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Friday, October 26, 2012

October Smorgasbord

Yikes! I haven't posted lately and I have lots of pics to share. They don't really fall into one theme so please enjoy this buffet of October photos: 

Fun at the pumpkin patch: 

Carving a Jack O Lantern. Leo was so excited about this that his nose bled:

Testing out the Jack O Lantern in the pantry:

Gus having his first lollipop after his 15 month checkup at the doctor's office:

The boys in the cart at Costco. "Why are there Christmas decorations?" Leo asked. "Good question," I answered.

Just hanging in front of our house:

Playing with cousin Ellie a few days after her third birthday. Leo was so excited to play with Ellie that he got another nose bleed on the way to her house! And if his love for her wasn't evident enough by THAT, then notice how he is wearing a crown and holding a doll!

Gus and Charlie: Cousin Buddies!

Leo and Ellie playing in the baby bed:

Leo at Walgreen's after pajama day at his school.

And here is Gus, telling us that he's ready for bed at 6:00.

Social Politician

There's a lady in Frisco who is on the prowl. She's looking for friends for herself and her family and she won't stop until she finds some. She's at the playgrounds (all of them), at the mall, at the library, at preschool, at church. Nobody is safe from her. She usually starts with, " old is she?" pointing to your child. Then, after she gets you to open up a little, she comes at you with the "we just moved here" angle. Then, come to find out, she's not really a newcomer; she was just gone for awhile. "But we're brand new to Frisco," she says. "Feels like a whole new world!"

Okay, if you haven't figured it out yet, this lady is me. This making friends business is a lot of work! It involves approaching people, smiling non-stop, asking questions and remembering names. That is why I liken it to being a politician. It's like, "Choose me! Vote for me to be your friend! I'm fun. I like to drink wine...unless you don't. But then again, if you don't, I'm not sure this is going to work out." I could compare it to dating but I want lots of friends, not just "the one."

And I not only have to make friends for me, but for the kids and Frank too! See, Frank is too busy to make friends and even if he wasn't, he's just not willing to put in the effort. Then there's Leo. He will only play with a new friend if I go up and introduce him and give them an idea of what to play: "Hi, what's your name, little boy? How old are you? Well, this is Leo and he's four and a half. He LOVES to play tag. Do you like to play tag? You're it!" Gus, who can't even talk yet, might be the second best friend maker in our family. He went up to a little girl his age at the playground and poked her belly button. She loved it. Instant friends.

Whenever I consider whether to go somewhere or not, I have to give myself a little pep talk: "You gotta get out there! You're never going to meet people sitting on the couch." (Like a mom of two little boys ever gets to sit on the couch but still, you know what I mean). So yesterday I went lots of places and met plenty of constituents (I mean potential friends) along the way. Here is a conversation I had with Frank about it:

Me: I had a very socially productive day.
Frank: What did you do?
Me: After preschool drop-off I took Gus to the park. I met a mom there who has a kid Gus' age and a kid Leo's age and the older one goes to the same preschool.
Frank: Score.
Me: I know! And she said that she was organizing a play date for her son's class. I am totally going to do that too!
Frank: You should.
Me: I will! Then I went to story time at the library with Gus and this one lady kept talking to me. I thought she might be a potential friend. But then she mentioned that this kid she was with wasn't hers; she was her nanny.
Frank: Fooled by the nanny again!
Me: I know, right? Then Gus and I went to the playground by our house and I met this other mom who has two little girls, one Gus' age and one who is three.
Frank: Sounds like potential.
Me: Yes, and I talked to another nice nanny who I've met before.
Frank: So many nannies!
Me: Well, they might be too young to be my friends but the kids they take care of could be Leo and Gus' friends. So then I went to pick up Leo at preschool and I told a few of the moms in his class about the play date idea.
Frank: Did they like it?
Me: They weren't like jumping up and down but they snub me either. Then I took the boys to the playground at preschool (Gus' THIRD playground that day! He's working as hard as I am!) and I facilitated a game of hide and seek for Leo and two of his classmates. I also chatted up another mom while I was at it.
Frank: Wow, you've been busy today.

Being new is exhausting. And it's not enough just to meet people once or twice; I have to see them and talk to them consistently. That's when I can take it to the next level: "So are you on Facebook?" or "Let me put your number in my phone so we can get together. Do you text?"

Maybe I will start passing out business cards or bumper stickers: "A vote for Elsa is a vote for the whole Simcik family! Four friends for the price of one!" or "Become Elsa's friend. She won't stop until you do."

