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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Leo’s been here ONE YEAR!

One year ago today Leo showed up and our lives were filled with happiness, tears, anxiety and excitement. All of that is pretty much the same!

These days Leo is busy trying lots of things.

Currently he’s trying to:

--Stand up. We say “Show me how you stand up” and he wobbles his way up.

--Talk. He can almost say lion, hat, knock knock, bye bye, banana, ball and uh-oh which sound like ion, ha, dok dok, dye dye, ana, da and uh-uh respectively.

--Get some teeth and hair. He has lots of hair in the back but not much on top (preparing for a mullet I guess?), two teeth on the bottom and one sprouting on top

--Hold his own sippy cup and set it down on his tray. When he does this we say, “Yeah, Leo!” When he throws his sippy cup we say “No, no” and shake our heads. So now he throws his sippy cup and shakes his head.

And these are things he’s mastered:

--Throwing, bouncing and eating his favorite ball.

--Licking things: windows, toys, faces

--Clapping: Just say “yeah!” and you’ll get a round of applause from Leo

--Baby sign language: milk, more, eat, lunch, dinner, breakfast (okay, all the meals plus eat are the same sign) and all done. We’re working on please and thank-you.

--Splashing in the tub

--Saying bye-bye (or “dye-dye”) at appropriate times: when we get in the car or his stroller.

His favorite foods:


His favorite trick with his food:
--Throwing it on the floor

His favorite trick with his milk:

--Letting it roll down his chin.

Things that make him laugh:

--When Granny Jo says “God Bless You”
--When Mommy says “I gotta go, see you later” walks away and comes right back saying, “I didn’t go anywhere! I’m right here!”
--Peek a boo. He’s still a sucker for it. But now he likes to do the peeking.

Our favorite thing about him:

Cutest, sweetest, smartest baby ever (in our unbiased opinion).

Happy Birthday, Leo James Simcik!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rules of Disengagement

The other night Frank, Leo and I were out at dinner and a woman, sitting at a table behind us, asked one simple question about Leo. I answered. She made a comment about how cute he was. I thanked her. And somewhere along the way I got caught listening to a 20 minute monologue about her life. She told me:

All about her family: her kids, her grandkids, her sons-in-law and daughters-in-law
Her thoughts on raising children
About several tragedies that had happened in her life
Her medical history
All the places she’s lived and where she plans to live

My neck started hurting, I was turning towards her for so long. Finally, when our food came I said, “Well, it was nice talking to you” and turned to my table. This didn’t stop her. And so the stories continued.

I’m not sure what kind of vibe I’m giving off but this happens to me a lot. I can’t get away from chatter boxes. You think I talk a lot? No way. I believe that I can tell if someone is getting bored of a story and I will either speed it up or end it. And I always give someone an out before I start: “Are you busy or do you have time to hear this?”

Not these people.

And the worst offenders? The service-industry—pest control, plumbers, roofers…I can’t get them to leave! It’s story after story. I can only nod and smile for so long!

On Monday I met with an electrician:

Him: “How do you spell mechanical?”
Me (after spelling it for him): “And you can trust me because I’m a writer.”
(Pause: Okay, I see how that could beg the question about my writing but it didn’t…it gave him an outlet for talking about another writer.)
Him: I met with a writer the other day…her name was blah blah. She wrote a book about blah blah…and then she wrote another book about blah blah PORN blah blah STRIPPER…
(And as you can see, the subject matter wasn’t even all that appropriate for a discussion between electrician and customer).

And yesterday with the roofer:
Me: I have to leave soon because I teach a spin class.
Him: Spin? Oh, I thought you said swim. I know a lady who teaches swim lessons and blah blah blah…
(Dude, did you miss the part when I said I had to leave soon?)

