Wednesday, December 16, 2015

That's Nuts!

Yesterday, I took the boys to get allergy tested.

Little E has chronic hives. His last flare up was so bad, it looked like the measles.

Big E has had two allergic reactions to two different types of nuts.  One resulted in us pulling over on the side of Peachtree Battle so he could hurl in the bushes of one of the stately mansions lining the street. Sorry rich people.

I was preparing for the worst, after the flu shot bonanza, where Big E attempted an escape, only to be tackled by a nurse before he reached his freedom.

After waiting in the lobby forever, we were finally called back. Both boys were weighed, measured, and had their blood pressure taken.  Thank goodness they didn't take mine.  I'm sure it was through the roof as I was STRESSING this appointment.  I had even applied extra, EXTRA deodorant and water proof mascara.

Little E snarled at the blood pressure machine. He was not buying the arm hugger description.

Big E immediately began laying out his case for why he shouldn't have any shots.

I pulled the nurse aside and asked her if we could split the boys up if they were both being allergy tested today.  I wanted to avoid a repeat of the flu shot freakout.

Thankfully, Little E was diagnosed with plain hives occurring in 20% of the population with no known cause (sweet).  He was off the hook for allergy testing.

But Big E was not. And he did not know what was about to go down.

Big E remained glued to his Kindle and I was so glad I had brought it.  We had now been waiting over an hour and had had very little doctor action.

Things changed fast when the nurse walked in with her tray of terror.  Rows and rows of arm pricks.

Big E's voice went up about seven octaves.


The doctor heard his escalating concerns and came in to help the nurse hold Big E's arm so they could mark it with a pen and get down to business.

Big E began crying as soon as she cleaned his arm with alcohol and then moved on to full-on murderous screams as she scratched up his arm.  It took a minute at most.

Then we were left in the room with the giant toy bin to wait to see how his arm reacted.
Little E began to get ancy and I convinced Big E to let him use the Kindle for a few minutes.

Big E and I got down to business.  We each grabbed a super bouncy ball from the toy bin and played a close range game of mini-dodgeball. It was all out war in that 9x9 room.  I'm sure we were making a ruckus, but we were going on two hours of being there and even I was getting a little nutty (see what I did there?)

The doctor finally reappeared.  Big E and I had both broken a sweat.  It was time to read his arm.

He was going to meet the girl of his dreams and embark on a semi-successful career path at a mid-sized regional company.  Oh wait.  That's a palm reading.

His arm reading. It was clear as day, not so much in the above picture though.  Cashews for the win.  Which we already knew.

I received a quick lesson in stabbing your kid with an EPI pen.  Once he told me that I didn't have to stab him as hard as they did in Pulp Fiction, that was all I could think about.  Royale with cheese, anyone?

At 4:15 we rolled out of there.  A mere 2.5 hours later.

A few takeaways.  It was not as bad as I expected.  I had even made these:

It's hard to read the bag, but those are gummy bears.  I gave them some kitschy pinterest name like BRAVE BEARS.  I was planning on doling these babies out if things really got dicey. 

Instead, I am now carrying around two zip lock bags full of candy in my purse. If we have another show-stopping ice storm this year, Mrs. Yoy's Toyota will be THE place to party on 285.

If I don't have a chance (or reason) to write again before the end of the year, Happy Holidays!!

And if you are lucky enough to be on the Yoyser holiday card list, you are so very welcome.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Mrs. Yoy: (Not) Defying Gravity

We are muddling through Day 4 of Big E's intense fear of ghosts and being left alone.

He's totally cool all afternoon and as soon as the sun sets, he permanently attaches himself to my a**.

Last night we were all piled in Big E's bed reading another great pick about being clairvoyant and the ability to levitate. 

So many mundane details about monks from two hundred years ago getting reprimanded for disrupting church because they were floating all over the damn place.

My eyelids were getting heavy.  My brain was no longer processing the words I was reading.  I was wearing my Sherpa robe and things were getting too warm and cozy for Mrs. Yoy.

And scene.

Just as we reached the chapter on gravity, I fell asleep.

My grasp on the book was released, which I've done many times before, only to drop a four hundred pager on my face.

This time it was a smaller book and it landed, corner first smack in the middle of Little E's lotioned up forehead.


Big E had just dozed off, too, even he wasn't immune to the snore factor on this book. He popped up in a ghost panic.

But Little E wanted to make sure we all knew he was suffering.  At first I thought he was just being extra dramatic.  Then I looked at his head.  He had a perfect red line equally dividing his forehead.

The irony of it all was not lost on me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Liar, Liar Pants on (Kindle) Fire

Chanukah begins at sundown on Sunday.

In order to generate some Jewish buzz around here, and in an attempt to use presents as bribery for good behavior this week, I wrapped their presents and laid them out beautifully in our dining room.

This year, I purchased both boys Kindle Fires.  They went on sale for $35, so I decided it was worth not constantly having my phone commandeered by Big E.

My phone always returns to me sticky, which was puzzling until I witnessed Big E cleaning the screen with his tongue.

Let's all take a moment to digest that.

Ok, moving on.

The boys have been circling their gifts since they made their appearance on the table.

Big E has been acting super sketchy and I finally figured out why.

That little stinker took a peak at his presents.  He has the worst liar face in the history of mankind.  It is a trait that will serve me well into his teenage years.

We told him that we have a video camera set up in the room and we would pull up the footage.

He blamed his brother.  He blamed his best buddy.  He blamed the dog.

But bottom line is, he's BUSTED.

Mr. Yoy and I have both been known to present snoop as children so we aren't necessarily mad at that, we are just upset that he continues to lie about it.

Faces On The Floor

Last week's public library run brought us 31 new books to explore over Thanksgiving break and beyond.

Big E immediately found the non-fiction section and began pulling whole shelves of books down.  His favorite topic these days, is scary stuff.

Spooky Stories, Spooky Places, Paranormal Places, etc., he's in.

We got to work immediately on Spooky Places where we read about all sorts of places I would never like to visit.

Then we read this.

And all hell broke loose.

Full disclosure, it was mostly my fault as I started making spooky noises and then screamed out in a panic that a face had appeared in the hardwoods right by the dishwasher.

Big E was legit scared.  I told him I was only joking, but the damage had been done.

The first night Big E made his way into our bedroom around 3 am.


I felt guilty, so I let him climb into bed for the night.

Over the next few days, he brought up the faces on the floor and asked me multiple times if I believed the story to be true.  I tried my best to assuage his feelings of fear. He wasn't buying it.


He looked over at the amateur cat painting he'd done years ago that hangs proudly in his bedroom.

Um, I didn't, but thanks for planting that seed.  Also, I'm replacing that Satan cat painting as soon as I can.


