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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Leo's Been Here FIVE Years!

I can't believe it's only been five years since we met Leo. In some ways it seems like the time has gone by so quickly but then it's also weird to think he's only been here five years. I mean, that's like a slightly long stint in college for some people.

So here's what Leo's been up to the last five years. Or let's make it the last five months:

As you'll see from his birthday party pics, he's still seriously into pirates. But he's graduated from Jake and the Neverland Pirates to "Scary pirates." He claims he likes all things scary but then at night he asks us to check on him every minute. Really, every minute. Not every five or ten. (Good thing he's not so great at telling time).

He's also big time into art. Does he do modern? impressionist? renaissance? No, I would call Leo's art "tape art." He can do wonders with Scotch tape. He recently made a ship out of about 33 pieces of construction paper, all held together by tape. He spends his daily relax time working on these masterpieces. Luckily, I tipped off his party guests to his love for art and he got some really cool art-related presents.

Through his art and his pretend play we're seeing more and more of his creative side. He loves to get lost "making up a stories" or creating imaginary worlds in the "haunted forest" (a tree and a couple of bushes in our backyard).

We moved into this house the day before his fourth birthday and he really has come a long way since then. Last summer there were still lots of temper tantrums and now there's well, fewer than lots. We can usually get him to settle down when he starts to get worked up. But that's just Leo. Easy-going, laid-back, go-with-the-flow--all not words we would use to describe Leo! Strong-willed, smart, feisty, funny, imaginative, quirky--that's Leo.

Oh, and remember Leo's fear of jumpy/bounce houses? Gone. Replaced by a LOVE of them!

And remember his fear of Polo shirts? Still going strong. (I told you he was quirky.) 

This past weekend we celebrated Leo's five years with family, friends and a party at our local McDonald's (which just happens to be decorated in pirate-theme all year round). We also invited a pair of pirates to come entertain the kids. Leo thought they just hung out at McDonald's. He said, "I've always wanted to meet a real pirate and I didn't know if I would!"

Of course Leo missed his friends in Georgia at his party, especially John. Here they are Facetiming. Leo opened his present from John--a Dot Art paint set and books! He's already gotten started on it!

Happy FIFTH birthday, Leo! We love you!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sporty Simciks

It was a busy ball weekend.  On Friday, Aunt Laura, Ellie and Charlie came to visit from The Woodlands while Frank and Uncle David went to Pittsburgh to celebrate the life of sweet, loving Aunt Mary Beth.

The Woodlands Simciks were able to score tickets to Leo’s soccer game on Saturday. Later that day we went to feed the ducks (which is sort of a sport especially when someone goes for a swim!) and on Sunday (after the gang left and daddy returned) we went to a Frisco RoughRiders Baseball Game with our friends, The Blakes. 

Here are the pictures, out of order (since that's how they posted!) 

Gus was so excited about the baseball game, until he realized he would not be playing in it. "I hit baseball. Gus baseball." When he left he kept saying "More Baseball." He even said it in his crib after we put him to bed.

I like how he puts one leg up, like such a big boy baseball player.


 Rowan, Liam, Rick, Frank, Gus, Leo.

 The Gators looked great, playing against the mostly female purple team. Leo even scored one of the goals! Ellie was the best cheerleader!

And then our adventure at the duck pond:


 Gus tumbled into the water and landed face up. He was covered in yucky pond water but other than that, he was fine. He just cried for a little bit but was over it by the time we got his clothes off:

All in all, we had a ball! 

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Belated Tag Poppin'

I'm about eight weeks behind writing about this! Pardon my tardiness and read on:

Frank was actually the first person to tell me about the song, "Thrift Shop" (better known as "I'm gonna pop some tags...") by Macklemore. When I said I hadn't heard it he came back with something about living under a rock to which I complained about being forced to listen to Miss Gail and the Jumping Jam Band while in the car.

But I eventually heard it and was disgusted. Here was another rap song about violence and what not. I changed the station. I had to change it a lot because it seemed like it was always on. "Ugh, there's that 'Pop Some Tags' song again," I'd think.

I'm gonna pop some tags
Only got twenty dollars in my pocket 
I-I-I'm hunting, looking for a come-up
This is...awesome (in the real version they say "f@c#ing awesome.") 

So he's poppin' tags, hunting, looking for a "come-up?" Clearly they're talking about guns, right?

