash throat signal to her and mouthed "we're Jewish".

No need.

Big E launched into his well-rehearsed Jewish spiel.  When he was finished with her she eked out a happy holidays.

I know everyone loves the holidays, me included.  We rock out to the MistleYoy Spotify playlist all month long.  But I am relieved that I no longer have to hear my child disclose to the world our religious preference.  I'm trying to teach him a tactful way to respond to "Merry Christmas" but we haven't mastered it yet.  Maybe Christmas 2015 will be our year.

Maps. Not Naps.

The Yoys are wintering in Florida.  It is glorious. We have six days left until we head back to the frozen reality of January.

Today we mixed things up a bit.  Instead of spending our eighth consecutive day at the pool, we decided to do the beach.

Growing up in Florida, I rarely went to the beach. I didn't want to look 50 when I turned 30 and the sand was enough to drive this Type A-er crazy.

But I know the boys LOVE the beach, so I took one for the team.

It took an eternity to load up the car with our beach gear.  I'm pretty sure we packed more for the beach than we did for our entire two week jaunt to Florida.

We finally reached the beach.  As we walked down the splintery, wooden steps onto the hot sand, the boys could barely contain their excitement.

LOOK MOM!  I CAN SEE EUROPE!

Oh, Big E.  I'm super amped that you take interest in world geography, I really am. And you are correct.  Somewhere on the other side of the great, big Atlantic Ocean is the continent of Europe. But shouting out that nugget to the crowded beach made me want to crawl into an abandoned conch shell.


Digging to China.  Or possibly Europe.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Big E: Belly-Acher-Faker

It's a little after ten, but I feel like I've used up all my mommy mojo for the day.

This morning started out like any other.  Early, dark, and cold.  I got both Yoys up, dressed, fed and ready for the bus in 25 minutes flat.

Soon after Big E finished eating his breakfast he began to complain his belly hurt.  I told him to go to the bathroom.  He refused and instead decided to clean up his playroom.

I knelt down and looked him right in the eyes.

DOES YOUR BELLY REALLY HURT?

There was some serious overacting happening with him which led me to believe this was all a fake job.

Big E moaned and yelled in pain and I told him if he was really sick to get into bed and that was where he'd remain the rest of the day.

After Little E got on the bus, I came back inside and checked on Big E.  He was in bed writing in his journal.

"TODAY I'M SICK. I CAN NOT GO TO SCOOL."

Big E was really covering all the bases, but I still didn't believe him.  I've seen this kid ill before.  And he looked bad.  Today, he just looked guilty.

Big E stayed quietly in his room for about an hour, but then came out to ask if he could watch some TV.

SICK LITTLE BOYS STAY IN THEIR BEDS ALL DAY.  NO TV.

He kept running back and forth between our bedroom and his, further casting doubt on his belly ache.  The last thing I want to do when my stomach hurts is go for a run.

We had plans go to Uncle Yoy's to celebrate Chanukah later today.  Big E was not going to be able to go because he was either sick or lying about being sick, which is a big time no-no in my book.

I tried to call his pediatrician to schedule an appointment, and Big E hung up my phone in pure fear.

Mr. Yoy and I talked to him about lying and why he didn't want to go to school and he FINALLY came clean a little after 9.

He was bored and tired of taking "testes".

Mr. Yoy told Big E to get dressed while he got cleaned up for work and he'd drop him off at school.  And Big E agreed.

Except he put on shorts.  And it's 40 degrees.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Big E: On the Naughty List

December has reared its holiday head again.  

As the parents of only a handful of Jewish children at the Yoys elementary school, we field unlimited questions from them regarding Christmas.

WHY CAN'T WE BE CHRISTIAN?

WHY CAN'T WE HANG LIGHTS?

WHY CAN'T WE HAVE A TREE?

WHY DOESN'T SANTA COME TO SEE US?

It's enough to break my heart, really.  I understand the feelings.  I can still remember feeling like the outsider at my elementary school. 

WAIT.  I'M LEFT-HANDED AND JEWISH?!  I'M A FREAK!

Our house was the only one not lit up on our block.  We were the dark, Jewish island on our festive street.  For a child, it was a major, big-time bummer.  

Mr. Yoy let the Santa out of the bag during one of Big E's angst-ridden Christmas rants.  

SANTA ISN'T REAL, BIG E.  

I almost strangled him on sight.  How could he tell Big E that?  The boy that rattles off every personal nugget of info to anyone that makes eye contact.  For sure he was going to say something to his buddies.

I didn't make a big deal out of it in the hopes it would be forgotten. {CUE OMINOUS MUSIC}

Wednesday, I received the text I didn't want to see.

Big E had told one of his school friends that Santa wasn't real and his mom asked me to talk to Big E about keeping that to himself.  I felt horrible and was mortified.  I hated the thought of ruining Christmas for a five year old.   My body was racked with Jewish guilt.

After school, I had the talk with Big E.  I hate to lie to him, but sometimes he gives me no other choice.  I told him one of his friends' mommies had contacted me about things he was saying at school.

BIG E, SANTA IS REAL.  WE JUST TOLD YOU HE WASN'T BECAUSE WE DIDN'T WANT YOU TO BE SAD.  SORRY, BUD.  GO PLAY WITH YOUR DREIDEL.

He didn't seem too upset by this.  He was more interested in which friend's mom had contacted me.  This immediately alerted me to something bigger.

WELL HOW MANY FRIENDS DID YOU TALK TO ABOUT SANTA NOT BEING REAL?

He rattled off like half his class.  Sweet.  I'm sure an angry mommy mob will swing by later to enact their revenge on me and my big mouthed kid. 




Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Break 2014: Don't Cry Because It Happened, Maniacally Laugh Because It's Over

Day 9 (and FINAL!) day of Thanksgiving break.

Unfortunately for all involved, Mr. Yoy has only been off of work Thursday and Friday. 

The Yoys and I have had intense togetherness over the past week.  At one point, we hadn't left the house in 48 hours due to cold temperatures.

MOM. MOM. MOM. MOM. MOMMY. MOM. MRS. YOY. LADY IN THE KITCHEN. CRYING INTO HER COKE. FEED ME. NOW. MOM. MOM. MOMMY. PLEASE.

I've grown accustomed to having eight glorious hours to myself each day.  I'll admit, I'm spoiled.  And I wasn't ready to give that up.

So as I sit here in the dark, writing, shell-shocked from the past week, I look back at my parenting decisions and shake my head in shame.  I didn't bring my A game.  I didn't bring any game.

I dug deep to make it through bed time tonight.  Mr. Yoy left for the office around ten.  The plan was to have dinner together.  In my fantasy, he'd also put the boys to bed while I rocked in the fetal position on our unmade bed.  That didn't happen. He's still at work.

As I ran the bath water, the Yoys invented a farting noise game.  Both intriguing and stimulating, I know.  This is what nasty little boys do, for all my friends with daughters.

They kept sticking out their little tongues and making the fart noise over and over again.  They laughed with hysteria as they bathed the bonus room in their saliva. 

THE NEXT YOYSER TO MAKE THAT NOISE LOSES THEIR TONGUE.

Well played, Mrs. Yoy.  I just threatened to cut my kids' tongues out of their mouths.  That seems logical.  And totally in control of the situation.  Also, note to self, take it easy on the Hunger Games movies.

Some positive takeaways from the week:
1) Everyone is alive.
2) Baths sometimes happened.
3) Food was provided.  

Tomorrow morning I will give the bus driver the biggest hello hug of her life.

Good night, friends!


Normally there is a no jumping on furniture rule.  Today we played a game to see how far Big E could jump.  He almost bounced off my beloved ottoman right into the fire place.  I didn't even flinch.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Big E: Weight Watchers Newest Meeting Leader

Today, I ventured out with the Yoys for the first time in 48 hours.  I had forgotten what sunlight and fresh air felt like on my dried out, dusty winter skin.