Big E then moved on to ghosts.




He was in our room multiple times last night.  Mr. Yoy even slept half the night in Big E's room with him.

Big E won't leave my side.  I have to go to the bathroom with him, for fear of the bathroom ghost.  Or the closet ghost, or the pantry ghost.

So really what I'm asking is, HOW DO I UNDO THIS DAMAGE?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Air, Shelter, Water, Food, Comcast

Yesterday, after at least three months of our Comcast cable laying in the gutter of our street, where countless cement trucks, cranes, and everyday traffic drove over the fraying orange cable, Comcast finally buried that sucker.  They've already been out to replace it once, as our cable was acting up due to damage.  I asked numerous times for it to be buried.  Yesterday was the day.

Things were getting done. I was happy. Until I tried to sneak in a little HGTV before my kids came home from school. And it wasn't working. And neither was my internet. And my home phone (not super important).  And the Comcast guy had vanished like a ghost.

The cable may be out of sight, but it was no longer hooked up to our home.

The Yoys came home and we were busy with homework and life and I wasn't able to call Comcast until after the kids went to sleep.

The customer service rep kindly told me that they'd send a technician out on Monday. 


Panic sirens began flashing in my head. Six days without television? Six days I'll have to parent my own offspring? And they'll be on Thanksgiving break? Is this some sort of joke?

I begged the guy to find me an earlier appointment. He kindly moved me up to Sunday. Whew, that was close. (Sarcasm)

I was too tired to argue and he assured me if any appointments opened up in our area, they'd call me ASAP.

I hung up the phone and panicked. 


So I read a book.  It was weird, but what choice did I have?

Fast forward to today.  I let the kids in on the bad news as soon as they awoke. I needed to set their expectations.  Big E was devastated that he would have no screen time on his birthday (tomorrow). First, we canceled his party. Now no TV. His life was not worth living.

We'd gone a full 24 hours without TV and internet. I decided to take Poodle Yoy for a walk with the break in the rain. As we rounded the corner for home, there it was. 

A shiny, gleaming beacon of hope.


I broke into a sprint in my knee-high Stuart Wetizmans and sweater dress.  This was for serious.  Life or death. I ran so fast I ripped Poodle Yoy's collar right off her freshly coiffed head. I looked back at her.  She was on her own, show-dog prancing freely down the middle of our street.


It seems to weird to ask given the truck, but there are like 100 workers in here on any given day.

He confirmed and I spilled the beans.  About the disruption in service and the call last night and how I have small children that NEED to watch Paw Patrol. Please. Have mercy on my family. I may have teared up for show.

And he did.

Can you hear the angels singing?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Happy El Greco Eve!

Tomorrow is Big E's El Greco presentation.

I'm not going to lie, I'm a little nervous.  What if he gets up there and bombs? It's 50/50 with him.  Mr. Yoy has ice cold nerves when it comes to presenting in front of people.  I, on the other hand, need about two bottles of Chardy before my stellar presentation skills finally emerge. We will see which gene pool runs deeper around 9 AM.

In the meantime, I've been doing some last minute artist costume prep. I never thought I'd be THAT mom. 1) I'm lazy as hell. 2) All my creativity is directed towards my writing.

This is what I'm working with:

For a brief moment, I thought about putting a baldy cap on Big E.  But I didn't want him to get his butt beat at the bus stop.

Instead, I took a sip from the devil's cup. PINTEREST.

I just finished up my Elizabethan collar made of coffee filters, some string, and a hand-crippling hole punch.

It's a little more dramatic than El Greco's, but so is Big E.

Wish us (mostly me) luck!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Applegate: Our First New Home Scandal

Last Saturday, we hosted a bunch of friends for the UF vs. Vandy Game (dubbed by Mr. Yoy as the battle of the only two SEC schools the Yoys are allowed to attend).

Now that we have edged into our mid-thirties (ahem), these parties also include lots of children. We had ten little ones roaming around the house, including the Yoys.

I had instructed Big E to be my eyes and ears.  If he saw something that shouldn't be happening (i.e. purchasing movies via Comcast - yes, that happened), please alert me.

One of my main rules is no food out of the kitchen.  But this was a party and I was hitting the Riesling, so I may not have been as sharp as usual.

At some point, Big E snuck an apple up to the playroom. I guess I can't be too upset that he is sneaking fruit, but rules are rules.

What happened next remains fuzzy for all involved, at least for my kids who proclaim complete innocence.

What I found, after the game ended, was a half eaten apple lazily propped up against my formerly white baseboards in my laundry room.  On a totally different floor from where Big E claimed to have gotten tired of chewing and left the half-gnawed apple perched on a couch pillow in the playroom. 

And only because I've watched an insane amount of Law & Order and CSI, I was immediately drawn to the splatter patterns of the apple juice.  All I needed was some of that mysterious spray bottle liquid and a black light.

To the naked eye, the initial apple impact was by the dryer and a trail of sticky apple juice made its way to the wall where the sad, browning apple was found.

It's like someone bowled the apple into the wall.  Or they were raging from watching our beloved Gators play so terribly and just chucked the apple into the laundry room. I'm looking at you Mr. Yoy.

The truth is out there. Although I fear I'll never know it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Big E as El Greco

On Tuesday, Big E will turn in his first major school project, complete with character dress-up, tri-fold foam board, and presentation to parents.

The assignment was to choose a famous artist and then compare and contrast the artist to Leonardo DaVinci. (not DiCaprio)

Big E chose El Greco. My art history study was limited to one semester in high school.  I'm ashamed to admit I know very little. Undoubtedly,  I learned just as much as Big E as I read through the El Greco book he brought home from the library.

El Greco is most famous for his paintings of Jesus Christ.  I found this to be an odd choice for a Jewish boy.


Maybe it was his haunting, larger than life figures.  Or the way he up-lit his subjects.  He must have been visually drawn to this guy's work.


So cool. You made your decision based on some amateur comic inside a children's art history book.

I ran to Michael's yesterday and purchased the foam board ($17!) and some new markers to motivate him to get started on this project that was assigned weeks ago.

 I bought these suckers thinking the thick lines would be good for writing on a giant foam board.  I didn't see the part about them being scented. The first 20 minutes Big E spent working on his project was him sniffing markers and getting high.  He even shared with Little E.  I could almost see them in some nasty AEPi den in 15 years.

After some judgment altering inhaling, Big E picked the following two pieces of art he wanted me to photocopy to include on his board.

As a former nursing mother, this is a beautiful painting.  But out of the HUNDREDS of paintings, THIS is the one that moved him most.  But not to be outdone, he also chose this one:

The resurrection of Jesus Christ. Just to recap, my Jewish son chose this painting.  Not the one of the crusty noble man smirking.  This one.

