Normally, all my shoes are in their rightful places on the shoe rack. But every now and then I'll slip off my flip flops and leave them by the door, knowing that I'll need to slip them back on for a quick trip to the mail box or something.
Frank has decided to adopt this philosophy but he's taken it too far. His flip flops now live by the door. Permanently. And maybe I could deal with that except they don't just live by one door. They live by all the doors. Here they are in their many homes:
Wanna know the most annoying thing about Frank's wandering flip flops? That he can't find them. "Have you seen my sandals?" he'll ask. Wait. Scratch that. The fact that he calls them sandals is more annoying. Although I guess that's better than the alternative: "Have you seen my thongs?"
No, not yet. But Leo was excited about bringing his new backpack to playgroup. Although I think he is smart enough for kindergarten. He already reads! Well, he doesn't read but he stares at the books when we read them to him and sometimes he even tries to turn the pages. His favorites? Anything by Dr. Seuss. He's also a fan of Leo the Late Bloomer and any books that involve hippos, belly buttons or both.
"Thanks for not making me go to school yet, Mommy. Sorry I spit up all over my new outfit."
After going through about fourteen $20 hair straighteners, I finally broke down and bought a Chi. That was in 2004 and my life has never been the same. The quickness, the hotness and OMG, the straightness! It was the best $100+ I ever spent.
But it almost didn’t happen. When I went to buy my Chi online, something got in the way. That something was the Fhi. Now I will share with you the story of the Fhi so that you don’t make the mistake that I almost made.
So back to 2004: I went to some discount flat iron website (in fact I think it was http://www.discountflatirons.com/) and I placed my order for the Chi. A few days later I got an email from the site saying: We are sorry to inform you that the Chi is currently out of stock. (NO! I could feel my hair getting wavier as I read the bad news.) However, we have good news. (A free Chi perhaps?) We will send you the Fhi which is better than the Chi at no additional cost. The Fhi actually retails for more than the Chi and it’s quality is superior to the Chi. You will be getting this exceptional flat iron at the same price as the Chi.
I was immediately sold on the Fhi. I thought, “I bet this is like the flat irons they use in salons! I will have salon-styled hair every day. That’s the dream! Yes, send me that freakin’ Fhi right now!” I started to click my acceptance but for some reason I hesitated. Instead of buying the Fhi, I Googled it.
Apparently lots of people were falling for this Fhi in Chi’s clothing. And it was not, in fact, superior to the Chi. This website must have gotten some sort of Fhi kick-back. I told the site I would hold out for my Chi and that’s just what I did. I think it came a few days later.
A friend of mine wasn’t as lucky as I was. She told me that she asked her mom to get her the Chi for her birthday. I said, “Make sure she doesn’t get you the Fhi.” She said, “There’s no way. I told her “Chi” and she doesn’t know the name of any other flat irons.” Sure enough, her mom got her the Fhi. Poor girl’s hair was fried.
Sadly, my Chi broke a couple of months ago. It’s okay; we had a good four years. I quickly ordered another and only had to go with unstraight hair for a few days. When people saw my wavy hair I’d just say, “My new Chi’s on order.” Hey, I’ll take a few bad hair days over four years with the Fhi.
(Me after a salon trip. I always takes a pic because even with the Chi, I can't get total salon-styled hair on a daily basis.)
They say the first twelve weeks of a baby's life is really the fourth trimester. So up until yesterday, Leo was considered an external fetus. That just means he was still feeling pretty new around here and not quite comfortable on this planet.
But now Leo is twelve weeks old and we can consider him a real baby--a real boy who likes where he lives and likes his mommy and daddy. The other thing that's changed is that he is really amazed by everything. He gets distracted very easily. And since he was too enthralled with the ceiling fan last night to take his bottle, Frank was forced to feed him in the dark, non-stimulating laundry room:
I don't know how we're gonna fit the rocking chair in there.
When Leo watches moving objects, he totally freaks out. I’m talking about things like the fish on his bouncy seat, the birds over his swing and the dangly things on his activity mat. At first he’s excited—kicking, laughing and cooing. But after a few minutes he starts to get angry. He looks at the objects as if they’re about to attack him. That’s when I say, “Oh, no. Leo’s trippin’ again.”
I asked other moms if their kids tripped out. No. Only my kid. Yesterday I thought I had figured it out: Leo is weird. I was at peace with that.
But today I started to put together a pattern. A trip is usually followed by a crazy crying session and then sudden sleep. So now I’ve decided that what seem like drug-induced hallucinations are actually signs that the dude's just sleepy. Or maybe still just weird.
Frank's dad may be handy but my mom is quite clever. When she was here a couple of weeks ago she taught me three things, all of which have had a positive impact on my life:
1. How to fold a bottom sheet: Changing sheets is my least favorite chore. Folding clean sheets is a close second. I get really mad when I can’t fold the bottom sheet. All that elastic makes it impossible! My mom taught me this way where you create pockets in the corners and tuck the opposite sides into said pockets.
Now my folded sheet—while still not perfect—looks like this:
2. To take reusable bags to the grocery store. I knew about these bags but I didn’t know two things: 1). That you only need a few and 2). That you can use bags from one store for another store. When my mom told me that even a major trip only warrants four bags, I snatched up these cute Trader Joe's ones!