We hit up my Weight Watchers meeting to get a reinforcement of how I should eat on Thanksgiving.  Lifting up the buffet table and sliding everything into my unhinged jaws is not highly recommended.

I laid down the ground rules for the Yoys.  No talking.  They each brought books to keep them occupied and quiet.

IN ORDER TO AVOID OVEREATING, WHAT IS A GOOD SNACK TO PACK?

Many of the members chimed in with their snack ideas.

I looked over and Big E had his hand anxiously waving in the air.  He was begging to be called on.

WHEN I GO TO THE PLAYGROUND, I PACK RAISINS AND A STRING CHEESE AND KEEP IT IN MY POCKET SO I DON'T HAVE TO RUN ALL THE WAY BACK TO MY MOMMY TO GET MY FOOD.

Applause all around for Big E's genius idea.  Which I came up with, by the way.

He looked over at me and winked.

I burst out laughing.

WHAT TIMES ARE YOU MOST SUSCEPTIBLE TO SNACKING?

Oh no, he's at it again.

WHEN I COME HOME FROM SCHOOL I LIKE TO HAVE A NICE AFTERNOON SNACK.

Again, applause all around.  I'm not buying it.  This is a class about not over snacking and snacking wisely.  Big E weights 39 pounds soaking weight.  There's no need to rub in his amazing metabolism and rock hard abs.  Braggart.

WHAT COULD YOU DO WHILE WATCHING TV INSTEAD OF MINDLESS SNACKING?

Please, lord, don't let my son raise his hand.  Oh, but he did.

YOU COULD JUST SIT AND ENJOY YOUR SHOW.

So much applause.  What in the hell?  Of course I could just sit and enjoy my show, but I could enjoy my show exponentially more with my face in a tub of hummus.

Finally, the thirty minutes was up.  My kid had participated the most out of every member in there.  One lady came up to us to tell me how smart she thought the Yoys were.

THANKS, THEY ARE SOMETHING.

It was all I could muster.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Big E: Thankswriting

My main mothering goal in life is to raise boys that grow into respectful, well-mannered, and productive young doctors men.

It will be my greatest legacy. 

There are days that I think the Yoys have no hope.  They bark orders at me. There isn't a please or thank you to be uttered.  It's disheartening.

Other days, it comes organically and my smile is as wide as the ocean.

Today's life lesson for Big E was the thank you note.  Up until now, I've authored his thank you notes.  But now that he is six and has semi-legible handwriting, I've turned it over to him.

Big E has seven thank you notes to write. 

In the three hours since I suggested he write thank yous, he's made it through two.  And it was painful.  He requested a snack break after note one.  Hopefully, he can get the remaining five buttoned up by the time his birthday rolls around again in 2015.


His notes also come with artwork.





Thursday, November 20, 2014

Little E, Little Sick

This morning I received a call from Little E's teacher.  He was complaining of a belly ache.  I told her I'd be over to school ASAP to grab him.  I quickly tucked my long nightgown into my yoga pants, creating a giant donut effect around my mid-section.  Luckily, I was still wearing my coat from the morning bus stop run as my house was a balmy 66.  With my coat on, no one was wiser to my clothing hijinks underneath.  Off to school I went.

Little E seemed fine when I arrived and his teacher told me he had cried when she told him I was coming to retrieve him.  He claimed to feel much better, but I signed him out anyway.  I had been saving all of my errands for today.  Little E's illness could potentially destroy my productivity.

I asked him if he felt well enough to run to Toys R Us to grab Big E's birthday present and Costco to get drinks for the Thanksgiving party tomorrow at school.

He gave me the thumbs up, so we were on our way.

We were on 285 one exit shy of Costco when I heard the gurgling noises from behind me.  I turned around to see Little E vomiting all over himself, the car, the stack of learning books next to him, and every little crack and crevice you can find in the back seat of the car.  And it was brown.  Just like the chocolate milk I ask him not to drink each morning at school breakfast.

He began crying.

WHAT IS THIS?!?!

Little E turned four in July and up until today, he has never vomited.  It was a pretty good streak he had going.  I thought he was immune to the nasties that were always floating around class.  I thought wrong.

OH NO! OH NO! OH NO!

I drove to the next exit and immediately looped back around to head home.

MOMMY, GET IT OFF ME!

I had no towels, no change of clothes, no wipes.  Nothing.

I was utterly unprepared.  I had gambled and lost.  Big time.  I felt terrible for dragging him around town with a bad tummy.  I was the worst mom ever.

We rushed home.  I stripped him, put him in the hot bath, and scrubbed him clean.  He played in the tub for an hour.  I thought his skin would fall off.  

He's currently resting on the couch.

I'm currently bleaching the back seat of my car.

A red shirt AND a red blanket?  He'll be just fine.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Birthday Eve Ramblings from Big E

Tomorrow, Big E turns six.  

Mr. Yoy and I have made it 1/3 of the way to Big E's technical adulthood.  But who are we kidding?  We all know this kid is a scammer and will probably live off us until he is at least forty. 

Either way,  I'm really excited about this birthday.  I feel like we are moving into a new stage of independence and growth.  At dinner tonight I talked with Big E about what he expects to accomplish in his upcoming seventh year on this planet.

I WANT TO READ ALL THE BOOKS IN THE WORLD.

I WANT TO BUY THE REST OF THE LEGO CITY SETS.

I WANT TO STAY UP LATER.

CAN YOU STILL HAVE BABIES?  BECAUSE IF YOU CAN, I WANT A BABY BROTHER OR SISTER?

Hold up.  Stop the music.  I was way, way, way on board with all of his stated goals.  Even the Lego thing.  Up until the last one.

For the record, I am a spring chicken and could pop out at least three or four more kids, if I really wanted to.  And as much as I'd love to eat my face off and pack on an easy 50 pounds for the sake of my unborn child, that is a pretty big request. So, I deferred to Mr. Yoy.

YOU'LL HAVE TO ASK DADDY ABOUT THAT LAST ONE.

I quickly changed the topic and mentioned that in twelve short years he'd be moving out to attend Harvard.  Boston is really lovely in the fall, I assured him.

I looked over at Little E.  His bottom lip stuck out and began to quiver.

WHAT'S THE MATTER BUDDY?

He lost it.

I DON'T EVER WANT TO LEAVE YOU, MOMMY!

And even though I knew I should say something like, oh you'll be ready to go, I just told him he could live at home forever.  And attend Georgia Tech.  


The day my water broke.



Are You There Vicodin? It's Me, Mrs. Yoy.

The bus comes at 7:09AM.  It's early.  And mornings can be rushed and stressful. And by can be, I mean they consist of 30 minutes of me gently urging my offspring to hurry up.  A snail's pace will not cut the time deadline looming upon us.

This morning was especially rushed, as the wind chill is 21 degrees and I needed to put three shirts, a sweatshirt, a puffy jacket, and a hat on each of the boys.  I am from Florida AND I am jewish, so of course I'm going to completely overreact to the latest cold snap.

The boys were in their playroom picking out which books to bring on the bus and to school.  Because why waste the 14 minutes they are on the bus looking out the window?  Learn. Learn. Learn, slackers.

I was in the front hall.  Putting on two hats, my gloves, long underwear, and hanging a portable heater around my neck.  And then I heard the idling.

SH*T!  IS THAT THE BUS?

I pushed up the four sweatshirts I was donning to check the time on my watch: 7:07.  If that's the bus, she's early.

The bus stop is only 100 yards down hill.  I throw open the front door and peek out.  Yup.  It's her.

I yell out.  Except I'm at the end of a week-long cold and have zero voice.  Like nothing.  I might as well be mouthing to her.