The irony is lost on Big E, as he doesn't know who Jesus is.  I, on the other hand, have had a good chuckle.

Coming down off his marker high.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mrs. Yoy: In the Nut (and Candy) House

My kids love to hear stories from when I was young and awesome and in high school.

Yesterday, I told Little E a real yawner about the summer I worked at a candy shop in the mall.

My duties included deep frying cashews, making chocolate covered pretzels, and refilling the candy and nut bins.

It was a pretty pimp job for the summer and paid a very livable salary of $4.25/hour, which I subsidized with eating my weight in all sorts of gummy products.  I'd eat anything in a gummy form. I did not, nor would I, ever discriminate based on size, shape, or color.

With the exception of one piece of candy, which I will refer to from now on as the evil gummy bear.

One evening, as I shoveled fresh gummy bears into the bin (and maybe some into my mouth), I noticed something unusual.  I thought maybe a piece of licorice had found its way into the soft, sweet goodness of the gummy bear bag.

Upon closer examination, it had scary, mean eyebrows and a look that could stop my candy-eating a** dead in her tracks.

What was this thing?  How did this one evil candy get lost during production and where did it belong?  Was there a whole line of evil licorice gummy bears that I didn't know about? Was this a sign regarding my decision to attend UF after graduation?

But as a 17 year old, I wasn't mature enough to delve into these deep thoughts.

Instead, I licked the bottom of it and stuck it to the top of the cash register, where it stayed for the remainder of my employment (and possibly still)!

The boys were FASCINATED by this story.  They were even a tad frightened by the idea of an evil gummy bear.

Today, when Little E got off the bus, he couldn't wait to tell me that he told his teacher all about the evil gummy bear.

So thanks for that, Little E.  Now your teacher knows that I'm straight up crazy and I'll be keeping the rest of my mundane high school stories to myself.

Mrs. Yoy and the Mold Dome

This is dedicated to Martha Stewart who makes everything kitchen related look super easy and enjoyable.

For those readers that are lucky enough to know me on a personal level, you know that I possess many talents.  I'm funny.  I'm a clever writer.  I'm tall.  I'm good at math.  I shower semi-regularly.

But there is one thing that I am not known for, and it's my kitchen prowess.  It's not that I don't try. But I'm always trying to make things healthy and that usually sabotages my baking efforts.

One of the two things I am able to bake without burning down the house, are corn muffins. They are a fall favorite for the boys.  I usually double the recipe and then funnel those suckers down my kids' throats everytime they eek out an "I'M HUNGRY!"

By about day four of the muffins, Big E has started grumbling.


He's basically morphed into a giant piece of cornbread.

But like any good mother, I'm still pushing those suckers.  There are on the clearance rack of my kitchen and I want them gone by the time next season's merchandise arrives.

I gave Big E one of the lingering muffins.  He began his complaining but I stopped listening around MOM, I DON'T...

He bit into the muffin and dramatically chewed away at the corny goodness.

Except he started gagging.  


I chalked it up to him being so over the corn muffins.


Big E swallowed and left the table.

I went over to the remaining muffins and decided to freeze them.  Maybe my kids will be ready to eat them again by Thanksgiving.  

With the gallon ziplock in one hand, I lifted the tupperware top to begin the muffin move. And that's when I saw it.


I forced my kid to eat mold.

I felt awful.  I just thought he was being dramatic, like the time I made him organic chicken nuggets from scratch and he complained because they weren't like the Chick-Fil-A ones. But he was being for real.  They probably did taste awful. But like any good, seasoned mom, I didn't tell him.  I didn't need to give him any more fuel for the therapy fire.

May it forever be known as the MOLD DOME.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Mrs. Yoy: (NO) Bread Winner

After almost seven years of bon bon eating, soap opera devouring, basically doing nothing from sunrise to sundown, I have decided to go back to work part-time.

Rest easy, IRS, I will not be putting my tax skills to use.

Instead, I have chosen to join the Weight Watchers team.  I joined WW, as a member in 2006, right after Mr. Yoy and I got married.  It was the perfect storm of leaving my 20s, being newlyweds, and just not giving any sh*ts about my food choices.

My pants snugged up real quick and I realized my metabolism wasn't able to burn through a bottle of riesling and a bag of candy corn like it did in my 20s. Willy's burritos and chips 3x/week, while very delicious, is not the model of healthy eating.

I originally joined an At Work meeting at SunTrust and dropped 20 lbs in about five months.  I looked way better than I did at my wedding.  WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THIS EARLIER?

I reached my goal weight, became a Lifetime member, and have religiously attended meetings with the exception of my pregnancies.  I lost my baby weight both times with WW.  I feel very strongly about the organization and I'm very excited for the opportunity to help people.

Also, I think Oprah will be at the new hire training with me.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

NO SHOTS! - Liquor or Otherwise

What a lovely Saturday we had today.  We awoke early and made our way to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to checkout the Scarecrows, we ate sushi lunch with daddy, and even hit up an old-timey toy store.

The perfect day.  I left the part about swinging by their pediatrician's office to get their yearly flu shot off the daily itinerary.

But as we headed South on Peachtree Street, I had to come clean.  Well, sort of, anyway.

I told them we were going to get the Flu mist, which they had last year.  I had read that many places had run out of the mist due to a shortage.  Deep down I knew that there was a good possibility they would be getting a shot.  But I kept that dark secret to myself.  Next to the one about me, the pantry, and a bag of Skinny Pop. There was no way the Yoys would willingly walk into the building knowing the truth.

I checked them in and I could hear far off screaming.  Oh yes, they were out of the mist. But my poker face is epic and I played cool.  We got to our room and began reading books.  Dr. K poked her head in to say hello and compliment the boys on their buzz cuts. Yes I did.

The nurse walked in.  She was a vision in pink until she dropped two syringes on the metal examination table. CLINK. CLINK.

Both Yoys ears perked up like dogs hearing their treat box opened.


Big E knew the answer before she said it.


And like that.  Things went from chill to OMFG.

Tears. Screams. They clawed their way into the brick cinderblock walls of the examine room.  Their faces morphed into crying, screaming, sweating plums. How they turned that shade, I'll never know.


Um, I dunno nurse.  They have both come unglued. I don't think there is a clear winner in this contest. So, I grabbed for Little E as he weighs a few pounds less.

Big E went for it.  He flung open the door to the exam room and sprinted down the hall.  My kids were all in.  They'd die before they let this poor lady administer their flu shots.  She ran after him.  I half laughed/half cried.

