Monday, April 28, 2014

Happy Birthday to me!

Today I put 37 to bed and welcomed 38 with wide open arms.

I'd like to think I've grown wiser with age.  So I'm sharing a few nuggets I picked up over the past 365 days.

1) Go.  Go where you may ask?  Go anywhere.  Commit to do something.  Even if you are dead tired and would rather zone out on the couch and reread your three month old Glamour magazine.  Just go.  You'll most likely have fun and meet new people.  It won't kill you.  I promise.

2) You don't have to love red wine just because everyone else pretends to.  Don't get me wrong, I'll drink just about anything, but I don't have to pretend to love it. It's warm.  And it stains your teeth.  But it DOES slow down consumption considerably, so that's a plus.

3) Tell your friends you love them and miss them.  Chances are everyone is busy with life and days and then months slip by and you haven't had a chance to meet up for lunch to vent about all the things that keep you apart.  It's hard. Especially with kids.  You fall into the parenting abyss and sometimes it is years before anyone finds you.

4) Appreciate your stuff.  You have so much stuff.  Way more than most people.  Don't covet. You have cool sh*t, too.  Plus, it's just stuff.

5) Humor is more powerful than tylenol.  Or advil.  Whatever your jam is.  Even when it seems like humor is totally inappropriate.  Try it.  It makes everything better.

6) You don't have to be trendy.  Yes, I was all over the peplum top thing last summer.  HELLO AGAIN, BAGELS!  But then the fashion world b*tch slapped me with the influx of crop tops.  What in the world?!  First, I binged on bagels and then the very next season you make me show off my bready belly?  Mall, we are officially O-V-E-R.

As I embark on 38, I look forward to becoming another year wiser.

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes.  I go to sleep with a full heart tonight.  And belly.

Literally, a Publix cake.  Mind. Is. Blown.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hell in a Hotel

Vacations, in theory, are awesome.

Mr. Yoy and I rounded everyone up for a quick weekend trip to NC.  To keep our trip budget friendly, we reserved a hotel room with two queen beds.  We were unsure of the exact configuration, but it would be all four of us in one room.  No adjoining rooms for us this time.  Boo!

Our road trip started off slow.  We left a little later than planned which guaranteed that we'd get snarled in the sh*t storm that is Atlanta Friday pm traffic.  On Fridays it begins promptly at 11:30 am.

We finally arrived in Durham close to 11 pm.  Big E had powered through and remained awake for all 350 miles.  Little E passed out mere minutes into the drive, but woke up around 6:30.  He slept just long enough to ensure that he would never go to bed that night.

Once we had everyone and everything in the hotel room.  I frantically set up for bed.  On went the white nose machine, much to Mr. Yoy's displeasure.  But we had an early start in the am and these kids needed to get to sleep ASAP.

Obviously, I was staying in one bed with Little E.  He was delighted to sleep in such close proximity to his mother ship.  He immediately snuggled in.  There was to be no space between us.  At least according to him.  I, on the other hand, needed a little room.  I ordered Little E back to his pillow.  Through my eyelashes, I watched in amusement as that little thumb sucker slowly inched his way back to ground zero.  It was no use.  I rolled over and tried to unwind.  Even though I knew in my gut this was going to be the longest night ever.

I had just about fallen asleep when I heard Mr. Yoy.

MRS. YOY!  THE ALARM COMPANY JUST CALLED.  OUR HOUSE ALARM IS GOING OFF.

Sweet.  Not only am I a zombie, but now I was sitting two states away while all of our worldly possessions were being raided by thieves.  If they were running out of our house with my first generation Kindle and anniversary pearls, they better grab my Dyson as well.  That thing is always mocking me.

But now I was really awake.  We figured out it was the motion sensor and the dog sitter must have set the alarm to away.  Unfortunately, Poodle Yoy jumps up onto the couch which sets off the motion sensors.

The police came by, but there was nothing to report.  Except for a freaked out geriatric poodle.

It was after midnight.  Our kids were amped.