I complained to my dad about this problem and he said I need to learn how to “disengage.” Here’s what I currently do: “Well, I’ll let you go because…” and I put it on them. But that’s not working because let’s say I tell the roofer, “I’ll let you go because I know you’ve got other roofs to attend to,” he could say, “Oh, no. I don’t have any more appointments for the rest of the day.”

So I need some good catch phrases to help me get out of these filibusters. And they need to be vague so as not to bring up another subject. For instance, I could say:

Wow, is it 4:00 already? I gotta go!

But I couldn’t say:

Wow, is it 4:00 already? I gotta go to taekwondo class!

Because that would inevitably get the person to tell me about their brother-in-law who started a karate studio and how it got broken into and all they stole were the trophies.

If you have any other helpful breakaway phrases, I’d love to hear them. In the meantime I’m just going with, “Do I look like I care?” Because really, I’d like to know the answer to that.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Future Frat Boy

We know from the last post that Leo is ready for the academic challenges of college. Now he's demonstrated that he's also ready for the extracurricular challenges:

First, there was the milk chugging contest:

Then today when I opened the fridge, he helped himself to a beer...

...and seemed a little too familiar with what to do with it:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Finding Bevo

Look at our little longhorn! What a genius. He is ready for college!

But we better wait until he can identify the lion before we go sending in an early application...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lessons from the Granbury Girls

This weekend I saw some of my old (or should I say “mature?” No, that doesn’t really fit them either) friends from Granbury Drive--the Granbury Girls.

Cul de Sac Carrie flew to Atlanta and together we drove to Charlotte to see Susan. We had a great time laughing, eating and drinking and somewhere along the way, I came back with a bunch of life lessons:

Dishwasher Dividing: When you load the silverware in your dishwasher, separate forks, spoons and knives so it’s easier when you unload. This came from Carrie via Granbury Girl Wendy. I did it and I think it saved me at least 53 seconds!

Guest room goodies: Now I always leave a little basket of hotel-sized toiletries in the guest bath but Susan keeps hers in the guest bedroom nightstand. She also includes little perfume samples in there.

Pork tenderloin 101: I’m intimidated by pork but Carrie and Susan talked me through how to sear it and stuff it. I’m going to try Carrie’s stuffed spinach pork tenderloin next week.

Patio potting: My patio needs help and the GGs knew just what to do. They said that I need potted plants in each corner. “Great,” I said. “I’ll buy four potted plants, one for each corner.” That’s a gardening no-no, they explained. I need a few here, a few there—not one pot in each corner. (This is the before pic, by the way. I haven't gone pot shopping yet.) My patio is screaming for HGTV, no?

Wine airing: Have you seen one of these things? It's called a wine aerator. Susan had one. It makes any wine taste smoother. I wonder if it would help Two Buck Chuck.

Rolling with the wafers: I have a food chopper and a food processor but the former sometimes falls apart and the latter has too many pieces to contend with. Plus, both are too loud during naptime. So Carrie busted out the rolling pin and just smashed the Nila wafers like this:


Those Granbury Girls, they should write a book: The Granbury Girls Guide to a Happy Home. I wonder where they stand on gridges

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Practicing for Grandpa Ron's Visit

Now who's going to break it to him that his hoop dreams will never become a reality (unless of course someone creates a league involving a laundry basket and a rubber ball)?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

He'll be comin' round the mountain...

We got one of those baby carriers. You know, for all the hiking we do. Really, we plan to use it for three upcoming beach trips.

But Leo says he's fine just hiking around the living room.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Simciks' Staycation

Traveling is so 2008. These days it's cool to save dough and stay close. That's what we did over the three-day weekend. We had family time to the max: we grilled, went out to eat, went to the zoo, had a picnic the park, went to church, had some Easter fun and did a little gardening.

It's pretty much like an all-inclusive vacation except for there was no swim-up bar, or a pool or any kind of bar at all...but except for that...