But then Frank told me what it was about. I'm way not up to speed on my gun slang! It was about going to thrift stores. They pop the tags off when they get home! Oh, and "come-up" is having an advantage over someone else. In this case, Macklemore has the advantage because he has better clothes at bargain prices.

So I started to not change the station every time I heard it. And then I started to kinda like it. I especially liked this part:

They be like oh! That Gucci, that’s hella tight.
I’m like Yo! That’s 50 dollars for a t-shirt.
Limited edition, let’s do some simple addition, 
50 dollars for a t-shirt, that’s just some ignorant bitch.
I call that getting swindled and pimped
I call that getting tricked by a business.
That shirt’s hella dough
And having the same one as six other people in this club is a hella don't

Peep game, come take a look through my telescope
Trying to get girls from a brand? Man, you hella won’t.
Man, you hella won’t.

I mean, besides the minor explicit lyrics in that section, there's a really good message there. It's good for the kids! They SHOULD think it's uncool to pay $50 for a t-shirt. They SHOULD think they're getting tricked by a business. Maybe some of them will actually start shopping at thrift shops. They'll start dressing like someone's grandpa, my second favorite part: 

I'm a take your grandpa's style, I'm a take your grandpa's style
No for real, ask your grandpa, can I have his hand-me-downs? Thank you  

And besides the almost-clean, healthy message lyrics, it's grown on me to the point where I think it's catchy. The kids and I have traded in Miss Gail for Macklemore. Leo likes the chorus best ("only got twenty dollars in my pocket") because he says the rest sounds like another language. 

Oh, but he also likes the very end, where the little girl says, "Is that your grandma's coat?" 

We might even be inspired to go pop some tags and get our own come-up at preschool and the playground and soccer practice. 

Sunday, April 07, 2013

The Start of Soccer

This Saturday was our introduction into the world of Saturday morning sports. Leo had his first soccer game. His team is called the Gators. It's for ages three and four so we barely squeezed Leo in. We're not going to mention that he'll be five in a few weeks. We're hoping he can be some sort of ringer. 
 I told both boys on Friday that we were going to go to Leo's soccer game the next day. Gus said, "No Le-lo soccer ball. Gus soccer ball." And then he continued to remind me about "Gus soccer ball" the rest of the day. "Yes, Gus," I told him. "I will remember to bring a soccer ball for you too!" But now I've figured out that Gus calls the actual game "soccer ball" like baseball, basketball, football. So he meant he was going to play in the game! 

So here is Gus on the way to the soccer ball field. He ended up crying most of the time because he was so upset that he couldn't play. 

We had no idea a soccer game for 3-4 year olds would be like watching a Tom Hanks movie--we laughed; we cried. Well, the parents laughed and the kids cried. 

The other team was clearly made up of nine year olds who were just small for their age. I mean, they actually knew which way to go! And when they scored within one minute of playing, Leo was pissed. He put on his angry face: 

Here he is explaining his plot to his teammates: it involved some paper that he was going to set out as booby traps. I'm not kidding. "We need paper!" he kept insisting.

Luckily, other kids from both teams had emotional outbursts.

I like this one. It looks like this kid Dante (who was pretty good) is talking strategy with his Gator teammates. 

Here's a video of Leo almost making a goal. There was a better play (not caught on video) where Leo assisted in an actual goal!

But alas, it was not enough for the Gators to prevail over the Tigers. 

But the important thing is not whether you win or lose; it's if you think you won. And that's what Leo thinks. He also thinks he scored two goals. I'm not going to tell him the truth. He might set a booby trap for me. 

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Pirates of Playa del Carmen

Frank and I took a trip with our friends, the Robinsons, to Playa del Carmen to celebrate both couples' ten year wedding anniversaries. I won't bore you (or make you green with envy!) with pics of our trip. Instead, here are a couple of shots of the boys wearing their shirts we got them in Mexico. 

Leo's says "Pirate for Hire, Playa del Carmen" and Gus' says "Blackbeard's Sunset Cruises, Playa del Carmen." Gus' also says "We get the booty" which makes me giggle. 

And yes, Gus is almost as big as Leo. Just five pounds to go! 

This is where I found Gus after breakfast. Who does he think he is, Tyler Robinson?

Okay, fine. Here are a few pics of our trip :)