Dr. K walked in to help.  I grabbed Big E off the floor and put him in Dr. K's lap. She held his upper half while I held his legs so he didn't kick the sh*t out of the nurse.  Murderous screams arose from his mouth. I quietly thanked the lord that he'd never have to birth another human.  


And just like that it was over.  At least for Big E.  I turned to hunt down Little E who was cowered in the corner. I felt like a horrible mom.

We assumed the same position and within seconds it was all over.

Three adults walked out of that room and immediately opened a bottle of Riesling, toasted our teamwork, and chugged it down.

Just kidding, but we totally should have.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Big E: How NOT To Get Away With Murder

After a long day of school, homework, Transformers, dinner, and my personal favorite, zombie tag, it was finally time to get the Yoys upstairs for bath and bed.

Big E pulled out an old trick.


I immediately presented Big E with steamed carrots and green beans.  He balked at my healthy suggestions.  If he was truly hungry, he'd eat anything.  But he was looking for something a little more processed and diabetes-inducing.

I took Little E and headed upstairs and told Big E he was on his own for food.


Big E followed us upstairs about ten minutes later.


Real casual, like everything was thumbs up.

I put the boys to bed around 8:45 and headed into my bathroom.  Being a mom is stinky and it was time for Mrs. Yoy to get herself a shower.

Mr. Yoy arrived home from work and asked about the crime scene in the kitchen.


Mr. Yoy was not satisfied with my answer.  When I had left the kitchen hours earlier, it was Type A clean.  I told Mr. Yoy to just wipe it down quickly and it would be fine.  He had his doubts...

After my shower, I put on my big girl panties and went downstairs to face the kitchen.

Um yeah, that's not chalk.  No wonder Mr. Yoy thought I was crazy.

That's a $2 organic yogurt bomb.  Hastily cleaned up with my decorative kitchen towels.

That little turd dropped a cup of yogurt all over the floor.  And he said NOTHING to me about it when he came upstairs.

I dug deep for my CSI knowledge to examine the splatter patterns.  If only I had one of those black lights, I'd catch that killer yet!

Big E managed to get yogurt in all the cracks of my double oven, the cabinet doors, and for the grand finale, he ground the yogurt into the grooves of the floor where it had dried as a sticky film.

So, that's how I found myself cleaning my kitchen for the second time tonight.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Yoysers: Out of Sight

I know it is a terrible idea to compare your kids.  And I know one day the Yoysers will read their blog and I don't want them to think I favor one perfect child over the other perfect child.


But for two people from the same gene pool, their looks, their personalities, and their adoration for their mother couldn't be more different.

Big E has always been a student.  This has been documented numerous times. When homework assignments began in Pre-K, Big E was in hog heaven.  And that's saying a lot for a jewish kid.

Little E would prefer to burn his homework in the fireplace and use it for warmth.  Getting him to sit down and do it is painful.

We are struggling most with his sight words.  He immediately blocks out anything with four or more letters.  Those are TOO HARD.  We dutifully go over them each night, and he stumbles on the same ones over and over again.

Sometimes, I just stand up and walk away from the table.  I feel like that is more mature than flipping it over in frustration.

Yesterday, Little E and I had made it through the current list he was working on. He knew all but two.  I got up to finish unloading the dishwasher.

And then something amazing happened.

Big E sat down in my spot and began to coach Little E though his current list and then onto the next list. And Little E didn't scream like he was being murdered (that came moments later when Big E snatched the Paw Patrol book Little E was looking at).

Big E had all these tricks I didn't know about.  I guess I'm 35+ years removed from learning to read, but it's fresh on Big E's mind.

Maybe I'm going about this all wrong.  Maybe, I should be OUTSOURCING this portion of my parenting duties.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Little E: Hitting the Pole

We have just wrapped up the first quarter of school.

Big E has started receiving homework, so yesterday I had both boys sit down to work on their assignments before the neighborhood pack of children assembled for the afternoon and any sort of productivity would evaporate.

Little E has had homework for awhile, and no matter what the task, it always ends with him on the floor sobbing WHY ME?

It's bad.

I asked Little E to start on his homework.  He sat there at the table and had the nerve to sass mouth me.  That's what we call it.  I especially like when my kids tell me to stop sass mouthing them.  It's a one-way street boys.

I told Little E to go to timeout at the bottom of the stairs.  He stared me down. I counted to three.  He continued to stare me down. Who is this person?  Where did sweet, obedient Little E go?

I walked towards the table to ESCORT Little E to timeout.  He got up and ran around the back side of the table.  He had his head turned towards me as he sprinted towards the stairs.


He ran full speed into this support column in the middle of our house.  And then collapsed on the floor.

A few words on the column.  I wish it wasn't there.  But I've watched enough HGTV to know that unless we wanted to spend $$$$$ on a steel beam in the ceiling, this column would remain.

And I knew it was just a matter of time before this column became a crime scene.  And two months in, we had succeeded.  

Little E was hysterical.  He had knocked the wind out of himself.  I think "knock" is too gentle of a word.  His chest meet the column right at the 90 degree angle. He was gasping for air.  


I shouted to my kids.  I forgot they were not doctors...yet.

Big E helped amplify the situation.  He grabbed my iPhone and set the ringer to sound like a fire alarm was going off.  Because what I truly needed at that moment, was a soundtrack.

I asked Little E to take a few deep breaths.  I inspected his limbs and body.  He had a red line down his chest.

I hugged him and calmed him down.

He grabbed the fuzzy blanket and cocooned himself on the couch as he regained the ability to breathe.

And within minutes, he was ready to do his homework.

Maybe that column smacked some scholarly sense into him.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Snakes On My Driveway

Instead of therapy and violence, I'm going to express my feelings in a healthy way and write them out of me.  Lucky for you, you have found your way to this page. Prepare to be enlightened.

For those of you who know me in real life, you are blessed.  You know that I have a pretty even-keeled personality.  My patience runs deep and it takes some big-time bullsh*t to really get my blood boiling.

And my blood is boiling.  You see, Mr. Yoy and I just dropped a pretty penny on new construction in an area that doesn't come cheap.  

Building a home tests your faith in humans.  It tests your marriage.  It tests your will to live.

Our builder, Ashton Woods, is "America's Trusted Builder".  That's their motto.  It's on everything.  I'm pretty sure they didn't do a survey around my neighborhood, because trust isn't the first word the Yoys and the majority of our neighbors would use to describe their dealings with Ashton Woods.  

Part of the process of moving into a new build, is having your one month, six month, and eleven month walk-thru with the builder to fix non-cosmetic issues. We are knee deep in having things fixed for our one month punch-list.

Most things have been completed without incident.  Until now.

What is this you ask?  Is it modern art?  It sure looks visually interesting, doesn't it?  It's our driveway.  I like to call it "Snakes On My Driveway."

