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.

The Yoys: Ribbit!

This past month I completed my first solo airplane ride with the Yoys.  

The boys are usually pretty well behaved on the plane.  I bring their Leap Pads, learning books, cards, snacks that I would never feed them at sea level and all sorts of small surprises.  The 75 minute flight to Florida would be cake.  And it was.

I strategically planned the luggage situation so that I would be able to get all the luggage and the boys and their surprise-laden backpacks to the park-n-ride shuttle.

I brought a giant suitcase and a smaller bag that would hook onto the suitcase. I'd drag that, my purse, and the backpacks all while holding a sticky hand to the shuttle.  It would be slightly difficult, but I'm supermom and I had this.

After deplaning, we had to stop not once, but twice for Little E to use the bathroom.  And that was without a train ride as we arrived at Terminal T. (This was a major problem.  Both boys held back tears as I told them we wouldn't be riding on the plane train.  If we didn't have luggage waiting to be stolen at carousal four, I would have taken them out a few gates and back.)

When we finally arrived at baggage claim, our two sad bags were the last ones left.  The belt was off. There was no one around.  It was unusually quiet.

I grabbed the giant suitcase first.  When I pressed the button to release the handle, I discovered that the airlines had bent my bag and it had disabled the handle.  I will not name the offending airline, but let's just say it rhymes with Schmelta.  

I took a deep breath.  I looked around for the guy with the flat cart that helps people who overpack for trips.  He was no where.

I would now have to drag the luggage while shouldering backpacks, my purse, and an unplanned piece of luggage as I could not hook it up to the handle because it was jacked.  And let's not forget Little E's hand.  

We began our journey to the shuttle bus terminal.  It was ugly.  I was sweating in my jeans.  Big E was holding onto my purse to add some additional weight.  I kept waiting for someone to hook a big belt with an attached 18 wheeler to my waist, because why not?

We had to make it through three crosswalks without anyone getting squashed. It was like a game of Frogger on acid.

I almost cried when I saw our shuttle bus.  The driver must have sensed my struggle and bounded down the steps to help me.  It was over.


This would have come in handy!