Friday, May 29, 2015

The Craig's List Chronicles

Selling your house is mad stressful.  It makes you do completely illogical things like selling a bunch of your sh*t on Craig's List.

Craig's List is like the Wild West.  There are no laws.  No manners.  No expectation of decency.  It's basically rush hour on 285.  Every man for himself.

And I sold a ton of stuff.  I encountered all sorts of humans.  There were a few that showed up at the agreed upon time with the agreed upon amount, although that was rare.  Mostly it was a bunch of no shows.  

Below is a summary of my top three transactions, in no particular order.

1) Gucci Diaper Bag

This was a gift from my parents when I was pregnant with Big E.  Of course I would have a Gucci Diaper Bag.  I may live in Atlanta, but I'm a Boca girl at heart. Anyway, I wore this thing out.  I carried it every day for five years.  The corners are pilled.  The top has some wear.  If I amortized the cost of the bag across the usage, it was basically free.  At least, that's how I justified it.  But after five years, I could not look at that bag without having flashbacks of blowout diapers and projectile vomiting.  It had to go.  I posted it on a bunch of Buckhead Facebook selling exchanges with no luck.  Those ladies are too good for a used Gucci Diaper Bag. It was my Craig's List posting that blew up.

My buyer was from the sticks, which was so intriguing to me.  She was having issues picking it up because her only means of transport was an 18-wheeler.

I declined the offer to load up my kids in the middle of a tornado and stop on the side of South Cobb Drive to do the deal.  And wouldn't you know it, they rolled up in the cab of the 18 wheeler and parked in front of my home to buy a Gucci Diaper Bag.  I guess he unhitched his cargo before heading into my subdivision. The visual was so lovely that I forgot to take a picture.  It was a young, excited couple, so I was happy to sell them my beat to hell bag.  She was so elated to have the diaper bag.  It gave me the good feels all around.

2) Leather Trundle Day Bed

Little E's new bedroom is about twice the size of his current room.  We decided to put two twin beds in there.  His trundle bed was out.  This item of furniture generated the most interest because it is pretty pimp.  I had a million inquiries, but most were all talk, no action.  Except this one woman.  She swore up and down how much she wanted the bed.  It took close to a MONTH to get her out to the house.  Things kept coming up.  That last sentences is in air quotes, because this lady was flaky city.  I disassembled the bed (Thanks, Uncle E!) and had it right next to the door for her to pick up.  She FINALLY showed up and then gave me a sob story about all she has is this $100 bill (she waved it in front of my nose).  The bed was for sale for $175.  But what she doesn't know is that I don't need to get rid of this piece of furniture, so I send her walking empty handed.  I immediately received another email about the bed and this woman showed up the next day and purchased.  No questions asked.  Thanks, nice couple from Buford!  I kept waiting for the original woman to reach out to me as she said she was going to go home and beg her husband for the rest of the money.  She never did.  Because I really wanted to tell her it was sold.  Especially after all my time wasted dealing with her crazy a**.

3) Dining Room Table, Chairs, and Sideboard

The was the DOOZY of all transactions. Our dining room table is enormous. We have sat 16 people at this thing.  The chairs weigh about 40 pounds each which makes sitting down at the table damn near impossible. Our new dining room is much smaller so the table had to go. Again, I received many inquiries, but this lady was the first to come out and look and agree to buy the set. Except it wasn't her that came out. It was her cousin and her cousin's boyfriend. This lady was some sort of secret agent spy that was always traveling for work. Or so she said. She was very hard to reach and hardly ever responded to my emails.

Apparently, there is no email in Canada. But I'd like to confirm that with my friend, SM.

She had someone drop off a $400 deposit in exchange for two of the chairs a few weeks back and I told her it MUST be picked up by Monday, May 25th because we were M-O-V-I-N-G. She assured me that was fine. We told her she'll need some sort of moving truck and some able bodied men as this thing is enormous.

Sunday night I followed up with her regarding what time she'd be coming to get the furniture. 