Obviously, she doesn't hear me.  I wave her down.  The boys do hear my squeaks and go running out the front door.

I tell Little E to hurry.  His little legs try their best, but his speed is consistent with that of a broken down car.

Big E flies out of the house.  Except he left his back pack.  So now I'm running down the hill after him.  Which would be fine.  I'm all for exercising.  But I threw my back out on Friday lifting weights at CrossFit.  I've been popping Advil and icing/heating my back ever since.  It's no better and my sprinting down hill causes flashes of hot pain to radiate up my spine.  With every Ugg boot I plant on the sidewalk, I curse under my breath.

But my kids made the bus.  With all their sh*t in tow.

Now I'm back to bed to dream of narcotics and their numbing effect on my lower back.

Waaaaiiiiiitttttttttt!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cashews: Not Our Best Idea

Yesterday afternoon we attended our second wedding of the weekend.

As we waited for the buffet to open, my children made it very clear they were both starving to death.  In the same reception room their own parents had celebrated their wedding, the fruits of said wedding were about to become rotten, fall off the tree, and perish.  Oh, the drama.

Dinner was served and Mr. Yoy and I knocked some people over in an effort to feed our starving children.  We grabbed what was quick and easy.

I threw some dollops of hummus and cut up pita on a plate.  Mr. Yoy grabbed a giant bowl of cashews from the soup station.

Little E happily chowed down on the cashews.  Big E was more apprehensive.

AREN'T I ALLERGIC TO CASHEWS?

I thought about it.  His one food reaction has been to walnuts.  All other nuts he has eaten with no issues.  But has he eaten cashews?  I couldn't recall.

EAT THEM, IT'S FINE.

Mostly because his whining had sent me over the edge and I could no longer listen to it and also properly parent.

Within minutes, Big E complained that his tongue felt weird.  He used the napkins to rub his tongue.  I looked, but couldn't see anything.  His face was pretty chapped from spending Saturday evening at an outdoor farm wedding, so I couldn't decipher if he had hives or dry skin.

Big E settled down after a few minutes, but he did turn down dessert.  Then he complained about his belly.  We decided now was a good time to head home.

As we loaded up into Mr. Yoy's brand new car, I prayed to the vomit gods to be kind.

We pulled over somewhere off Bohler and Big E yacked his brains out.  And then he was fine.

Parenting fail.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Big E, Little Person

Friday we flew up to New Jersey to visit my brother and his family.

We navigated the Newark airport with ease.  It was pretty empty in the middle of the afternoon.  As we walked the long, carpeted halls I saw in the distance a person approaching us.  Just one person.

As she came closer, I quickly realized she was a Little Person.

My kids have never seen a Little Person before.  I panicked because I knew there would be stares and comments.  Not in a hurtful way, but in a very curious way.

It was just us and her on a collision course.  There were no other people, no back ground music, nothing except the occasional airplane to drown out the questions I knew would come.

How was I going to escape this situation unscathed?  I quickly came up with a game plan.  I was going to start asking Big E random questions to keep him engaged.  I wasn't super concerned about Little E as half the time he is living on another planet.

WHAT GAMES DO YOU WANT TO TEACH COUSIN N?

ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE THE DOG OUTSIDE TO PLAY FETCH WITH HIM?

DO YOU WANT TO WALK TO THE TRAIN STATION AND WATCH THE TRAINS?

Big E half-heartedly answered my rapid fire questions because he had already locked and loaded his eyes on the woman.  Something looked different and even as a mere 5 year old, he knew it.  And it was written all over his mouth gaping, 5 year old face.

I tugged on Big E's arm to speed him up as we passed her.  He pulled his arm free and slowly spun himself around so that he didn't lose sight of her.

When she was out of ear shot I breathed a big, fat sigh of relief.  Big E finally turned back around and joined us on our walk to baggage claim.  He looked at me like he had eaten the canary.  I know he wanted to ask me about the Little Person and I know I should have addressed it.  I just didn't have the energy to answer the millions of questions that would have followed.


My mothering skills were put to test.  If it only Newark was scattered with these guys instead.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Big E: He Lives For The Applause (Applause, Applause)

This afternoon I spent the better part of an hour picking out both warm AND stylish outfits for the boys to wear on our weekend jaunt to New Jersey.  I folded everything neatly and placed the clothes in the bonus room where I would decide which suitcase to bring once I had packed my things.

During a post bath, Lady Gaga fueled dance psychosis, Big E decided to Swedish Chef all my hard work.  I was blissfully unaware of this as I lotioned up Little E and painfully inched him into a pair of footed pajamas.

I falsely believed I was nearing the end of my Thursday to-do list.  But, alas, I was not.


I've looked at it long enough.  Time to refold and reorganize and pack.  New Jersey, here we come!

Mrs. Yoy: Power Down

As I drove the Yoys home from a playdate last night, we drove by the Georgia Power plant.  It was letting off some serious steam.

MOM, WHY IS THERE SO MUCH SMOKE?

Since it is now illegal to type on your phone while driving, I was unable to google the sh*t out of this question.  I also do not get along with Siri, so she was out of the question.

UM, WELL, THAT IS THE GEORGIA POWER PLANT THAT GENERATES THE ELECTRICITY WE USE. (all probably true facts. so far, so good) THE STEAM IS THE RELEASE OF HEAT GENERATED FROM THE ELECTRICITY. 

My answer was followed by silence.  A long silence.  Maybe I had quenched his thirst for power plant knowledge.  This made me happy as I was entering uncharted territory. 

Even though I've lived in the shadow of this power plant for eight plus years, I have no clue as to how that thing works.  As long as I can charge my phone and heat my food, I'm a happy girl.  For all I know the steam could be poisonous.  It probably is, I'm just too frightened to find out.

WHY DOES THE ELECTRICITY CAUSE STEAM?

Big E lobbed a big fat one in from the backseat.

I sighed.  I was too tired to bullish*t.

I DON'T KNOW, BIG E.

Again, he was silent.  Momentarily.

MOM, I THOUGHT YOU WERE GIFTED.

I winced.

OUCH. 

At least the stack came down last year.  Although now I have a hard time finding my house.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Big E: Just Say No

This week is Red Ribbon Week at school.  What is Red Ribbon Week I hear all of you wondering?

It's a national campaign to raise awareness of the death and destruction caused by drugs in our country.  They are keeping things light and care-free for my four and five year-old.

I suppose it is never too early to learn about the dangers of drugs, but I'm not sure if my kids even understand what all this means, except they get to dress up in a different theme for each day of the week.

Neither Yoy has asked me any drug related questions, but I have my speech all prepared, especially the ending.

...WINE IS TECHNICALLY A DRUG, BUT IT IS LEGAL AND YOU GUYS ARE RELENTLESS.  THE END.

Fast forward to bath time this evening, I asked Big E to strip down and hop in the bath so he could get clean.

CLEAN FROM DRUGS?

I'm sure my eyes bulged out of my head.  I guess he WAS listening to his teacher.

UM NO, CLEAN FROM BOOGERS, CANDY, AND DIRT.  THANKS.


On a side note, better than any campaign or curriculum they could use would be my parents' strategy:

MRS. YOY'S MOM AND DAD: LOSERS DO DRUGS.  DO YOU WANT TO BE A LOSER AND WORK AT A FAST FOOD RESTAURANT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE MAKING MINIMUM WAGE?

ME: NOPE. I HAVE EXPENSIVE TASTE AND WILL STICK TO WINE.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Big E: Starving Artist

Today I chaperoned Big E's class, who along with the four other K classes, went to the High Museum of Art.

The kids were super amped to head off campus.

We were assigned a docent upon arrival.  She was super southern.  Her name was Anna.  Like the girl from Frozen.  So immediately everyone had to tell her she had the same name as the Disney movie character.  She was neither amused nor excited about this nugget.