I moved into bed with Mr. Yoy.  We told our children to knock themselves out as were going to sleep.  I popped my ear plugs in and rolled over.

The boys spent about thirty minutes turning on and off the following:
1) Faucets on the sinks.  Yes there were two and easily within reach.
2) Lights.  On all fourteen switches.
3) White noise machine.  Who switched it to the beating heart, anyway?

Mr. Yoy and I lay in bed quietly plotting ways to ditch our offspring.  We were both frustrated and exhausted.

Big E tuckered out first.  He settled down and amazingly, Little E followed suit.  Creeping towards one in the morning, the room finally went quiet.

I had hoped the blackout shades would have allowed the boys to sleep in, but Big E was within inches of my face right at seven.  So much for that.

It was then that Mr. Yoy decided we'd be hitting the road that evening, instead of staying Saturday night.  And we were never, ever, ever going to share a hotel room with these people again.

Scene from the backseat during a five minute drive to dinner.  Proof that more than six hours of sleep is a necessity for these guys.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Perspective

We spent the day eating, playing, and watching a movie at Atlantic Station.

They have a nice fake grass field the boys love to play on.  I sat on a bench and watched the boys giggling and rolling around and running together.  They were so happy.

A woman, accompanied by two young men, asked me if I would take their picture.  They must have come from Easter services as they were all dressed beautifully.

MOM, WHY DON'T YOU STAND BETWEEN US?

They positioned themselves into a nice little family portrait.  Luckily for them, they asked the phone photography expert to snap their picture.

THANKS FOR TAKING THE PICTURE, I KNOW YOU ARE BUSY WATCHING YOUR LITTLE GUYS.

She smiled at me and commented how sweet the Yoys were.  Who can resist matchy-matchy, anyway? They were sweet, except that Big E kept pausing to eat boogers.

They began to walk off and the mom turned around to me.

I WISH WE COULD FREEZE THEM AT THAT AGE.

Her sons were walking ahead of her and she motioned to them and mouthed to me:

MY BABIES.

Thank the lord I had on sunglasses, as I started to cry.

Even though they drain me of every last ounce of energy, I still love the sh*t out of them and freak out a little when I think about them as grown men that don't want to sit on my lap anymore.  Because that would be weird.

RIP Swagger Wagon

Yesterday was a bittersweet day for the Yoys.

Mr. Yoy turned in the Sienna aka The Big Red Bus and came home with a Toyota Avalon.

My new car is beautiful, but there will definitely be an adjustment period.

THINGS I WILL DEARLY MISS ABOUT THE SIENNA:

1) Having a toilet in the back seat.  I know this screams unsanitary, but there has been many times when the Yoys had to go.  And not just a quick squirt in the bushes, like for reals.  I'd just click open the sliding door and their throne awaited.

2) Road tripping.  Sure the gas mileage was bad enough to make an environmentalist cry, but we fit everything in that sucker.  Bikes. Beds. Enough snacks to feed the Atlanta prison system.  That thing had mad space.  On our future endeavors we will need to be more selective.  Maybe only one of our children gets to go.  And definitely not the dog.  Her breath almost always relegated her to the third row.  Where will she go now?

3) Sliding Doors.  I would buy a sedan that had sliding doors.  Not having to maneuver your kid into the car seat while trying to keep your door from dinging the car next to you is priceless.  I'm already having anxiety about the boys kicking open their doors reminiscent of my Grandpa in the 1980s.  Yes. He did.

4) Satellite Radio.  I know.  This seems really lame, but I haven't listened to a commercial in three years.  This brought Big E to tears.  He declared he was done listening to radio until he got his Sirius radio back. (If this were a twitter entry, this is where I'd hashtag FIRSTWORLDPROBLEMS.)

THINGS I WILL NOT MISS DEARLY ABOUT THE SIENNA:

1)  Driving a car as big as a parade float.  I ran into so much sh*t.  Poles, cars, rocks.  Anything I could find to hit, I did.  Always in the same place, back right panel.  This solidified my decision not to be a public transit bus driver or a long distance trucker.  I'm sure my car insurance agent will pop the cork on some bubbly when I call her tomorrow to tell her the van is dunzo.