Mr. Yoy called this to the attention of our assigned builder, Builder B shortly before closing. Builder B had a death in the family, and he was rushing out of town, but he assured us that he would have our driveway acid washed and it would be remediated by the time we returned with our keys in hand.

So we trusted Builder B.  Because we are decent people and we expect other people to return the favor.

But it didn't get done.  Instead it was power washed a few weeks ago.  

So...this isn't dirt.  It rained shortly after the concrete was poured and they placed a tarp over wet cement to achieve this designer decorative pattern.  Our driveway dried with a tarp laying on it. 

A few thoughts...First, let me introduce you to something called The Weather Channel.  Now I know it isn't 100% accurate, but if there is a chance of significant rain, maybe you hold off a day.  Or two.

When I spoke with the customer care person as we walked through my home last week, I pointed out the driveway and he told me that this was purely cosmetic and not covered under the warranty.

I told him this was an unacceptable answer.  I was very calm and polite in my dealings with him. I operate under the theory that you catch more flies with honey.

He pushed back again on fixing the driveway.  He maintained it would POSSIBLY fade out over the years.  Cool. So I warned him.


The customer service guy told me that Mr. Yoy would have to escalate it.  I silently said a prayer for this poor soul, who did not realize the horror house he just walked into.

As of this morning, Mr. Yoy has had two ugly phone calls with this man.  The latter caused Mr. Yoy to black out in anger and his paralegal had to summarize the phone call as she heard every vulgar word from 30 feet away.

Mr. Yoy is loud, yet pretty logical.  He usually doesn't resort to yelling, either.  

But the Ashton Woods business model of rarely accepting responsibility for shoddy work in the hopes that their customers wear down and give up, does not work with the Yoys.  Mr. Yoy asked me out hundreds of times before I agreed to go to a movie with him.  He has mastered persistence. 

Our story is not unique.  Each of my neighbors has some story that makes you want to smash your head through the scratched-up window they installed in your bedroom.


So, I'm open to creating a new, more appropriate slogan for Ashton Woods.

In the meantime, I feel better for just getting this out into the universe. 


Monday, September 28, 2015

"Fall" Break

Last week we observed "fall" break.  For the record, this break technically began during summer which is why I'm using quotes.

Yom Kippur and our trip to NJ chewed up two days of it.  On Thursday, I took the boys up to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Gainesville (GA) to check out the new Lego exhibit.

It was an hour drive and well worth the trip for you locals looking for something different to do with your little people.

A few interesting things to note during our visit to the gardens:

The gardens set up Lego building stations out in the garden.  I was able to relax on a bench, watch my kids go nuts on some Legos, and enjoy the serenity of the garden.

About 30 minutes into playing, another mom rolled up with four kids.  She was definitly emitting the granola/crunchy vibe.

We started chit chatting about the exhibit, weather, etc.


I tried to hide it, but my eyes bulged out of my head.  Do I look like I have the patience to homeschool these demons, I mean my offspring?  I have nothing but respect for the moms that take the responsibility of their kids' education into their own hands, but I am not that mom.  I need the hours from 7:30-3:00 to charge up for the homework and bed time battle.

My homeschool curriculum would consist of HGTV and People.  They'd be mad stylish in their perfectly decorated homes, but they'd be dumb as dirt.  They'd get all their history lessons from Drunk History.  It would be a DISASTER.

I smiled at her.


It's some made up break intended to torture me. (I left that part out as she seemed to really enjoy her lovely children.)

Shortly afterwards, we headed towards the exit as we had a 60 minute drive ahead of us, and even though it was just shy of 2pm, evening rush hour Atlanta traffic begins promptly at noon.

I stopped by the front desk to pick up my reissued member pass (now printed on plastic!)  The Yoys made their way to the gift shop where they had these really cool lego books that teach you to build all sorts of vehicles and cities.

After Big E made his closing arguments as to why I should purchase this book for him, the lady working the desk made a comment that stopped me cold in my tracks.


Um.  What?  My kids aren't even being bad right now.  Big E was very logical and polite in explaining why he wanted this book.  Both boys were seated on the floor, thumbing through the pages.  They were not burning the place down.

Also, I feel like I have a pretty good gig.  My kids are in school all day and I can get my stuff done in peace.

Maybe she was just trying to make small talk.  Or be funny.  And I've heard it all before, just in a kinder way.





Look, it's totally cool for me to complain about my kids, but I don't need a random lady to point out my deficiencies as a mother.

In any case, we give the Gainesville garden two stubby Yoy thumbs up.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Hunger Games

Yesterday was Yom Kippur.  It is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people.

We fasted from sundown on Tuesday night to sundown-ish on Wednesday.  The fast is intended to help you focus on all of your wrongdoings over the past year and how to make yourself a better human in the coming year.

I was going to list all of my sins, but fortunately for me, this platform has a word limit.

We dragged the boys to Synagogue, where I had signed them up for babysitting, while Mr. Yoy and I prayed and reflected.  Parenting is hard, parenting while hungry is worthy of sainthood.  I had to pack lunches for the boys because they are not required to fast until they are bar mitzvahed.

Big E decided at the last minute that he would have nothing to do with something with the word "baby" in it.  He was coming to sit in services with us for close to three hours.  We exchanged knowing glances with the babysitting staff.


Mr. Yoy, Big E, and I found three seats and sat down to listen to the Rabbi.


Ha.  So is everyone in here, buddy.


I quietly explained that there was no scenario that 1) he eats in the sanctuary and 2) on Yom Kippur.  Where there were hundreds of starving Jews ready to do murder over a box of stale Publix raisins.

I snuck him his string cheese and told him to go eat it outside synagogue, by the police officer guarding us from the crazies.

He nodded emphatically, as if he was on board with the plan, but in the end I watched in horror as he gnawed on his cheese stick just outside the doors of the sanctuary, in the lobby.  I thought about getting up, walking the length of the sanctuary, opening the doors, and escorting him outside. But I was all out of energy.

Just add it to my atonement list...

Friday, September 11, 2015

With Knowledge Comes Power, Or Possibly Nightmares

Big E has been given the opportunity to check books out of his school library the past few weeks.

For whatever reason, instead of settling on my preferred type of read, chick lit, he is all in on a series of books that focus on energy.

We've read about fossil fuels, renewable resources, and the latest (and my person favorite) nuclear power.

The thing that makes these books fantastic bedtime material is that they are boring as sh*t.  I'm basically half dead by the time I make it through the 20 or so pages.  But not Big E.  He is FASCINATED.

And a book about nuclear power is not worth reading without mentioning the dangerous side effects of disposing of the waste and the time our country dropped a couple of these suckers on Japan and killed hundreds of thousands of people.