Then she laid down the rules:
1) No Running
2) Inside Voices
3) Keep an adult arm's length away from every painting, sculpture, and other unidentifiable object in the museum.
4) No Food or Drinks

It was like a torture chamber for kindergarteners.

Note to self, don't volunteer to chaperone the next trip to the art museum.  Pick somewhere indestructible, like the aquarium. Or Stonehenge.  

I glanced over at Big E's teacher.  This was going to be interesting.  Luckily, we only had nine children between the two of us, even if seven of them were rambunctious boys.

The kids started strong.  They all raised their hands and participated.

They (and I) learned about background and foreground.  Horizontal and vertical objects. Shapes.  It was like an intro to art class.  Anna navigated us through the paintings and (sometimes naked) sculptures.  

WHY IS THAT LADY NOT WEARING A SHIRT?

LOOK AT HIS BUTT!

They are five and six, so I'm expecting comments similar to a fraternity pledge.

By 10:30 the rumbles of tummies led to the rumbling of the group.

I'M SO HUNGRY.  I'M STARVING.  I NEED LUNCH.

In their defense, it was their usual lunchtime of 10:30.

Anna tried mightily to keep them engaged and interested, but she was fighting a losing battle.  These kids needed a Snickers and badly.

Kids began getting antsy.  Wayward arms and legs flew about.  I vomited in my mouth after one little boy swung his sweatshirt around and it came within inches of a painting.  I saw the panic in Anna's eyes, too.  The sh*t was about to get real.

Big E completely turned off around 10:30.  He is like me.  When he is hungry, he morphs into the most horrible human on the planet.  He glared.  He scowled.  He refused to participate.

Anna remained ever patient and escorted us to the project room where the kids worked with an artist to make their own masterpieces.  This seemed to distract them from their starving chant.

After lunch, everyone was restored and ready to run wild.  Unfortunately, we were in an art museum.

I've never been so happy to sit down on a public school bus.  We had made it.  No artwork had been destroyed.  No modern furniture had been sat upon.  

And exhale.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

You Can Stand Under My Umbrella, Part 2

We are deep into the 2014-15 school year.  The boys have adjusted well to the routine, including riding the school bus.  This morning we had our first rainy bus stop wait of the school year.

I dressed the boys in their matching green rain coats.  Little E gave me some push back.  He wanted to wear a Thomas rain coat a friend had given us.  The problem is, Little E needs to grow about a foot before it actually fits him.

Big E has a little umbrella that came with his rain boots.  Otherwise, he would not have one.  I grew up in Florida.  It rained pretty much all the time.  Even when it wasn't raining, it was so humid that there was always a layer of moisture coating my skin.

Little E does not have an umbrella.  This is an integral fact in this story.  I brought my giant red umbrella to the bus stop for us to share.

This was not acceptable to Little E.  He began to whine and cry.

I WANT MY OWN UMBRELLA!

He wanted me to leave them alone at the bus stop and run to Target and pick him up an umbrella STAT.  He was relentless.  I cursed Mr. Yoy, who remained bundled up in bed, while I stood at the bus stop being assaulted by rain and our youngest son.

Big E was of zero help.  He wouldn't let Little E hold his umbrella.  He taunted him.  Little E's tantrum began to swell.

As the bus pulled up, Little E was in full-on, academy award winning crying mode.

Big E bounded up the steps to the bus, without his umbrella.  There is no way I'm sending that to school with him.  I can just see the sword fighting now.

Little E refused to board the bus.  I picked him up and he went limp noodle on me.  As I lifted him up to the bus, he hooked his feet under the bus.  Good lord.  I was not prepared for a morning battle.  I palmed his booty and assisted him up the stairs.

So many tears.  Big E grabbed Little E's hand and took him to their seat.

I turned and strode up the hill towards home.

And that's how I came to drink wine at 7:30 AM.



Monday, October 13, 2014

Big E: Straw Poll

Today is Day 5 (and the final day) of Fall Break.

What is Fall Break you may wonder?

It's some bullsh*t break invented by the Atlanta Public School system.  My out-of-town friends and family couldn't believe that the boys went back to school in early August.  But they also don't have Fall Break.  Mostly because they reside in South Florida and don't have things like seasons.

My mom flew up on Thursday to help out with the Yoys.  Today we took them to the mall to kill some time before we had to drop Grandma off at the airport. (tears)

We spent three hours bumming around.  After lunch we decided to leave.

Big E had been nursing a Starbucks water for a few hours.  He dropped the straw on the food court floor and went to use it.  With all the nasty things going around, I asked him not to put it back in his cup and we got him a new straw.

Big E began whining about which escalator we were going to take to get down to the bottom floor.  Proof that our mall time had expired.

I turned around to see him running his new clean straw along the mall's hand railing.  For like twenty feet.

BIG E!  WE JUST GOT YOU A CLEAN STRAW.  YOU CAN'T USE IT NOW, YOU JUST RAN IT ALONG A HAND RAILING!

He began to whine.  He WANTED to use this dirty straw.

I was getting tired and my superb patience and parenting skills were waning.  I turned around and kept walking.

ENJOY YOUR RHINOVIRUS!

I yelled out in frustration to no one in particular.

A mom, walking at a much faster pace, was passing by right when I let out that snarky gem.

She kept walking for two more paces, stopped in her tracks, turned around, and started laughing.

Because she got it.

MY DAUGHTER WON'T KEEP HER FINGERS OUT OF HER MOUTH AND IT MAKES ME CRAZY.

We had a moment right there in the mall.  We exchanged a few war stories about our offsprings' affinity for eating germs and then she was on her way.

The sisterhood of motherhood, it's a beautiful thing.








Friday, October 3, 2014

Mrs. Yoy's Mantra: Bread Crumbs, Not Bodies

Wednesday evening found us on the banks of the Chattahoochee.

We were meeting some of our friends to participate in Tashlikh in conjunction with the Jewish New Year.

In summary, you throw bread crumbs into the water to cast off your sins from the last year and start this year anew.

As we drove to the river I laid the ground rules for the Yoys.  Really there was just one rule:

WE ARE THROWING BREAD CRUMBS INTO THE CHATTAHOOCHEE, NOT OUR BODIES.

There are many things in the river that you don't want to come into contact with:

1) Trash
2) Pollutants
3) Chemicals
4) Dead Bodies
5) Mutant Fish

Initially, the boys and their buddies obeyed.

They threw rocks and sticks into the river.  It was very A River Runs Through It.

The sun was setting and the light glistening off the river waters was lovely.  I was amazed at the beauty we found in the middle of the bustling city.

Fingers and toes began to creep closer to the water.  A shoe. Then another shoe. Then shoes were off and they were wading in the cold, dark, mysterious water. Then Little E climbed a slippery stone and busted a** into the river.  He was drenched from the waist down.  And with that, it was over.

The kids began to wade out into the river.  All eleven of them.  They laughed and splashed and had a grand old time.  Little E submerged himself.  When did this transform into a Baptism?

All while their Jewish mothers stood along the shore.  Shaking their heads in amazement.  Fretting.  Googling Flesh-Eating Bacteria. Because that's what we do.

We were able to lure the kids back to shore to say the prayer and toss the bread into the water.  Little E chowed down on his slice of bread.  According to him, his behavior was so exemplary over the past year, he was exempt from Tashlikh.

Happy New Year to my friends and family!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Big E: Always Be Catalog Selling

This afternoon, my new neighbor innocently rang my doorbell.  Her car battery was dead and she wondered if I could drive over and jump her car.

Of course I could, but first, what is a car battery?  Kidding.  Sort of.

She had the jumper cables and actually knew where they went so I just popped the hood and let her work her magic.

Big E saw this as an opportunity.  He ran in the house and gathered all of his fall fundraiser catalogs.  He was finally going to get his chance to close the deal with a neighbor.