All Rise for an Easter Surprise

It was right around Christmas that Leo learned to crawl. And now on Easter he learned to stand by himself. Guess we'll need to wait for another religious holiday to see him walk.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Monday, April 06, 2009


Despite the fact that we have about seven floor-cleaning contraptions, I have taken to getting down on my hands and knees to scrub our downstairs.
Here's how I got there: As a wedding present, someone gave me a Swiffer. I love my Swiffer. The only problem is, it's the extra large version so normal Swiffer wipes don't fit it. You have to buy the extra large Swiffer wipes. The dry ones are easy to find. The wet ones, which I prefer, are only at Walmart.
So whenever I go to Walmart, I stock up on extra large Swiffer wets. And to be honest, they're not actually Swiffer brand. They're Grime Boss. I really don't enjoy Walmart so sometimes I run in just for these GB extra large wet wipes and buy up half a dozen packages of them.
As long as I had a good supply of them, that meant I didn't have to go to Walmart for awhile and my floors were clean. Life was good.
But then one day I ran out. I had to make the dreaded trip to Walmart. Yuck. And worse, they didn't have the wipes! I returned another time, still no wipes! Finally, I settled for the regular size Swiffer wet wipes, thinking I could double up on my Swiffer.
It was a floor-cleaning-failure. The small Swiffer wets were falling off my giant Swiffer. And since I didn't want to waste them, I ended up cleaning by hand. I decided that maybe this would be the new way I would clean my floors. I mean, it's not that big of a house. Surely, I can crawl around with a wet cloth once or twice a week...
It sure would be nice to delegate though. If only I knew someone who liked to crawl around on the floor...

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Water Baby

On Leo's first trip to the YMCA pool he cried the whole time and clung to us.
On his second trip he cried and clung at first but eventually settled down.
On his third trip (today) he loved it from the first splash!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Snoring, Squatting and Signing

Leo did three exciting things yesterday!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Ever wondered what happened to your good friends at Glamour Shots? They’ve totally changed. They’re not so glamorous anymore. And by that, I mean, they don’t utilize boas, cheesy poses or rouge.

I thought of GS because last night at bunco this girl told the best story ever about her experience. After hearing this story I said, “I so wish that had happened to me so I could write about it on my blog!” But then I decided it was good enough to share:

So she was twelve years old and her mom decided to take her to Glamour Shots. Except instead of GS being in a mall, it was at a Super 8. Yes, the motel. I’m not sure it even was the REAL Glamour Shots. So her mom not only takes her to get Glamour Shots at a sleazy motel (again, not a mall or even a HOTEL, mind you) but she actually leaves her there! And this creepy old man put tons of make-up on her and took her picture. “I was wearing a red boa!” she said. Luckily, that’s all that happened and now it’s just a funny story rather than a made-for-television-movie story.

I’ve never had Glamour Shots but I have been known to do the Glamour Shots pose in group pictures:

That’s my favorite one. The old “pull up your collar and turn to the side.” I also admired how they could get a woman’s (or a twelve-year-old’s) hair to fill up the entire 5 x 7 picture.

But now they’ve gone and changed. They’re really like every other photo studio now. You can even get family “glamour” shots. Maybe we’ll do that with our family. I heard there’s a deal down at the La Quinta.

Have you met Jeremy?

I vaguely remember a snot-nosed kid in my first grade class named Jeremy. Ever since then that name has conjured up images of mucus. Leo has had a constant drip since like February. I call snot-nosed Leo "Jeremy."

And you wanna know something really gross? If not, don’t keep reading. When he sneezes TONS of snot comes out. He had such a big sneeze today that when the snot came out both sides I said, “You look like a walrus!” I’m kind of envious of him how he can clear it out so easily.

Now Frank and I are in the habit of referring to Leo as Jeremy. We’ll say, “Who do you think you are, Jeremy?” or “Take a look at Jeremy over here” or “Ewww! He’s a total Jeremy!”

One day we will have to explain to Leo that Jeremy is not his name. It’s just his snotty alter ego.