Big E was very concerned about the nuclear power plants.  He insisted that I google where the closest ones to our home were.  They're in SE Georgia, thank goodness.  Because if they were in the metro, he'd probably make me build a fallout shelter in our backyard.

After discussing how far away the nuclear power plants were, he made me google where the closest plant was to Grandma and Poppy.  And then his St. Louis cousins.  He definitely inherited his worry gene from Mrs. Yoy.

Sweet dreams, Big E.  Here's hoping you dream of three-headed Chernobyl birds and WW2 bombings.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Mrs. Yoy: Text You Later (if I can remember you)

The clock is loudly ticking on my 30s.

To distract myself from the dirty F word, no the other one, I've been throwing myself into unpacking and settling into our new home.

It's not that I'm sad to say goodbye to my thirties, it's just forty always seemed so old to me.

Why are you rambling about this, you may ask.

This evening, as I rinsed away the mom grime in the shower, my phone alerted me to a new text message.

After my shower, I picked up my phone.

I spent the next five minutes trying to remember meeting Doris.  And I just couldn't.  Did I forget meeting Doris and distributing my number to her? As a 39.5 year old, am I now old enough to have friends named Doris?  Maybe it's the lady from Everybody Loves Raymond?  I really just can't recall.

In the end, I decided it was a wrong number and did what any upstanding human would do.  I ignored it.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Why Moms Drink Wine at 9 AM.

Friday morning came fast and early for the Yoys.

My cousins arrived Thursday night with their kids, and this sent Big E into a tizzy.  He was unable to settle down until after eleven.  Thank goodness Little E fell asleep before their arrival and slept through all the excitement.

I was able to get the Yoys dressed for school ahead of our normal sprinting-to-the-bus-stop timeline.  Big E was determined to accidentally wake up his cousins so he could play with him.  He was singing in the hallway some made up bulls*t song about farts and umbrellas.

I couldn't SHHHHHH and threaten him enough.  Only later did I learn that all my SHHHHHHHH was very audible through the bedroom walls.

As I herded the boys into the bathroom to brush their teeth, I circled back into Big E's bedroom to turn off his light.  And that's when I saw Poodle Yoy. Squatting. Pooping on his bedroom floor.


I screamed at her.  I checked the floor and I had interrupted her before she had done her dirty business.  Phew.  Crisis averted.

I re-entered Little E's bathroom to see if he had finished brushing his teeth.  Oh he had.  He was already off his step stool.  He stepped down into Poodle Yoy's hot steamer.  There was a trail of turds through my freshly tiled home.

Little E started crying when he realized his shoe was coated in poop.  I sprang into action.  Pulled off his shoe.  Grabbed handfuls of toilet paper and began picking up the poop and flushing it down the toilet.

I ran into the laundry room to grab some towels so I could clean the floor.  In the hallway, I encountered another line of turd droppings.  She was pulling a Hansel and Gretel and leaving a trail of her sh*t around my house in case she got lost.

I whispered a thousand dirty words as I picked up more poop.  The boys were downstairs clamoring for breakfast.  My guests were trying to sleep.  Mr. Yoy was snoozing away in our eleven pillow dream bed.


Finally, Mr. Yoy awoke from his slumber to his cussing wife.  He was alarmed, but not enough to get up and help me.

I ran back into Little E's bathroom to start scrubbing the tile.

Except I saw this.

Yep. Those are pee prints.  Because after she was done soiling up every room on the second floor, she unloaded on the bathmat, except missed and now there was a lake in the middle of the floor.  She made sure to step in it before prancing innocently out the door.

Again, I grabbed another towel, sopped up the urine and hurled the bath mat into the wash.

Time was up.  I had to feed the Yoys and get them to the bus.

I would have to deal with this later.

I ran downstairs. Sweating. But we made it. And that's all that counts.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mrs. Yoy: Up, Up, and Away

Tomorrow we will have lived in our new place a full month.

My month has consisted off unpacking (not fun) and working with a designer on picking out curtains and bedding and art and furniture (very fun).

I found a piece today at Home Goods which caught my eye.  I liked the colors and the size (small horse) as we are looking to fill a giant space in our family room, and of course the small price (because Mrs. Yoy is on a strict budget!)

I took a quick shot of it and sent it to my designer.

She told me to buy it.

Which in theory, sounded like a good idea.  I lugged it to the TJ Maxx checkout and waited patiently with all the other ladies of leisure.

I walked it out to my car and then it hit me.  This painting MAY not fit in my Avalon.  I almost missed my mini-van.  Almost.

But I was hopeful.  First I tried the trunk.  Yeah, no.  This was not a good trunk for carting anything substantial around.  If I ever planned a murder, this would not be the car I'd commit my crime in.  I needed my grandma's old Grand Marquis.

Still hopeful, I opened the back doors and slid the painting into the backseat.  One door closed.  The other did not.

And still hopeful, I moved the front car seat up to try and angle the painting in there, but it was a no go.

So I did what any civilized lady would do.  I shouted the "F" word.

Then I frantically called into TJ Maxx and asked if I could store this sucker until I had access to a bigger car, I'm looking at you Mr. Yoy.

Overall, the story doesn't seem that interesting, but I left out the detail that makes this whole thing a hell of a lot more fun.

It's windy out today.  I would even say gusty.  I don't know if it is related to the storm churning in the Caribbean, but weather was not doing me any favors today.

My hair was swirling around my face.  And every time a gust of wind hit me and my beloved painting, I finally knew how it felt to go para sailing over the gentle waves of the Atlantic.  I was so close to catching air and floating my way home.  I looked drunk as I walked the painting out to my car (why did I park so far?) and then back into TJ Maxx.

I'll post a picture once the painting goes up in its new place.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

"That's My Bike!"

Many years ago, I was a total b*tch to my younger brother.  For like the first 20 years of his life.  The beginning of this blog takes place in 1981.  We were fresh off our move to Florida.

My brother and I were riding our bikes around the front of our rental home.  His ride was a babyish vehicle.  I had a bad-a** Big Wheel.

The only reason I can easily recall this story is my dad filmed the whole thing with his giant video camera. It was like having a news station capturing your life. Or being the star of a reality TV show before they existed.

My five year old self ran inside for a potty break.

My brother looked around and noticed I was gone.  He took this chance to hop on MY BIG WHEEL.


And sure enough it was.

A_______!  THAT'S MY BIKE!

I picked up his little tricycle and hurled it into the street.  I was like the hulk.  But not green.  And this ugly interaction became the stuff of legends.

I still yell this phrase to my brother as a joke.

So imagine my delight as I watched Little E hop onto Big E's Spiderman bike after he had gone inside.  Little E was so proud of himself as he rode back and forth.