He went through his whole spiel and pressed for the hard sell on the cookie dough.  I felt bad and I didn't want her to think that she had to buy something from him.  Even if we were jumping her car and saving her from calling AAA.

I told her we'd bake up the cookie dough we'd already purchased and bring some cookies over to her and her daughter another day.

That seemed to appease Big E, the closer.

Have you thought about the Chanukah wrapping paper?  It's a great deal!

Big E, Little Modesty

Big E got into big trouble at school on Friday.

He and a few of his classmates thought it would be HI-LARIOUS if they pulled down their shorts and undies in the cafeteria during lunchtime.  It was not. Because no one wants to see your hot dog while they are actually eating a hot dog.

Big E's teacher sent a note home in his backpack detailing the incident.  He knew he had messed up.  Upon arriving home from school, Big E ran into his playroom and shut the door so he could "be alone with his toys and his backpack".  Maybe he thought he could destroy the evidence, but I'm too sharp for this kid.  Because I've been a kid.  Although, I was perfect and never got into any trouble.

I sat down and asked Big E why he had done this and explained why it was inappropriate.  While everyone was laughing at it today, he could find himself in real trouble if he continued showing his privates in public.  He seemed to grasp why I was so upset and disappointed in him.  Shower, yes.  Bedroom, yes.  Salad bar, no.

Once I had gathered the full story,  I called Mr. Yoy to discuss punishment.  Big E could either miss Bingo Night that evening (which he has been waiting for for precisely 364 days) or he could go a week without any screen time.  No TV.  No computer. No Leap Pad. No iPhone.  Just a boy and his old school toys.

Big E chose to give up his screen time.  Amazingly.  Although after he didn't win at Bingo he tried to negotiate his way out of the contract he wrote up and signed.

Yep, we made him write up a contract saying he was to have no screen time for a week.  And then sign it.  And because we are super mean parents, we made him write a seemingly insurmountable amount of times the following:

I WILL NOT PULL MY PANTS DOWN IN PUBLIC.

Big E cried his way through his writing punishment.  He yelled at me for being mean.  But I was just as upset.  I had the kid that didn't know when it was appropriate to show his privates.  He will be six in about seven weeks and he is old enough to know.

We are on day five of no screen time.  The first day was rough.  He cried for it. He "NEEDED" it.  But it was not oxygen.  It was not water.  It was not food.

I directed him towards his playroom full of toys and he began to play and keep himself entertained.  The old fashioned way.  Today we took Sorry outside and played a few cut throat games on the front patio.  Big E made no mention of the television.

With the exception of the Lego eating incident, I have been surprisingly pleased at how quickly my kids adapted to the no screen time rule this week.

It makes me seriously consider doing this on a more frequent basis.




L'eggo My Lego

Yesterday I made a run to Publix with my visiting mom.  She was helping me pick out food for my Rosh Hashanah dinner menu.

We delegated the task of grabbing the Yoys from the bus stop and watching them until we returned home from Publix to my dad, Poppy.  It was a mere thirty minutes.  Whatever could go wrong?

I pulled into the garage, popped the trunk, and hopped out of the car.  I immediately heard horror movie type screams coming from inside.

I threw open the door.  Big E stood there.  Hysterical.

I SWALLOWED A LEGO!

My dad was flustered, to put it nicely.

I'VE TOLD HIM EVERY DAY NOT TO PUT THOSE IN HIS MOUTH AND NOW HE SWALLOWED ONE!

I tried to calm Big E down and get some details.  The piece was a 4 by 1, for all of you Lego professionals out there.

I DON'T WANT TO BE CUT OPEN!

It was time to spring into action.  I called Mr. Yoy.  He didn't seem impressed by our current crisis.  I hung up with him and called his doctor.  Because the Lego was plastic, the nurse said Big E will pass it in his bowels within the next 48 hours.

I DON'T WANT TO POOP IT OUT!  IT'S GOING TO HURT!

Oy.

So now we are just waiting.  And I've been relegated the task of searching poop until the ingested Lego is found.  Those 12 bottles of Apothic White wine I bought on sale at Publix will definitely come in handy.

I just hope the offending Lego piece isn't a vital part to their Lego Police Station, because there is no amount of bleach that will save it.





Monday, September 15, 2014

The Yoys: Bloody Hell

It began with escalating yelling from the playroom.  From my well-worn spot on the sofa, it sounded like Little E was repeatedly wrecking something Big E was building.  Typical annoying little brother stuff.

Before I could intervene, I heard one final yell and then a scream so high that all the neighborhood dogs were beckoned to my front door.

I ran to a hysterical Little E.

WHAT HAPPENED?

No response.  Just silent crying.

HE WAS RUINING MY BUILDING!  HE KEPT GRABBING THE BLOCKS.  I HIT HIM IN THE HEAD.

Big E spoke up.  His bottom lip was quivering.  He knew he was in the dog house.

For the record, Little E was having a rough week as I'd already tried to wipe off his face with a soccer ball.

I knelt down to try and soothe him. I couldn't tell where the point of impact was. Maybe his forehead? There was a smudge of blood.  Maybe Big E had cut him with the magnetic blocks.

It was only then did I notice the drip, drip, drip of blood onto my hardwoods.

WHERE IN THE HELL IS THAT COMING FROM?!

I bounded up the stairs to grab a wash cloth to put on Little E's gusher.

I found the cut in his hair, behind his ear.  It was a doozy.  

I yelled something at Big E about how his brother would look like Freddy Krueger by the time they both left for college.  His once porcelain skin would be a road map of old fights and scars.

Big E ran upstairs and hid.

I called my dear friend, Nurse C.  

CAN I COME OVER TO SHOW YOU LITTLE E'S GUSHING HEAD WOUND?

Big E bolted to the car.  He was super pumped about this last minute play date.  I was so upset with him I could barely speak.

In five minutes, Nurse C was working her magic on Little E.  No stitches for him, thank goodness.  His tears subsided, especially after Nurse C handed him a frozen pop.

NURSE C, WILL YOU BE MY BEST FRIEND?

We returned home with Nurse C's $500 medical bill and instructions to not wash Little E's hair for a day.

I got to work on the trail of dried blood.  I scrubbed the floors until all evidence of bloodshed was gone.  I just hope no one goes all CSI on this place and sprays that sh*t and shines that light on the floor right outside the playroom.

IT LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE IS TRYING TO HIDE SOMETHING, DETECTIVE!

I sure am!  My ineptitude to raise peaceful, loving sons.


Weapons of mass destruction.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mrs. Yoy: Break It Like Beckham

This afternoon we were playing on the school playground.  It was mostly deserted and the boys were getting b-o-r-e-d.

We decided to play a harmless game of soccer.

Little E and I versus Big E.

Little E mostly ran around, played some hopscotch, and sucked his thumb.  He was not a very solid teammate.

Even in my dress and Croc sandals, I was determined to destroy Big E.  I lined up for a big kick and fired away.

I'd like to blame my rubber sandals for my misfire, but it might just be my soccer ineptitude.

The ball fired off the side of my foot and straight into Little E's face, a mere five feet away.

I gasped.

Little E began screaming.

MOMMY, YOU HURTED ME!  MOMMY, THAT HURTED!

Over and over again.

Oy, the guilt.  I felt horrible.  Big E immediately recovered the ball and scored on me while I comforted his baby brother.  He is clearly soul-less.

So many tears fell down Little E's sweaty red face.  Tears welled up in my eyes, too.

IT HURTED ME, TOO, LITTLE E.  IN MY HEART.

These have been my go-to summer sandals.  I walked 27 miles in them when we went to Vegas and I had no blisters.  Great for gambling, not so great for soccer.

Little E: Dousing Flames

Up until the start of school, Little E was still peeing like a girl.  