Grocery shopping was so much easier yesterday. (Well, the shopping part was still tricky with a crying baby and weird Kroger employees who call me Beth.) But checking out, going to the car and unloading was much simpler. And then there's that whole enviro thing.
3. How to make this ricotta cheese dessert/snack: Credit really goes to the South Beach diet but my mom is the one who told me about it. You take some ricotta cheese and add a splash of the following: vanilla, cinnamon and Splenda. So good! The picture would look prettier but I ate some before I took it.
And this pineapple that will taste great but also looks cute as a centerpiece? That was all me. Cleverness obviously runs in the family.
Frank’s dad (aka Popsy) is coming to town in a couple of weeks and you know what that means…
Gotta make the dad list!
Popsy is the best kind of handy: Handy + Eager to do handy things. If you’re handy and lazy, you’re no good to me.
Last year when he was coming to visit I asked him what he wanted to do when he was here. “Oh, we can just work on Frank’s projects,” he said. Awesome. We made a list. A really long list. He (with Frank’s help) got them all done. They did things like:
Installed a new A/C switcher-thingie Put dimmers on lots of lights Opened a window (seriously, that was on the list. It was my office window. It was really stuck!) Help Frank get a bag out of a tree (I was perhaps most grateful for this one. I hated that bag in that tree.)
Okay, I can’t remember anything else they did so maybe they can add to this.
But I’ve already started the dad list for this year:
Fix cabinet under the sink in kitchen Hang a dish towel rack on said cabinet Make a gate in the fence
If you have any requests for Popsy, start making your dad list soon. And remember: devising ways to get stubborn bags out of trees is his specialty!
“If it doesn’t have meat in it, it’s not a meal.” That’s Frank’s motto. It’s tricky because I have lots of good meatless recipes. Like tonight, for instance, I want to make Weight Watchers Mac N Cheese. It’s got cheese, tomatoes and pasta—plenty of substance. But I’m already defrosting chicken because I know it’s gotta have meat. Spinach enchiladas turn into chicken and spinach enchiladas. Black bean quesadillas become beef and black bean quesadillas. Veggie pizza must be shrimp and veggie pizza. (Shrimp counts in Frank’s book.)
Yesterday, Frank made a Trader Joe’s chili lime chicken burger for lunch. (Have you had those, btw? I heard about them from neighbors and had to get them. Very good. I recommend. But most of you don’t have TJs. So sad.)
He put it in a tortilla and I asked him to give me a bite. “That is so good!” I said. “It tastes even better then when I had it last weekend. What did you do differently?”
“I put these Fritos in it,” he said. (Plug for Frito Lay product: Tim McGraw’s Spicy Jalepeno Fritos. I think they’re only here for a limited time so better grab ‘em while you can.)
“That must be it,” I said and requested another bite.
But then I saw the empty box on the counter. It didn’t say Trader Joe’s chili lime chicken burgers. Nope. It said Morningstar Farms veggie burgers.
“Frank! You didn’t eat a chicken burger. You ate a VEGGIE burger!” I said.
“WHAT?” He was horrified as he read the box: “100% vegetarian? Made with organic soy? Yuck!”
“But you LIKED it!” I told him.
That was the last of our veggie burgers but I suspect now that he’s had a taste of it, he might start requesting them (or “accidentally” eating mine).
Unlike when mommy was a kid, Leo likes to take baths on Fridays (and a few other days of the week). He used to hate bath time. He would cry and scream, making it impossible for us to clean in all those rolls.
Now he LOVES bath time. Not sure what changed. But he splashes, laughs and giggles when we sing, "Rubber ducky you're the one..." but we change it to "Leo Simcik you're the one. You make bath time so much fun."
I don’t even have a real job with co-workers but I still get URTAs (Unnecessary Reply to All).
What’s an URTA? It goes like this:
Someone sends out a mass email. One of the email recipients replies to all with information that is only necessary for the original sender.
Here’s an example of one that I encounter as a spin instructor:
From Fitness Manager: Hi, Team. We are going to have a spin-a-thon in a couple of months. We’re going to hold a meeting about it on Friday. Let me know if you can come!
URTA: Hi. I think I can come. My son’s tee-ball game is at that time and he’s third up to bat (or tee). If I watch him play for a little bit I could make it over there but I will probably be about 15 minutes late. Is that okay?
It may not seem like that big a deal but think about this: There are about 200 instructors. If 20% of them pull an URTA then I’ve got twenty extra emails in my inbox!
Sometimes people do a different version of an URTA…the embarrassing one. More like an ERTA:
From co-worker: Please join us for cake and ice cream in the conference room in honor of Lucy’s last day.
ERTA: If Lucy beats us to the conference room there won’t be any food left! Better get there early!
I actually had a co-worker do an ERTA on a client that said something to the effect of, “She’s smoking crack if she thinks we’re gonna do that.”
He had to take her to lunch. See? ERTAs can cost you.
But on the other hand, sometimes people need to RTA and they just R. For instance, if someone is coordinating a social get-together with just a few people then it’s best to RTA. That way everyone can know who’s going and together you can make decisions. Or better yet, use Evite.
The lesson here? Think before you URTA. And especially before you ERTA.