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.

LOOK. MY HUSBAND IS CRAZY.  AND HE'S AN ATTORNEY.  THIS WILL NOT WORK FOR HIM. YOU DO NOT WANT TO PULL HIM INTO THIS.

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.

WE'RE SO SORRY YOUR HONDA ACCORD DOESN'T FIT INTO YOUR GARAGE BECAUSE OF A DESIGN FLAW.  MAYBE YOU SHOULD SWITCH IT OUT WITH A SMART CAR. - Just a sampling of the builder madness.

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. 

Thanks!









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.

SO DO YOU ALSO HOMESCHOOL?

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.

OH NO, WE ARE JUST ON FALL BREAK.

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.

I DON'T ENVY YOU, HONEY.

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.

YOU SURE HAVE YOUR HANDS FULL!

THEY KEEP YOU ON OUR TOES!

BLESS YOUR HEART!

YOUR KID IS ABOUT TO JUMP OUT OF A SHOPPING CART!

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.

WE'LL BE BACK IN LIKE FIVE MINUTES.  HAR. HAR. HAR.

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

MOM, I'M HUNGRY.

Ha.  So is everyone in here, buddy.

I KNOW YOU HAVE MY LUNCH IN YOUR PURSE.  I WANT TO EAT.

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.

POODLE YOY!

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.

IS EVERYTHING ALL RIGHT OUT THERE?

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.