I knew once school began the lure of the tiny urinals would convert Little E to a stand-up urinator, but I was delaying this as long as possible.

You see, last year I painted their bathroom wall a beautiful blue.  I purchased a new shower curtain and coordinating rugs that I really loved and enjoyed.  I'd walk into their bathroom and smile.  I had actually successfully decorated a space in my home without the use of a designer.  It was perfect.

And I wasn't about to let a bunch of urine destroy my dream.

But as I predicted, Little E began to ask to use the toilet standing up.  And you know what, his aim was pretty decent.

What WAS I worried about anyway?

And then I remembered.

Little E must have been hallucinating before bath time on Monday.  I think he believed the bathroom wall was on fire and was in need of a hose down.  So he graciously provided the "water".  He soaked the wall and even my leg as I was bent over putting the plug down in the tub.  I'd say 0% actually made it into the toilet.

After the shock of being peed on wore off, I gave the bathroom and myself a good bleaching, but the smell of urine still lingers.  

My beautiful bathroom has been transformed into a public restroom and for that, I am sad.

Foreshadowing 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mrs. Yoy: Bring On The Bookcases!

Last week Mr. Yoy visited Washington, D.C. for work and like any good daddy, returned with presents for the Yoys.

One was a 3D puzzle of the White House and the other was a fake Lego, which I will from now on refer to as Flego, of Air Force One.

The boys' eyes lit up when they saw their gifts. I just saw a giant headache in the making.

On Saturday, while Mr. Yoy was at the office, the boys decided they wanted to put together the Flego plane.  I opened the box and the bag and handed the instructions to Big E.

GOOD LUCK, BUDDY.

And with that, I returned to the kitchen to clean up breakfast.

MOM. MOM. MOM. MOM. MOM.

CAN YOU HELP ME WITH THIS?

I knew this moment would come.  I gulped down some Coke Zero, swept the cobwebs from my brain, and sat down on the floor in the playroom with the Flego instructions.

The Flegos instructions were most likely printed in the same factory as the Ikea instructions.

IS THIS IN SWEDISH?  AND IS IT UPSIDE DOWN?

This well-intentioned "present" cost me two hours of my Saturday.  I've previously mentioned that I'm horrible at these build projects, and yet they keep showing up at my home.

I had sweat dripping in the cracks behind my knees.  My kids were impatiently hovering above me.  Every time I attempted to put on one of the 17 stickers it came with, Little E would knock my arm or jump on my back.

Here I am, performing sticker surgery on this thing, and my helper keeps sabotaging me.  I'm pretty sure he was doing it on purpose.  He could smell the blood in the water.

And here it is.  The stickers look busted, but it was finished.

I use the term "was", because by the time I came back from our Saturday night out, the boys had already destroyed the parts not kept together by stickers.  It may have been the many spiked Arnold Palmers I drank that evening, but I definitely shed a tear for the remnants of Flego Air Force One I discovered scattered by the back door.

The pilot is still MIA.







Friday, September 5, 2014

Little E: Bilingual?

This afternoon we met some friends at the local Chick-Fil-A for some indoor playground time and an early meal.

My friend and I watched our four crazy boys through the extra thick glass.  We weren't about to enter the play area where their laughs and yells were amplified to deafening levels.

But we watched other kids' moms go in there and sit on the germ infested bench and slowly bake to death.

I noticed Little E was getting very chatty with a few of the moms.  I could see his mouth moving, but had no idea what information he was disseminating.  I prayed it wasn't anything incriminating or personal.  Or both.

One of the moms approached me when she was leaving.

IS THAT YOUR SON IN THE BLUE THOMAS SHIRT?

Gulp. Um, yes, I guess I'll claim him.  But only if this is a good, positive story.  If not, he's my friend's son.

YES, IT IS.

She went on to explain that she was speaking to her kids in Spanish and Little E recognized it as such.

She asked him if he knew any Spanish.  He proceeded to rattle off his numbers and this little ditty:

NO HABLO INGLES.

As she made her way through the story, I felt such pride that my well-cultured four year old could pick up another language and then rattle off some words.  I smiled.  Until the last sentence.

You see, I took multiple years of Spanish growing up, and although I haven't studied it in ages, I remember un poco.  See what I did there?

Anyway, sometimes when my kids are whining and throwing tantrums and just being horrible humans, I switch languages on them.  And that is my catch phrase.

So Little E, in his southern drawl, told this lady he does not speak English.

Can I get an oy vey?




Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mrs. Yoy: Toy Ninja

The toy situation at my house was out of control.

We were long overdue for a toy purge.

This can be a very precarious process.  

Do I let the boys help me pick out the things they want to give away?  We all KNOW how that ends.  With zero toys being removed from the giant toy sh*thole that mocks me as I relax on my buttery leather couch.  

With the start of school I was finally given the time to sneakily go in there and remove things that the Yoys haven't touched in months.

I said good-bye to mega blocks, duplo blocks, one too many Chick-Fil-A toys, and a menacing Wreck-It Ralph doll.  I also earmarked some Geo Trax trains to be driven up to my brother's house when my parents roll through in a few weeks.

I was feeling cleansed.  Organized.  I dumped the toys into trash bags and labeled them for their final destinations.  I moved the black bags into my trunk.  Guilt crept into my thoughts.  But I shut that down fast.  It's not like I was dumping a dead body.  Just some old wooden puzzles.

For FOUR weeks I didn't hear a peep about any missing toys.  Victory was mine. And it was glorious.

Until Tuesday.

MOM, WHERE ARE MY MEGA BLOCKS?

GULP.

Do I play dumb?
Do I lie?
Do I drop the toy giveaway bomb on them?

In the end, I told them I gave them to Cousin Yoy as they had moved on to the big boy Legos.

Tears ensued, but I was able to distract him with the new Oriental Trading catalog. 

Like a boss.

Not our actual playroom, but makes my skin crawl all the same.  

Little E: Out of Balance

Little E has worn the same shoes since he began walking: size XW New Balance sneakers.  We may switch up the color but it is always the same shoe.  It's the only shoe I can find that will close over Little E's Fred Flintstone feet.

Currently he is rocking a gray pair.  I bought them right before school started, so they are still in pretty good shape.

Last week, I got a call from one of Little E's teachers.  Anytime I get a call from school I expect the worst.

At some point during the day, Little E had ended up with another student's gray New Balances.  His teacher requested I send them back the next day.

I checked his shoes as soon as the bus dropped him off.  Sure enough they were a size smaller and were just W, not XW.  I pictured Cinderella and laughed at the visual of Little E jamming his foot into the wrong shoe.

I thought it and my mom and Mr. Yoy both asked it.

HOW DID HE NOT REALIZE HE WAS WEARING THE WRONG SHOES IN THE WRONG SIZE?

He just didn't.

The day before he hopped off the bus with his shoes on the wrong feet and was able to run full speed up the hill to our house.

That's my boy!

Fits like a glove.

The gold standard in fat feet footwear.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Little E: Thinking With His Heart

This week, Little E's class is learning about their different body parts.

At the dinner table, Little E was eager to show off his newfound anatomy knowledge.

MOM. THE BRAIN IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR BODY.

As he proclaimed the brain's importance, he pointed dramatically at his heart.

His face beamed with pride and I just didn't have the heart (see what I did there) to correct him.









Monday, August 25, 2014

The Yoys: Spaghetti Squash < Spaghetti

During a recent weight watchers meeting, a lady described how she used spaghetti squash to replace spaghetti in her recipes.  If this was for real, this would be a jackpot for the Yoys.

Big E would be content manhandling his way through a giant bowl of buttery spaghetti for every meal until eternity.

The problem is, it has zero nutritional value.  But if I can get him to eat a steaming bowl of squash disguised as spaghetti, that would be the greatest mind game I've ever played on him.