I fiercely fought for that van a few years back.  I loved it.  Until I realized I couldn't drive it.  Then I just lived in fear of parking garages, school pickups, and all Atlanta city streets that are technically four lanes, but in any other sane city would qualify as two. (I'm talking to you Peachtree!)

Big E full on cried when he came out and saw the van was gone.  It was epic.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Yoys: Passover Hunting

This week we observed Passover with our family in D-Wood.

I always have high expectations of Passover seder.  I have visions of my children sitting quietly, thoughtfully listening to their Grandpop tell the story of Passover while eagerly shoving matzo and gefilte fish and charoset into their mouths.

With four kids aged five and under we all know the ugly truth.  It is loads of screaming and yarmulke tossing and zero listening.

The only thing that brought the Yoys back to the table was when we began to talk about the prophet, Elijah.

For my non-jewish readers, Elijah visits every seder and drinks a big ol' glass of wine before departing for the next seder.  He's sort of like Santa.  Except instead of milk and cookies he gets wasted on cheap, sugary wine.

Part of the seder is opening the front door to let him in.  The kids were fascinated by this.  We were going to let some random into the house.  They watched anxiously at the window.

IS THAT HIM?

Nope.  Some guy walking his dog.

IS THAT HIM?

Isn't that a little girl?

IS THAT HIM?

Finally, we explained Elijah was invisible.

Now they were floored.

I watched in amusement/horror as my kids used Cousin Yoy's toys to construct a booby-trap at the front door.

STEP 1: OPEN THE DOOR FOR ELIJAH

STEP 2: PLACE WINE IN GIANT PINK BARBIE BOX

STEP 3: TRAP HIM IN GIANT PINK BARBIE BOX

STEP 4: LIVE FOREVER WITH A WINE HOG (no, thanks!)

I guess it's time to ease up on the Scooby-Doo episodes.  Not everything is a solvable mystery.


Bad wine is still wine and I'm not sharing.



Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Yoys: Blacked Out

The sunshine has been hanging around about an hour too long for Mrs. Yoy.

My militant bedtime of 7pm (sometimes 6:30 on extra militant days) had become a sweet, fuzzy memory.  Bedtime was stretching into the eight o'clock hour and sometimes beyond.  This was severely limiting my time to blog, check my e-mail incessantly, watch crappy television and engage my inner laziness that I suppress during the hours of wake-up to bedtime.

WHY DO I HAVE TO GO TO BED?  IT IS STILL DAYLIGHT?

Every night I am asked this question.  At first I tried to explain time zones and daylight savings to the kids and I actually almost put them (and myself) to sleep.  But after a month of trying to answer this question, I came up with a new strategy.

I bought blackout curtains.  Navy.  Their once bright and cheery little boy rooms have been miraculously transformed into damp dorm room caves.  I guess you can say I'm just prepping them for life in the AEPi house.

My handyman agreed to come out on super short notice which made my day. Clearly the previous Jewish Parade incident did not scare him off.  He even inquired about my Easter plans, so he didn't recall the whole Israeli flag waving thing.  Whew.

I'm ecstatic to report that I put the boys down at 6:45 and I have not heard a foot step or voice or the jiggling of a door handle.

This exceptionally smooth bedtime was brought to you by Target and my handyman.  Thanks!

I was going to post an actual picture, but it was too dark! Ha!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Break 2014

As usual, the Yoys have nothing mentionable planned for spring break.  We were going to fly down to my parents and hang for the week, but they decided to move and I wasn't going to get roped into that disaster.

So while many of our friends are doing awesome spring break stuff, the Yoys and I are doing errands.  Lots of them.

First up today was my Weight Watchers meeting.  Big E participated the most out of all the members there.

WHERE HAVE YOU SEEN THE MOST IMPROVEMENT OVER THE PAST MONTH?