Then I heard the door from the house to the garage slam shut.  Big E was back.

And a smile crept onto my face as I knew what was about to happen even before the words escaped his mouth.


And with that, I burst into giggles.

The Circle of Life played in my brain and I felt the urge to hold up Big E to the sun and present him as the gift he was.

Greetings From the 'Burbs

HEEEEELLO, readers!

I know.  It's been a long time.  And you've probably given up on me.  And for that, I'm sorry.  We moved. To the suburbs.  And it has taken about a month to let that sink in, to unpack, and to finish my book club book, which is tonight.  I didn't feel like I had the luxury of writing until I had all my chores done.

We have settled into our new life here in East Cobb.  The Yoysers are adjusting well to the new school and I have made some lovely new neighbor friends.

But of course, it wouldn't be us, if I didn't have any insane stories to tell you.

So here we go, folks.

This is the second year that the boys have taken the school bus to school. This was one of the few things they didn't have to adjust to.  They climbed the steps onto their new bus and were off.

Their bus driver is a no-nonsense woman.  She keeps things in order because she drives 100+ 5-11 year olds to school and that is the only way to get it done.  And I appreciate that.

Unfortunately for my sons, they received the wrath of her no-nonsense.  The Yoys like to sit together on the bus.  I like it because they can keep an eye on each other.  But sometimes, they make up psychedelic games that manifest in the form of "WHO CAN POKE YOUR EYE OUT FIRST?"

One Friday the bus pulled up.  The protocol calls for each student to identify his mom/dad/nanny/neighbor before they can be let off the bus.  When it came time for Big E to point me out, she called me over. And not in a friendly manner.

I was shaking in my boots as I dead-man walked to the bus.


And she unleashed on me.


I agreed with her.  No more sitting together.

I've been on plenty of drives where the back seat resembles an Ultimate Fighting Championship match.  They poke and pinch and scream and cry.  Weapons transform out of legos and crayons.


I have contemplated driving us straight into the highway median it gets so bad.

So I get it, Mrs. No-Nonsense School Bus Driver.

Little E and Big E cried their way down the bus steps. Big E cried on and off for about two hours afterwards.  He was devastated that he wasn't going to be allowed to sit with and/or torture Little E on the bus. Little E was not.

Eventually Big E accepted his life sentence.

But then a miracle occured.

Because our new neighborhood has enough elementary school aged kids to populate a small army, we were assigned our own bus with a new bus time and a new bus driver.

I was elated as my wake-up time shifted from 6:00 AM (dangerously close to the five o-clock hour) to 6:30 AM (a normal person wake-up time).

Big E was elated because he knew he'd get a second chance to sit with Little E on the bus.


I imparted my motherly wisdom on my sons.  They get assigned seats tomorrow from the new, less militant, Bus Driver.  Hopefully, it'll be smooth riding from here on out.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Little E: Perspective Provider

I was playing fake cupcakes with Little E yesterday.  Fake cupcakes is significantly less fun than real cupcakes.  Just in case you were wondering.

Little E put a birthday candle in my fake cupcake and told me to blow it out and make a wish.

I did.

He asked what I wished for.


He gave me a puzzled look.


I teared up immediately.  My sweet boy.  He is very aware of what is going on, even at his age.

I hugged him close, thanked him, and told him that I changed my wish.

The Yoys: Lost, Then Found

My kids are easy to find.

They leave a trail of their sh*t wherever they go.  They'll never be able to run away from me.  As all I'll need to do is follow the trail composed of their one sock, trash wrapper, and Thomas the Train car.  Just call me Gretel.

At the large YMCA summer camp they are currently attending, this translates into them losing shoes (YES, BOTH OF THEM!), arriving home in someone else's clothes, losing swim goggles, and pool towels.

We are still living the nomadic lifestyle.  All of our earthly belongings are socked away in a few pods somewhere in the metro.  We have very little.  I ran to Walmart the night before camp started to buy four towels for the boys to take to camp.

As of Monday, day six of the Y camp, Little E had lost both of his towels.  And he has only had three days of swim.

More importantly, he left his goggles, which resulted in a 45 minute meltdown during a swim playdate with some friends.  

Monday evening I dropped by the Y to see if I could find Little E's towels and the all-important goggles.

I had two giant bins of camp lost and found to go through.  I found some comfort in knowing my kids weren't the only ones who would lose their heads if they were not attached to their necks.

I found one towel. SCORE! I found another towel. FIST PUMP! And then in the depth of this bin, I found Little E's neon green goggles.


I felt triumphant.  I wanted to run onto the nearby indoor basketball courts and high five all the guys playing basketball.



I composed myself and walked out of the Y. Head held high. Yoys in tow. Lecturing my kids on the importance of accounting for all their stuff. In one ear and out the next, I'm sure.

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Big E came home from camp with a nasty splinter on the front of his toe.

Splinters fall under the same category as loose teeth.  The ickiness factor isn't as high, but it still makes my stomach do leaps.

Big E would barely let me touch his toe. I had to promise I was just going to hold his toe still to look at it.  Because the splinter was approaching the size of a 2 x 4, I knew it would be easy to pull out. If only Big E would let me.

I explained to him in my calmest voice, that I had to pull it out and it might hurt, but only briefly. Like a shot. (I regretted using this example as soon as the words escaped my mouth).

After some persuasion, Big E agreed to let me try it.

We sat down by the window for the most light and I slowly approached his toe with tweezers.  The second I touched the splinter, Big E lost his mind.


He cried on and off for ten minutes. Finally, we agreed that he'd go to bed with splinter in tow and Dr. Daddy would look at it in the morning.

That worked for me, as I couldn't take the angst anymore.

I told Mr. Yoy of splinter-gate when he arrived home around 8:30. Big E was already asleep. So we did what any crazy-a** parents would do.

We snuck into his bedroom like a special ops team, decked out in all black, with a flashlight and tweezers in an attempt to remove the splinter while Big E slept.

Mr. Yoy held Big E's foot down and I was tasked with the hard part.  Removing the splinter.


I sashayed out of his bedroom.  Like the unstoppable super mom I was.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mrs. Yoy: Tooth Fairy Sweats

July has started off with a BANG!

After tormenting me for days with his tooth, Big E finally wiggled that sucker out with minimal blood and gore.  Thank goodness!

The relief was temporary as then I remembered the next part in this process: the tooth fairy.

I googled the going rate for the tooth fairy these days, because I am a 90 year old trapped in a late 30s body.  And guess what?!  It's well over $3. Per tooth.  

First, let me thank the good lord that he is not a shark, because this $3+ per tooth nonsense would get expensive. Fast. If I'm forced to choose between funding this tooth fairy thing or new curtains in the house, the curtains will win every damn time. Sorry.