So I bought the spaghetti squash about ten days ago.  I put it in my fruit bowl and let it intimidate me for about a week.  I'm no Bobby Flay and the thought of cooking something new was daunting.

But not for Mr. Yoy, who threw that thing in the oven last night and we had "pasta" with our chicken and brussel sprouts.

I reheated the remainder of the squash for dinner tonight.  I threw on a little butter and parmesan and presented it to the Yoys.

UH, WHAT IS THAT?

Big E busted me .5 seconds in.  He can sniff out something nutritious from a mile away.

WHY DOES IT LOOK DIFFERENT?

I wasn't going to lose my cool, yet.

OH, IT'S JUST A DIFFERENT BRAND OF SPAGHETTI, BUT IT TASTES THE SAME. EAT UP.

I probably don't even have to tell you how this ends, because you already know.  It ends the same way my from scratch organic chicken tenders went.  And my organic, slow-cooked macaroni and cheese went.

There was an obscene amount of gagging and fake throwing up.

He must be warming up for tonight's Emmy awards.

Sigh.

Fail!

Mrs.Yoy: Case of Mistaken Identity

Saturday night was date night.

Mr. Yoy and I hit up a foot spa before gorging ourselves at Local Three.

Mr. Yoy and I sat side by side as we had our foot massages.  I had almost passed out when my foot rubber began whispering to me.  There are other people in the room so talking is a no-no.

IN A WHISPER:

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I came out of my coma to process his question.

FLORIDA.

Wrong answer for this guy.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM, ORIGINALLY?

He must have heard tinges of my mother tongue, the Midwestern accent.

OH, ST. LOUIS.

Still, not the answer he was looking for.

NO, WHERE DID YOU COME FROM?  I TOLD MY FRIEND YOU WERE EASTERN EUROPEAN.

This guy was going all ancestry.com on me.  Good thing I've done my research.

YES, MY FAMILY IS FROM THE UKRAINE.

He was pleased with this answer and told me how beautiful I was.  I guess he didn't realize my husband was sitting next to me or maybe he thought he could whisper it and not get into trouble.

He then began using some Russian words and it was then that I had to break his little heart.

I DON'T SPEAK RUSSIAN.  SORRY.  MY FAMILY HAS BEEN HERE SINCE ST. LOUIS HOSTED THE WORLDS FAIR IN 1904.



St. Louis, 1904




Monday, August 18, 2014

The Yoys Very Own Magic School Bus

This morning I put the Yoys on the school bus for the first time.

Mr. Yoy usually drives the kids to school.  It is the only time he sees them during the school week.  But Mr. Yoy is out of town and so I planted the school bus seed with the boys last night.  And they were amped.

The problem is, the bus comes early.  7:09 to be precise.  The boys usually are ready to go around 7:30.  So we would lose 21 precious morning minutes.  These 21 morning minutes translate to hours in real people time.  There is peeing and dressing and teeth brushing and eating and packing that all need to be done in a short amount of time.  I'm usually sweating by the time Mr. Yoy backs the car out of the driveway.

This morning I popped out of bed when the alarm went off at 6:30.  I threw on my workout clothes and went in to wake Big E first.

GOOD MORNING, BIG E!

I heard a few groans and he threw his pillow over his head.  

IF YOU DON'T GET UP, YOU CAN'T TAKE THE BUS!

He peeked out from under the pillow.

ACTUALLY, I DON'T WANT TO RIDE THE BUS.  AND YOU AREN'T ALLOWED IN MY ROOM AGAIN.

I told him I'd drive him and since we were no longer on the clock, I left him, and his case of the Mondays, in there and went downstairs to get their lunches and backpacks ready.  I'd let Little E snooze for a few more minutes.

Big E jumped out of his bed and locked the door behind me.

Lord.  This is what having a teenager must feel like.

A few minutes later Big E wandered downstairs.

ACTUALLY, I WANT TO RIDE THE SCHOOL BUS.

I looked at the clock.  6:54. Sweet.  No rush here.

I'm not really sure what happened over the next ten minutes, but we went from this:


to this:
with two minutes to spare.  We even had time to wave to our neighbors that usually run the four-way stop by the school bus stop.

And with that, they were off! I just wish I had some sort of confirmation that they made it to school.  

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lurkey Turkey

We live in a very eclectic area of Atlanta.  After emerging from the Boca Raton cocoon, I've settled in an area where I see all sorts of crazy in my neighborhood and that's part of its charm.

Our newest neighbor is a wild turkey.  And while some of my country readers may not think a turkey is that big of a deal, watching this turkey navigate the busy roads of Atlanta is pretty amazing.

Lurkey Turkey, as he as been christened, even has his own Facebook page where you can keep track of the latest community sightings.

Yesterday we drove by Lurkey hanging out in the parking lot of the local veterinarian's office, perhaps visiting some friends.  This is impressive as he managed to cross a six lane, heavily traveled road.

This was the first time we've seen him in person.  The Yoys went bananas.

IS THAT A REAL TURKEY?

CAN WE CARVE HIM UP AND EAT HIM? (cover your ears, sweet Lurkey)

They could not stop talking about the turkey.

When Little E saw Mr. Yoy this morning, it was one of the first things he had to tell him.

DADDY, WE SAW A REAL. WILD. TURKEY.

Not to be outdone, Mr. Yoy mentioned to the boys that he works with Wild Turkey.

Their eyes widened into saucers.

They are too young to realize that Mr. Yoy does legal work for the liquor brand and does not actually have a wild turkey working at his law firm.

For now, we will let their imaginations run wild.  Just like Lurkey.

Dinner, is that you?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Big E: Rise & Shine, It's Bedtime!

It's Friday night and since Mr. Yoy is STILL slaving away at the firm, I figured I'd do a little blogging.

After school today, I took the Yoys to the YMCA for an end of summer pool party. We wasted the afternoon away at the pool.  And part of the evening.  I finally got the boys in the Y shower around 7. I had them jammied and was prepared for them to "accidentally" fall asleep on the short drive home.

I got everyone situated in their car seats and put on some mood music.  Hello, classical! Now if only the sun would dive behind some clouds for the next fifteen minutes.

As usual, my expectations were too grand.  The Yoys chatted away as we made the trek towards home.  There would be no sleeping.

We arrived home, went upstairs to finish up bedtime and start reading.

I thought I was golden when Big E pulled another Dinosaur book out.  

WHY YES, I WOULD LOVE TO READ TO YOU (AGAIN) ABOUT HOW FOSSILS FORM IN MUD!

I was nodding off during the book.  Big E was pretty glazed over.  Little E was sucking away on his thumb.  This was going to be C-A-K-E.

I tucked the boys in and fell into my bed.  I contemplated calling it a night, even with my damp swimsuit and contact lens still in.  I was swimming pool tired and having a hard time self motivating myself to shower.  And unload the dishwasher.  And reload the dishwasher.  And throw a load of wet towels in the wash.

Then I heard the footsteps.  I played dead, which wasn't all that difficult.  Big E saddled up next to the bed.

MOM!  I'M JUST NOT TIRED.  I CAN'T SLEEP.

I wanted to call bullsh*t on this statement.  I was weighing the idea of giving myself pink eye rather than getting up to take my contacts out.  My son, who spent all day in school, followed by all afternoon swimming cannot fall asleep a mere 14 hours after he awoke. 

In May, I began giving Big E melatonin (or as we call it, Fluoride treatment, because there is no way he'd voluntary take something that might make him tired) on a nightly basis.  The agonizing bedtimes which stretched on for hours ended immediately.  He went right to bed every night around 7:30.  It was glorious.  But his doctor said I could try it for a month and then see if his normal sleep rhythms had returned.