And this happened. And I about lost my mind. Thank goodness I have Mr. Yoy. He is the eye of my hurricane. We told her to return the two chairs and we'd give her the $400 back. We had a backup buyer who really wanted the set and I don't have time for these shenanigans.  

She insisted she still wanted the set and that she'd give us $600 of the $1,600 she still owed us. We still weren't comfortable with that arrangement. Again, Mr. Yoy saved the day. He used his lawyer skills to counter her offer. $800 and she could have all the furniture, except the top of the table which had to be removed to get the table out of our home. We needed this stuff gone and what was she going to do with a table base and no table? She agreed to come and get it first thing Tuesday morning.  I wanted Mr. Yoy to be home so there was no chance of me being murdered.

At this point, I'm questioning the meaning of life. How can this be happening? I'm fully convinced we are being scammed. Mr. Yoy formulated an exit strategy. We had PODS coming on Wednesday and this table and chairs were not slated to fit. We were going to rent a small U-Haul truck and move the furniture to the storage place by our home and have the back up buyer come and get it this weekend.  

But then a miracle happened. She called and let me know she was on her way. At 1:30 in the afternoon. And I wasn't feeling super comfortable about being at the house alone. Plus my friend, E, convinced me I was about to get robbed and then killed. So I called Mr. Yoy.  But he wasn't at his desk. Then I called my friend who works from home. And he came right over.

And they showed up. With the money. And a Home Depot truck. And took everything, except the table top. Mr. Yoy has it safely stored away until she comes up with the rest of the money. We are just happy to have that beast out of our possession.

So that sums up the past month of my life. I'm safely down in Florida with my kids and the house closes today. I can't believe it. WE DID IT!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

No Child Left Behind

Making it to the morning bus stop is a perfectly orchestrated process.

There are so many moving pieces.

Will the bus be five minutes early today?

Will the bus be twenty minutes late today?

Will the Yoys refuse to leave their warm beds?

Will I sleep through my alarm?

Will Little E have a bathroom emergency?

It truly is a miracle that they make it on the bus most mornings.  So what if they are inhaling their breakfasts as they sprint down hill to the stop?

We HAVE missed the bus one or twice.  But only because the bus showed up way earlier than normal.  We didn't even realize we had missed it until I called a friend later down the line to see if her son had been picked up.

This morning we took a little longer to get ready.  Big E had to get dressed up in his graduation outfit.  I was busy filing out a thank you note for the bus driver, ironically.

We were heading out the door when our door bell rang.  It was my neighbor telling us the bus was there.  I yelled for the boys to bust a move.

As we ran out the front door screaming like we were on fire, our bus drove off.

I wanted to yell F.  Because I only had like ten million things to do before I headed to school for graduation.  Creeping down Bolton Road for thirty minutes was not in my plan.

I threw the Yoys in my car and took off.  I was going to chase down this bus if it was the last thing I ever did.

I peeled out of our neighborhood and made the light onto Bolton.  The bus was only four cars ahead of me.  My kids commented that I was driving like a mad woman.


As the bus made a left at the first light.  I sped past to the next street.  I was going to beat her to the next stop.


My friends were surprised to 1) see me at their stop and 2) not wearing pajamas.

The bus driver was even more surprised to see the Yoys.

Big E handed the driver her thank you card, but not before laying on the Jewish guilt.


Sleeping off all the transportation excitement.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Victory Lap

Thirty nine children stood up when their names were called, walked up on stage, received their Pre-K diploma, and shook the principal's hand.

One child did not.

And I'm sure you already know that the one child was my very own, Little E.

Don't get me wrong, he was super amped about all the attention he was receiving.  He just decided to add an impromptu victory lap to the rites of graduation.

Little E stood up when his name was called.  He smiled his giant, cheesy grin, and made a bee-line towards Mr. Yoy and I as we sat frozen, mortified in the audience.  Oh lord, what was about to transpire?

He hugged Mr. Yoy.  He hugged me.  Then he left our row of seats and made his way to the side of the gymnasium where his brother was "videoing" the graduation.  I put video in quotes because for the second year in a row, I brought an uncharged, hanging by a thread of battery, video camera to Pre-K graduation. Luckily, Big E didn't know that and he was completely preoccupied with his filming duties.