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mr. Clean

Gus is a man of few words but he understands lots! Watch how well he listens to me at clean-up time. This will surely last his entire childhood, right? 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Facebook Kind of Birthday

I think I just need to admit that I'm obsessed with Facebook. The signs are all there: ever since I got my iPhone5, I'm on it more than I used to be; I talk about people's status updates more than I talk about people's 3-dimensional lives; I write it about it on my blog way too often! I confirmed this last one because I just now did a search on my blog posts for "Facebook" to see if I've ever written about the above topic. I haven't. But I've mentioned Facebook in TEN posts.

So here's my eleventh:

I think it's silly when people wish their Facebook friends "Happy Birthday."

I don't post birthday wishes on people's wall. Why? Because either I am so close to them that I already sent them a card or called them or personally texted them or I am so not close to them that I didn't know it was their birthday anyway. And even though Facebook told me it was their birthday, what do they care if I write "Happy Birthday" on their wall?

Oh, but they DO seem to care. Every time it's one of your FB friends' birthdays you can expect the following:

Your newsfeed is filled with exciting, personal messages for the birthday boy/girl:

"Happy Birthday!"
"Hope you have a great day!"
"Have a great birthday!"
"Happy Birthday!"
"Hope your birthday is wonderful!"
"Happy Birthday"
"Happy B-day!"

Then towards the end of the day the birthday person will post: "Thank you for all the birthday wishes! I feel so loved!"

Really? That's love? Facebook telling hundreds of people you never talk to in real life that it's your birthday and they each spend half of a second to write a lame, cliche message on your wall?

Another reason I don't like to post birthday greetings on people's walls is that, I am really good at remembering birthdays. So let's say it's a friend from college's birthday and I knew that before I even logged onto Facebook. Then I get there and everybody's all, "Have a good day!" and "Happy Birthday" and blah blah blah...then if I write something, it looks like I only remember because FB told me. For awhile I used to say, "I already knew it was your birthday. Facebook didn't have to tell me..." but that sounded kind of obnoxious, don't ya think?

Here's a for instance about how much people don't know when your birthday actually is: I saw this girl post the other day "Thanks for all the birthday wishes but it's not actually my birthday. Not sure why Facebook got it wrong. I woke up and thought it was April."

So it's not like FB was just a day off and people went along with it. It was SIX MONTHS off and most of her FB friends did not even realize it. Turns out her husband did it as a joke. But still, it proves my point about my impersonal it is.

Also, you know how I don't like unoriginality? Well, it's actually kind of hard to write anything other than "Happy Birthday." I mean, what else can you say? So when I used to post on people's walls for their birthdays, I felt this pressure (self-inflicted) to write something original. And since I couldn't really come up with anything (and I'm anti the whole scene), I now boycott Facebook birthdays.

So now you're wondering if you should wish me well on January 24th. You did know that was my birthday, right? If you do post, I won't hate you. You are more than welcome to. But if you don't, that's okay too. In fact, I removed my birthday from Facebook so I can see who REALLY knows it's my birthday.

But that trick didn't really work last year because when the people that did know it was my birthday posted, the people that didn't know saw that and just joined in. And since it was also Thea's birthday I noticed that friends we had in common posted on her wall for her birthday and not mine! Made me feel jilted.  So I decided to write this post:

"Getting a massage on my birthday!"

Then I got all the FB birthday wishes like everyone else does and eventually had to end the night with:

"Thanks for all the birthday wishes! I feel so loved!!"

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

A nap time debacle

Gus had been sleeping for maybe 20 minutes when I went upstairs to check on him (monitor in the shop). Leo was in his relax time but I heard so much movement in Gus' room I thought Leo was in there (something he did last week). I went in Leo's room and he was there so I said, "Oh, good. I thought you were in Gus' room. Sorry."  

Then I went into Gus' room to see what all the noise was and found THIS! 

Gus only sleeps with his blanket--not books, toys, balls and every stuffed animal he owns! I first thought Gus did it but that was impossible. And when I saw that the bathroom door to Gus' room was ajar and Leo had a smirk on his face, I didn't need anymore evidence. Now I am just trying to think of a suitable punishment for Leo, the nap robber!

Note: Leo thought up a punishment for himself: no candy until Friday. I added to that "no show after relax time" and "go to bed early because Gus will have to go to bed early tonight." 
He did not take it well. 

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Crash Course in Ring Stacking

I think Leo got the stacking rings thing down when he was about nine months old. I blame Gus' delay in stacking on my own neglect. I just haven't worked with him on this skill a lot. But before bed time the other night, I put in the time and effort. Gotta make sure this boy has more than just his good looks going for him!