I have been sporadically giving him the melatonin since.  I figured tonight would not be a night that he would need some sleep assistance.  I was wrong.

And he was amped.  And also delirious.  As I showered with no privacy, Big E worked on his chore manifesto.  He and his little brother (who was sleeping and still somehow roped into this) would do a different chore every day.  Laundry, dishwasher, cleaning the playroom, starting the car...?

I just nodded yes and agreed to write all of this down so he would remember.

After three tuck-ins, I finally got Big E to bed a little after 9.

I know I'm rambling a bit, but I just can't comprehend how Big E isn't ready to pass out every night.

I. AM. SO. TIRED.


This is more of what I was expecting.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Little E: A Haunting in My Kitchen

Little E has an incredible imagination.  He is a fantastic storyteller at the ripe old age of four.  It is charming and adorable.

Little E also has a six sense.  Apparently, he sees dead people.  His ghost tales began about a year ago.  In fact, it was a year ago yesterday that I wrote about it.  Look down.  See the goose bumps on your arms?  Please continue...

Over the past 365 days I have become very familiar with the ghost that Little E saw on our stairs.  Pretty much everyone knows about it.  It's like this ghost is famous for being famous a la the Kardashians.

Yesterday, Little E began to talk about the ghost again.  Lives on stairs, cries a ton, is white, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Except he began telling me of a second ghost.  This one was sitting at the kitchen table with us.  He was a man with a mouth that would not talk or eat dinner.

When I asked Little E what he was doing he looked at me with his best Poltergeist face and said:

HE JUST STARED AT ME, MOMMY.  AND HE LOOKED LIKE DADDY.

That second part sort of took the edge off my compounding fear.  Maybe he was just hallucinating that Mr. Yoy actually made it home in time for dinner one night.

When I pressed Little E about it, he was adamant that it wasn't Mr. Yoy, it just looked like him.

After writing this all out, I have pretty much guaranteed nightmares are in store for me tonight.

Sleep well, friends.

This will probably be me later.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why Can't You Hear a Pterodactyl Using the Bathroom?

Because the "p" is silent.

Tonight's bedtime reading was a 1980s, 40+ page, very small print, hardly any pictures, dinosaur book.  Or should I say novella?

I snuggled into Big E's bed with the boys.  They smelled of lavender.  I took a few deep breaths in an attempt to inhale my sweet smelling children.  I, on the other hand, smelled of dried sweat, peanut butter, and bug spray.  What? Ain't nobody got time for that!  And by that, I'm referring to a shower.

The Yoys didn't care.  We were about to dive off a cliff into a pool of prehistoric knowledge and they were amped!

It wasn't until we had blown through the pages about how fossils form (no wonder they went straight to bed) that I began a spiraling descent into frustration and madness.

I could not, COULD NOT, read the dinosaurs' names, even with the phonetic spelling.  I felt like someone had shot a tranquilizer directly into my tongue.  The chewing gum didn't help.  So I swallowed it (don't tell my mom).

The Yoys didn't seem to notice when I began making up completely unscientific names.

SEE THIS ONE!  THEY CALL HIM BIG GREEN HORN FACE WITH BEAK LIPS.

I think they were impressed with their smart mom and her ability to name all the dinosaurs at the drop of a hat.  Even if they were made up names.


THIS ONE IS MY FAVORITE.  WHAT NIGHTMARES ARE MADE OF PLUS BABY ARMS.  IT COULDN'T EVEN FEED HIMSELF WITH HIS BABY ARMS.  




Monday, August 4, 2014

The Girl in the Blue Shirt

I know you are all on the edge of your seats, just waiting to hear about the Yoys' first day of school.

I received very little detail from Big E.  Only because I'm an amateur PI, did I discover they played with play-doh, as it was all over his khaki shorts.  He was happy at the end of the day and that's all that matters.

Little E also had a great day which included not sleeping during his class's nap time.  This is a crucial nugget of info, as a nap would murder my dreams of a 7PM bedtime.

I peppered him with questions.

DID YOU HAVE FUN?

WHAT DID YOU EAT FOR BREAKFAST?

DO YOU LIKE YOUR TEACHERS?

Little E gave me pretty standard answers.  I wanted some juicy pre-k gossip, but Little E was not the source I was looking for.

DID YOU MAKE ANY FRIENDS?

He perked up with this question and emphatically shook his head yes.

WHO?

Little E thought about it for a minute.

SHE WAS WEARING A BLUE SHIRT!

Sweet.  Everyone wears a blue shirt because they have uniforms.  Mystery unsolved.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Little E: Called Up To The Majors

Tomorrow is a big day.  I am both excited and anxious.  I may not sleep.

Little E will join his brother this year at the "big kid" school, our local elementary school.  He will be attending pre-k, just like Big E did last school year.

I know I shouldn't make comparisons between the two, but I will candidly admit I am 1000x more nervous to release Little E into public school than I was with Big E.

Big E had been ready for the big leagues since he was about two.  That kid is in heaven with a ton of people, especially new people where he can work his magic.

But Little E is a baby.  My baby.  He is young for his grade.  His is petite.  I am not exaggerating when I say a little girl in his class is a full eight inches taller than him.  (I checked her for high heels.)  He is sensitive.  And he hugs and loves you. Deeply. And I'm worried he'll get eaten alive by the bigger kids.

I had a therapy session with his teacher on Friday during the meet and greet. And I know he will do great.  He has been in preschool since he was 18 months, so it's not like he hasn't been to this rodeo before.  It's just a much larger rodeo.

He even asked me this morning if today was the day he got to go to school.

So I'm hoping I can hold it together tomorrow.  But we all know how this will end.
Me.  Him.  Both.


Costco: Price Club or Fight Club

I usually avoid taking the Yoys to Costco like I avoid the Ebola patient recovering cross-town at Emory. (Too soon?!)

But after being gone almost two weeks, our fridge was reminiscent of a food desert and I had to suck it up and go.  With Yoys in tow.  I was hoping for the worst, while expecting the worse, because I am all about setting attainable life goals.

We arrived at Costco promptly at ten.  I want a minimal amount of witnesses to our adventure.  Before we exited the car, I set some rules.  Really just one rule. We are not perusing the book aisle.  We have a two foot stack of learning books just waiting to be completed and I'm not enabling this learning book hoarder thing the two of them have going on.

Big E emphatically agrees.  Little E waffles back and forth.  I fake like I'm going to leave and that motivates him to agree with me.

We zip through Costco in about fifteen minutes.  I am a well oiled shopping machine.  I grab tons of fruit, vegetables, chicken and paper towels.  

The Yoys are keeping their sh*t together and I'm super impressed.  

I get cocky.  This mothering thing is easy-peasy.  That is, until Mr. Costco hands me the receipt.  

Instantly, my well behaved, well raised, well parented children transform into Jay-Z and Solange.  They are flippin' killing each other over who gets to hold the receipt out to the lady at the door.  She watches in horror as things get heated and promises to draw TWO smiley faces on the back.  One for each.  While I appreciate her attempt, we've already crossed over the imaginary line into hell.

Like a champ, I push through with a smile on my face.  We make it to the car, I pop the trunk, and work on getting all this food into it.

HEY!  DID YOU BUY THOSE MONKEYS AT COSTCO?

I looked up and a sweet grandfather in a giant pickup had slowed down to chat.  I turned around and found Big E unclipped from his seat and standing straight up in the cart.

I WON, MOM!

I have no idea what Big E thought he won, but it was almost a no expense paid trip to the hospital.

I smiled at the grandfather.

THEY ARE KILLING ME.  I'VE AGED 20 YEARS SINCE 2008.

He laughed and noted that while he had five daughters, he didn't think it was as hard as having two sons.  He waved and drove off.

It was an unexpected, profound moment in the hectic Costco parking lot.

Just replace the elevator with a double wide shopping cart.