Big E raised his hand.  I shot him death glances as I told him under no circumstance was he to talk during the meeting.  But a room full of new people was too overpowering.  He was born to perform.

I'M MUCH BETTER AT LEARNING BOOKS NOW!

Of course he is.  The room erupted into laughter and our meeting leader gave him a star sticker.  Please, don't feed the animals, lady.  He was so proud of himself.

WHAT DO YOU CONSUME THAT IS TRULY WORTH THE POINTS?

Someone threw out Krispy Kreme donuts.  My stomach lurched.  I saw Big E's eyes light up.  This time he raised his hand and walked right up to the meeting leader.

MY DADDY TAKES US TO KRISPY KREME ALL THE TIME!

Sweet.  Thanks for that, Mr. Yoy.  Now everyone thinks I'm the mom that allows her kids to eat troughs of donuts.  For the record, I've never driven the Yoys to the brand new Krispy Kreme mere minutes from my house.  Even if the smell is intoxicating.

Next stop Costco, where we spent 30 minutes picking out the most perfect learning book for Big E.  I just wanted toilet paper and some fruit, but there was no escaping the book aisle.

And finally, the mall.  We played, ate, went to the bathroom an insane number of times and picked out some summer shorts for Big E.  The boys kept crawling under/into all the clothing displays.  I repeatedly asked them to stay in sight, but they disregarded all safety instructions.

I BET YOUR BOYS ARE A GOOD TIME!

Maybe the sales lady was trying to be nice, but I translated that as follows:

YOUR CHILDREN ARE HORRIBLY BEHAVED SO PLEASE LEAVE THIS STORE IMMEDIATELY.

So we did.

We hit up Planet Smoothie for some fruity goodness.

I handed Big E his small smoothie.  Little E's was still being made.

IS IT OK IF I GIVE THIS SMALL SMOOTHIE TO YOU IN A LARGE CUP?  WE ARE OUT OF THE SMALL CUPS.

Any normal, sane person would have no problem with this statement.  But I'm dealing with irrational terrorists.   I smiled and assured her it was fine, but my heart was pounding.  I nonchalantly handed Little E his giant smoothie cup.

It took Big E .000045 seconds to notice the size.

HEY! HOW COME LITTLE E GOT A BIGGER SMOOTHIE?!

I had to take both smoothies, take off their lids and show the boys that the quantity was the same, only the container was bigger.  Big E was mildly satisfied by my presentation, but I could tell he didn't trust me 100%.  Like I would ever show favorites.  Ever.  I'm no rookie.

At this point, we'd been running around for four hours.  I was done.  They were done.  So we headed home.

Three days down.  Two to go.



Go Gators! (Just Don't Go Start A Family)

On Friday, I flew up to NYC to see my family.  As I waited on Delta to find enough flight attendants to man our flight, I struck up a conversation with a young lady decked out in Gator gear sitting next to me.

She was indeed a Gator, a Broadcast Journalism senior.  In about five minutes I had her whole story.  She was engaged to be married to a guy that works for a company out in Silicon Valley.  She didn't have a job yet as she wasn't sure where they were going to live.  Pretty basic conversation.

She was pleasant and excited and I couldn't help think back to when I was 23 and moving to Atlanta.  I had my future at my feet.  I remember the excitement of finally being on my own.  I had a good job and I had made it.

We exchanged stories about our time on campus.  Mine all began with, A THOUSAND YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL WE HAD A COMPUTER LAB AND DIAL UP AND TELEPHONES IN OUR DORM ROOMS...

I asked about her wedding, dates, location, you know, all the good stuff.

PEOPLE ARE ALREADY ASKING US WHEN WE ARE GOING TO HAVE KIDS!

This snapped me back to 2014.  Goodbye Leonardo's Pizza and Smashing Pumpkins.  Hello, Yoysers!

I looked her square in the eyes and with all the sincerity I could muster (without scaring her to death) I relayed my opinion, which I'm sure she wasn't asking for.

WAIT.  PLEASE, WAIT.  WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE AT LEAST 30.  IT'S GAME OVER ONCE YOUR OFFSPRING ARRIVE.