But back to my story.

Little E hugged the hell out of Big E to which the audience erupted in a round of:


Then finally, after what seemed like hours, Little E made his way up on stage to receive his diploma.

Mr. Yoy and I laughed so hard we had tears in our eyes.

Or at least that's MY story.

So proud of himself!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Can I Graduate?

This week I'll be attending back-to-back graduation ceremonies for Little E and Big E, Pre-K and K, respectively.

I will be attempting the world record for the most crying in a public school.

I'm sad to leave my school.  I'm proud of my kids for not being expelled. Well, yet, anyway.  It was touch and go for awhile, but Big E finally pulled up that Calculus grade.

And thanks to Facebook's new feature, I am greeted daily with pictures of the Yoys when they were babies.  Back when they smelled so good I had to restrain myself from licking their sweet faces.  Before they sass mouthed me and broke my spirit on a daily basis.  Seeing their baby pictures regularly really hits home. The Yoys are no longer little boys.

They are getting older and less dependent on me every day.  Well, at least Big E is.  I have a feeling Little E will be living with me forever.  I'll still be spoon feeding him cottage cheese and rubbing his back when he is forty.  Don't judge.

The point is, I will be having lots of feelings.  So watch out.  You've been warned. And also you may want to arm yourselves with kleenex.

Mr. Manners

My kids are works in progress.  Some days I get "pleases" and "thank-yous" and possibly even an elusive "yes ma'am!"

Other days it's like I've got Gordon Ramsey living with me and he is just barking orders at me.  And I am too frightened to do anything but obey.


This week, we've been visited twice by a little boy who rides the bus with the Yoys.  He is a year or two older than Big E, but they play well together.

And this kid brings the manners.

He uses please without being prompted.  He makes eye contact when he speaks to me.  He took his snack bowl and walked it to the sink AND rinsed it out.

I about fainted.

He even chimes in when Big E is not behaving.


He is such a pleasure to have over.

And it gets my mind cranking.

1) Is this how Big E behaves when I'm not around and he is at a friend's house? Or is he a total terror?  Just ripping open the fridge and guzzling apple juice right from the bottle?  Wiping his Cheetos fingers on the velvet curtains? Peeing with the door open?  This is the kind of thing I fear.

2) Whatever his folks are doing, they are doing it right.  Maybe I need to score an invite to their place to watch and learn.

Am I the only mother out there with this fear?  Or is this normal? We work on manners all the time, I just don't think it always makes it through to the final behavior product.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

21 Days

I've got three weeks until we move out of our home and begin the summer of the Nomad.

The level of procrastination happening here has soared to new heights.  It doesn't help that Mr. Yoy skipped town for a week, so I don't really have anyone at home to judge me.  Except maybe Poodle Yoy.

I signed up for a three hour field day shift at Big E's school tomorrow morning just to avoid bubble wrapping not one, but two sets, of our Grandma's China.

What's so bad about field day you may wonder?

On the surface, nothing.  Except both my offspring will be out there and they are major sweaters.  My kids sweat in the winter.  In the cooler.  At Costco.  So you can only imagine what will go down on an 80 degree day.  They will be rubbing their sweaty, dirty, sticky hands and faces all over me.  Plus, Little E will probably attach himself to my leg and I'll have to walk around all morning like I've got some sort of awkward leg brace on.

The boys tried to help out with packing this afternoon, but really they just wanted to pop all the newly arrived bubble wrap.  They quickly got the boot from the dining room.

I asked them to go into their playroom and make a pile of toys and books that they had outgrown.

Yes, I hear you laughing.

And no, they couldn't find one thing they could part with.  Big E even cried when I merely suggested he hadn't played with his Mystery Machine in a while.  Ruh-roh, Shaggy!

I think what I'm really trying to say is I'm accepting volunteers.  Or at least someone to tell me what to do.  I'm so much better at that.  I'll ply you with alcohol, junk food, and endless hours of HGTV softly playing in the background.

I mean who doesn't enjoy an episode (or ten) of Fixer Upper?

Any takers?