Mr. Big Guy

A couple months ago Millie and I were on our way home from her daycare.  Driving home from daycare is always entertaining.  She's excited and chatty.  We talk about her day.  I ask her what she did..."played with my friends". I ask her what toys she played with..."my kitchen!" I inquire about what she ate for lunch..."green beans!"  We sing songs and talk about what we are going to do when we get home.  I love that time.  She is so darling.  On this particular day we were driving and she says out of nowhere, "There's Mr. Big Guy!  He's pretty funny. I wanna hold him! Hi Mr. Big Guy!"  I wasn't sure what she was talking about. I turned briefly to her and said, "Where's Mr. Big Guy?"  She replies, "He's right there!" and points to what I assumed was the seat in the car next to her.

It was at this point that I realized my child had an imaginary friend.  I find imaginary friends a bit creepy.  Creepy in the "holy crap my child is seeing a ghost" kind of way.  I talked to her a lot that evening about Mr. Big Guy.  I found out he was tall, purple and had purple hair.  My fears about Mr. Big Guy being a ghost disappeared.  He seemed harmless enough.  Over the next couple of months I would ask about him. I would ask her if he wanted to eat dinner with us.  She would respond, "Yes! But he's outside." Mr. Big Guy was always outside.  I found this rather cute.  She always expressed how much she wanted to play with him.  She didn't really talk to him so maybe I took this whole imaginary friend thing a little too far?

Lets jump ahead to last week.  I haven't heard Millie talk much about Mr. Big Guy lately.  We were at Harmon's, loading our groceries into the trunk when Millie shouts, "There's Mr. Big Guy!  He's right there!"  I am surprised because she hasn't talked about Mr. Big Guy much lately.  I turn to look where she is pointing.  I look across the street and see....

Yep.  My kid did not in fact have an imaginary friend.  She had just seen one of those - well - what do you call them exactly?  According to The Family Guy you call them this...

I died. I laughed for a good 15 minutes.  Millie was so thrilled to be seeing Mr. Big Guy again. And I had no idea.  Clearly she had seen a Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man by her daycare.  As an adult I don't pay any attention to these advertising shenanigans.  Of course a kid would be completely fascinated  by them! We loaded up our groceries and I drove across the street to T-Mobile to let Millie get a longer look at her friend.  She was thrilled, "Mr. Big Guy is pretty funny.  He's wiggling!"  Ah, good guy Mr. Big Guy.

I admit that there was something about this situation, while hilarious, that made me feel a bit sad.  My child was trying to tell me something and I just assumed that she wasn't being truthful.  Children her age don't lie much. I should have looked more carefully when she told me initially about Mr. Big Guy. I could have been driving her to various places in the city to see some version of Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man for months!

This weekend Millie asked Seth to show her Mr. Big Guy on our computer.  When I came back from my morning yoga class I found them like this...

Oh you know, just another Saturday morning in the Youkstetter household.  Watching Youtube videos of "skydancers" (that is what they are really called).  She was completely captivated.  I laughed and laughed and laughed. 

Later that afternoon I gave into Millie's request of "I wanna see Mr. Big Guy again!"  I spent 30 minutes of my afternoon watching these videos.  Turns out there are a lot of them.  Mostly promotional but they even have "Skydancers Gangnam style".  Seth came in and saw us watching more videos.  Millie was over the moon about the whole thing.  I got a fit of the giggles. I laughed so hard that Mills got mad at me and I had tears streaming down my face.  I just never thought in a million years that my Saturdays would be filled with watching "skydancer" videos with my 2-year-old.  

But man does she love Mr. Big Guy.


Top TV Shows

I've always been a fan of TV. Now being a parent and pretty much being stuck in my house every evening by 7:00pm (she goes to bed really early) I've consumed an obscene amount of TV. However, I really believe that we are living in the golden age of TV. There are so many great shows right now. In fact, it's impossible to keep up with every good series. I've put off writing this blog for some time - mainly because I felt like I needed to finish Breaking Bad before making my top list. Ha, that wasn't necessary. And I realize I still have a bunch to watch (True Detective, The Sopranos, etc) but I'll never be completely on top of it. So here it is. My favorite TV shows. I'm not saying they are the "best" TV shows (although I would actually argue a couple of them are) but these are the ones I have enjoyed the most.