Second, I'd like to thank Greece for its inability to keep itself from defaulting on loans and causing a massive tremor in the world's financial markets, including our own.  Things here are shaky, folks. That's why I've deemed fifty cents to be an appropriate (and fiscally conservative) tooth fairy amount.  He's not in school right now and has no frame of reference.  Things may change once he starts comparing notes with the other first graders and finds out his mom is a scrooge. But for now, fifty cents it is.

Now that the bounty has been decided, I have to work on the logistics of the tooth swap. I really want this to be magical for him. Mostly because we don't do Santa and the Elijah thing is sort of creepy.  He doesn't bring gifts, he just drinks all your wine. Essentially, he's me.

The tooth fairy will give him a sense of magic.  That feeling I had when I would wake up and reach under my pillow and feel the cold metal quarters my folks, ahem, I mean the tooth fairy had left for me. I can still feel the excitement!

This operation must be seamless.  There are a few complications.  Their bedroom door is mad thirsty for some WD-40 and when I open it, it sounds like I'm opening up a haunted house. What if this wakes him up as I creep in? What if Little E, who shares a room with Big E, wakes up and sees me? What if I get the giggles, which I ALWAYS do, at inappropriate moments? What if I can't find the flippin' tooth and I stand there for hours running my hand underneath Big E's head? What if I straight up forget and then Big E wakes up in the morning to his abandoned tooth?

I'm getting heart palpitations just thinking about it.  I have the tooth fairy sweats! I was Mr. Yoy was here. He's so much cooler under pressure.

I'll report back in the am. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Big E: Waiting for the Tooth Fairy

Big E turns seven in November.

While many of his friends have jacked up, adorable, toothless grins, my kid hasn't arrived there yet.  Part of me wishes it would never happen.  You see, I have this thing with blood.

Poop, vomit, even urine, doesn't affect me. But blood. Blood is my kryptonite. I fainted into a wall at a movie theatre the first time I got my period. Gave myself a really good shiner. Clearly, I would have made a horrendous doctor.

And I know for a fact a tooth doesn't just gently fall out. There's the empty tooth pocket that fills up with blood. It makes my stomach turn.

So tonight Big E said the words I've been fearing.


The tooth is leaning on its neighbor.  I could barely take this picture without vomiting in my mouth.

My dad wanted to investigate, naturally. Dr. Poppy decided the best thing to do was to yank it out.


I put an end to this nonsense.  This tooth will fall out naturally, even if it is hanging by a thread for weeks.  There will be no slamming the door shut with a string attached to this poor, innocent tooth.  

I'm fine with Big E rocking this look until he leaves for college.  As long as I don't have to be the one to remove it from his mouth or sop up any sort of blood.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Yoys: Gator Bait

After a good old fashioned Florida thunderstorm, the temperature outside had cooled to an almost bearable degree.

I decided to take the boys out on the golf cart path and burn through the remainder of their boy energy.  My dad joined us and we were off.

My parents' neighborhood is so far West, they basically live in the Everglades. There is such an amazing array of wildlife that a simple walk can turn into an adventure.

This evening, we encountered not one, but two alligators on our walk. 

The first one wasn't very big, but I'd recognize those creepy eyes anywhere.  As a University of Florida alumni, I learned to be very alert on campus.  Forget about the drunk fraternity boys, it was one of these suckers you really had to worry about.  You never knew when a hungry gator would come ashore and attempt to eat your Birkenstock-clad foot for lunch. I'm talking to you, Lake Alice.

I kept my distance. My dad, on the other hand, gave zero f*cks.  He walked right down to the water's edge, while I took my offspring and safely climbed up a nearby palm tree.

As we continued on, we encountered a much larger lake with some cool birds. The birds here are big. Not like swoop down and eat your dog big, but like starting center for the Miami Heat big.  They have legs that rival mine.  They are quite beautiful. 

And it was then that I spotted the second alligator.  My dad doubted my latest find. He thought it was some floating plant.  But again, those creepy eyes.  Just breaking the water plane to keep an eye on his next meal while the remainder of his prehistoric body remains submerged.

And this thing was big. I could tell by his snout. He would gladly eat all of us for dinner.  My dad walked closer to the lake. 


Um, yes. And, again, I began to make my way cautiously away from the lake.

The pictured bird flew off and just then the gator, that my dad wasn't so sure was a gator, gave a good thrashing and repositioned his eyes on us.

We screamed in unison and sprinted off, while laughing like fools.

My dad and I ran straight.

But my kids, they ran zig zag.

You see, in the early 80s, I spent a few years in the Brownies, the pre-cursor to the Girl Scouts. I learned a few songs, how to eat a sh*t ton of thin mints and not get ill, and most importantly, if I was ever being chased by an alligator, because this is the kind of stuff you learn in Glades Troop 101, you are supposed to run in a zig zag pattern because while alligators are fast, they have a terrible turning radius.

In passing, I must have told the Yoys this.  And they remembered.  So as I'm running away (in the incorrect way), I'm watching my kids scatter onto the golf course yelling ZIG! ZAG! ZIG! ZAG! at the top of their lungs while they actually zigged and zagged.

It was perfect.  And the alligator ate none of us for dinner.

The only type of alligator I want chewing on my kids. Albert.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Little E: Big Rescue?

Poppy picked the boys up from summer camp this afternoon while I was driving my mom home from a two hour eye doctor appointment.

The teenage counselors told my dad a brief story regarding Little E falling off his pool noodle in a deeper area of the pool, but they insisted he was fine.

My dad relayed the story to me via phone and when I arrived home, I began the FBI questioning.

On Little E's camp registration, we had classified Little E as a non-swimmer. A more accurate classification would be a partial swimmer. He can swim, really swim, he just can't (or won't) lift his head out of the water to breathe. So he can only swim as far as he can hold his breath. Then he just starts drinking dirty pool water.

I was a little concerned that he was floating around in the deep end of the pool.

I was even more concerned when Big E began telling me how everyone within a two mile radius jumped into the pool to save him, including the lifeguard. It was like some bad 80s after-school special on drowning.

Every time I pressed Big E for more details, the story became more and more outrageous. At some point, a rescue helicopter made it's way into the neighborhood to save his brother.

Little E said very little about the pool incident. I don't know if it is because nothing major happened or if this is the beginning of the secondary drowning process I've seen posted all over Facebook.

At drop off tomorrow morning, I hope to get the full, accurate story on Little E's pool mishap.  It's not that I don't TRUST Big and Little E, it's just they have crazy doomsday imaginations, and I just want to make sure I have all the facts before I allow myself to freak out.

Stick to the jacuzzi, Little E. For my nerves' sake.