I almost gave her my blog business card (yes, these exist) and told her she'd thank me as she and her new husband travel the world and do whatever the hell they want because they can be young and selfish.

But I refrained.

I'M EXHAUSTED.

And that's all I said.




Thursday, April 3, 2014

Parenthood: Ain't It Fun?

Whew. Tonight was an awful end to a good day.

I attempted to attend a PTA meeting tonight at Big E's school.  They had organized a soccer game in the gym with snow cones and popcorn for the kids while the parents met in the cafeteria.  Sounds pretty fun, huh?

I guess my logic is flawed.  Big E freaked out.  I calmly explained that if he didn't want to play in the gym with his schoolmates, we'd have to go home.  And that was fine with him.

So I dragged the Yoys back out to the car.  (This should sound familiar because Big E does this all the time and it rots my soul.  I hate this game he plays.)  By the time the boys were up in their car seats, Big E had changed his mind.  He did want to go into the gym and play.  And I really wanted to attend the meeting.

Back into the school we went.  Little E went running into the gym.  He was excited to play.  And then eat popcorn.  Big E started crying again.  He didn't want to play soccer (SHOCKING!).  I provided many alternatives.  He could sit up on the stage and watch, he could sit on the side, he could play with a ball against the wall.  Or we could go home.

He chose home.

At this point, I was done.  Frazzled.  Expired.  Hot.

I grabbed the boys and headed out.  Little E began screaming because he wanted to stay.  Big E began crying once we reached the car because he, too, now wanted to stay.  I fought them into their car seats.  They were red, sweaty, screaming versions of themselves.

They scream/cried the whole way home.  I'm talking vocal chord damage.  I called my parents, because Mr. Yoy was at event, but I wanted someone to bear witness to this insanity.

My dad has no patience and he quickly hung up.  Just in time for Paramore's Ain't It Fun to come on the radio.

AIN'T IT FUN?  LIVING IN THE REAL WORLD.  My answer at this moment would be a definitive hell to the no.

But I sung my lungs out mostly to drown out my kids.

DON'T GO CRYING TO YOUR MAMA, CAUSE YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN IN THE REAL WORLD.  Even though I just did that.

They cried throughout their bath.  They really wanted to go back and play in the gym.  I had to close all our windows, so my neighbors didn't think I was murdering my kids.  Because that is what it sounded like.

I tried to stay calm, but by the end of this sh*t show I wanted to cry my eyes out, too.

I'm baffled.  I feel like I have to stand my ground.  This back and forth fake leaving stuff has to end.  If Big E says he wants to go, I have no other choice than to go.  I'm hoping eventually he gains more control of his outbursts and learns to say what he really wants in life.

Now I am off to pack for my trip to NYC and I will have zero feelings of guilt as I leave them for the weekend.  I have definitely earned it after tonight.





Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Scab Season

We are less than a week into shorts weather.  It has been glorious.  All sunshine and flowers and birds chirping and bloody knees?

I forgot how much my kids fall.  They have one speed: overeager contestant on Supermarket Sweep.  They run everywhere.

Little E banged up his knee Tuesday.  Big E was sure to talk up how much it was going to sting when Little E sat down in the bath.  Little E stood throughout his entire bath, he was so worked up about it.

Today was Big E's turn.  He ate dirt right by the playground hopscotch game.  It took him a few seconds to move.  I almost drew some chalk around his outline.

When he finally stood up, he had bloodied both knees and two spots on his chest.  The temperatures this afternoon hit 80 degrees, and therefore my kids took this opportunity to show off their strapping bodies by discarding their shirts.

Tears and hysteria followed.

MY EYES KEEP LOOKING AT MY BLOODY KNEES AND I CAN'T GET THEM TO STOP!

And with that I eliminated doctor from his future career path.

Maybe I need to invest in some knee pads.  And whatever company makes band aids.  I see 24/7 mandatory pants wearing in our future.

Tonight's bloodbath.