Choosing my number 1 was the hardest. Do I go with Mad Men? Do I stick with Sex and the City? Nope, going with Mad Men. This show is BRILLIANT. I remember when I first watched this I wasn't hooked. I was very intrigued but wasn't hooked. Then season 1 ended and I sat on my couch and was completely blown away by what I just saw. It's been fate ever since. What makes Mad Men so good is the writing. It's not a flashy show. There aren't murders, action scenes, or insane concepts. It's just extremely well written. In case you don't know the premise - it centers around an ad agency in the 1960s. So it has a bit of history in it, which I love, on top of great acting and plots. This show is so well done. I just hope they end it well. Oh and have I mentioned that my #1 guy is in it? Yes, Jon Hamm. 


There is a big part of me that thinks this deserves my #1 spot. In fact I feel a bit like I'm cheating on my best friends Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte by not giving this the top spot. Oh Sex and the City. You've been an important part of my life for almost a decade now. I started watching this while in grad school. It was the perfect show to watch after a long day of work and class. It was a great way to wind down. Initially I just found it funny and crass. But it didn't take long for me to fall completely for these girls. Soon I realized that it wasn't just a funny show, it was really a drama. I cried through some of the break ups, I laughed until I nearly peed my pants and as cheesy as it sounds, I felt like they were my friends. Oh, and the show ended perfectly. I like to pretend the movies never existed. Also, props to my friends Britney and Sean for buying me all six glorious seasons in that beautiful pink velvet case. Still my favorite gift of all time. I can watch and rewatch this show and quote it constantly. I will always love and hate Mr. Big. I'll always relate to Miranda, cringe over Carrie and her wardrobe choices, adore Charlotte and laugh at Samantha.


This show totally surprised me. A show about football that takes place in Texas? Gross. No way. Not interested. Then I started hearing a lot of buzz about it on Facebook. People that I know for a fact can't stand sports were just raving about this. So Seth and I gave it a try. It was a great 3 months watching this series. To me, this series is the perfect family drama that actually isn't much about football. I became so invested in the characters. Tami and Eric Taylor are the perfect TV couple. I want their marriage. Seth and I flew through this show. It's one of those shows that you can't wait to watch every night, but feel the need to pace yourself through because you don't want it to end. Sadly it did end, but ended perfectly as well. Lucky for us "Parenthood" is now on, made by the same creators. So there's that. Parenthood isn't on my top 5. But it is in my top 10.


I'm doing it.  Downton is taking the number 4 slot.  This little series that airs on PBS is so delightful. I started watching this the week I went on maternity leave.  I was antsy and waiting for Millie to arrive. I had heard a lot of talk about this so I watched the first season and was hooked.  What a boringly wonderful show this is. Really, it's not all that exciting but it is so well written, and so well acted that you kind of forget how boring the plot can be.  Ha!  Honestly the characters have become so endearing that I can't imagine not watching and loving it.  Oh, and this show wins for the hardest I have ever cried over a TV show.  It's lovely.  That is all.


Yes.  The Walking Dead! I can't believe I'm putting this type of a show in my top five but holy shiz do I love this show! I'd like to thank my dear friend Tara for convincing me to watch this. If she can watch a post-apocalyptic show about zombies and not be freaked out then by golly so can I!  This show is so my freaking fun! It's gory, it's ridiculous, it's a bit scary but it's mostly just a ton of fun to watch. I'm constantly surprised by the twists on this show. I'm always tense, I'm always expecting a zombie to come around the corner and I love it.  Seriously can season 4 just come on Netflix already?  I'm dying to keep this one going!

Alright, I'm not going to go into details about the final 5 in my top 10 - but here is a quicky...


I'm not sure I have made it through an episode of this show without crying.  I want to be a Braverman. I love this crazy family.  By the way, this is a drama.  Not a comedy. I avoided it for quite some time because I thought it was a comedy.


The only reason this didn't my my top 5 was because the last season was lame.  Season 4 of this show may be one of the best seasons of any show - ever.  Another fun and dark show. 


The BBC strikes again.  Witty, smart and incredibly clever.  Love love love this.  


I want to put this higher on my list.  However, I've only seen the first 2 seasons and haven't heard the best reviews for season 3.  Based on what I have seen though?  Really really well done.  The acting alone will knock your socks off.


Everyone should see this show at least once.  True story.  Heartbreaking and inspiring. Plus some of the old veterans are interviewed.  Cried my eyes out through this entire series.  

Feel free to post any suggestions of shows I need to watch!

A Sickly Tale

New parents.  I feel like none of us really know what we are doing.  We fuss and stew about all of the decisions we make for our child.  Cloth diapers?  Formula? Breast milk? Daycare? Co-sleeping?  Sleep training? Sugar? Every decision seems to be researched, analyzed, judged and worried about.  Are the steps we are taking now going to help us raise successful and happy adults? If I let my child watch more than 30 minutes of TV a day will that mean they become lazy adults?  Or adults with ADD?  If I take my child to daycare will they have abandonment issues?  It's actually quite terrifying realizing how we are shaping our children.  I often feel so powerless.  No matter how many times I tell her, I can't convince Millie to stop saying, "No Tanner, you go away!" (just fill in the name with whoever she is irritated with at the time).  Seth and I have talked to her since she was tiny about being kind, and yet here she is - a sometimes bratty little two-year-old.  How much can we really control?

Never do I feel more out of control and question my decision than when I have a sick child.  The last two weeks have been hell.  They started simply enough, a low-grade fever.  I didn't think much of it.  Bothered me a bit but she seemed fine.  Then it dawned on me "Oh! She's teething.  She's getting her 2-year-old molars! That's it!  That's why she has a fever!" And I stopped worrying.  Fast forward a week.  Her fevers start reaching levels way beyond a teething fever.  Hmmmm.  Maybe it's just a virus?  She doesn't seem sick.  Sure she doesn't want to eat but who does when you have a fever? She'll be fine.  It'll pass.  Fast forward a day.  Fever spikes to 104.5.  My nonchalance disappears and instantly I'm in panic mode. The high fever lasts for 5 days.  It lasts through a visit to a Saturday clinic, a call to the on-call doctor, a visit to her pediatrician and finally a trip to Primary Children's.  No diagnosis, a diagnosis but the wrong treatment, and finally an additional diagnosis and the right medication.  She's finally improving.  Finally.  

Nothing scares me more in sickness than a high-fever.  Four nights in a row of 104.5 + scared me to death. Millie was delirious.  She was jabbering.  At one point I asked her if she knew where she was (we were in my bed) and she exclaimed, "I'm in the heat!"  The 1-2 hours it took for the fever to reduce were scary.  I would rather have a night filled with throwing up than a night with that fever.  It's terrifying.  And even more terrifying when your chid has no other symptoms. I asked her over and over if her throat/stomach/bum/vagina hurt. I asked if it hurt when she went pee.  Answers were always different.  I didn't know what to do.  And I felt like I was doing my due-diligence as a mom by consulting 3 different doctors.  Sadly I felt like I was still failing her.  I should have taken her in earlier. I shouldn't have waited so long.  I somehow should have been more persistent.  

Yes, this is how I look when holding a baby with a 104+ degree temp.  
The problem is we just don't know what we are doing.  We don't know how to figure out why our 2-year-old is hurting.  They aren't old enough to explain what's bothering them.  We just have to follow our intuition as parents.  She did get two teeth last week! I was at least right on something. 

I was telling Seth last night that having a sick kid is the hardest thing in the world.  It really is.  You want so much to make them feel better.  You want to take their pain away and take it on yourself.  They don't sleep.  You don't sleep.  You somehow make it through the day by telling yourself "last night was the worst, it can't possibly be worse than last night."  Because you have to tell yourself that.  You have to hope that things will get better.  Sometimes they do, other times it takes nearly 2 weeks to get it right.  

Nothing makes you yearn for the mundane, every day life of rushed mornings, work, daycare, home, dinner, bath, etc. than two weeks of sickness. I can't wait for that mundane life. I can't wait to go back to work. I can't wait to run myself ragged.  Because at least she is healthy and happy and her sassy self. Because at least I get out of my house and get to be in the land of adults for a bit.  

So tonight I will enjoy my glass of wine. I will try and read my book and I will assume that tonight will be better. Because it usually is. If you are lucky.