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Monday, June 24, 2013


"So the judges would wear ear muffs so they couldn't hear the contestants but they could see them. They would have to vote if they thought they were good singers without hearing them sing. It's like the opposite of The Voice." -- Frank Simcik

Frank is full of ideas like this. He gets really excited about them. Sometimes he's a little bit convincing.

Here's an idea for an invention that I thought was pretty good:

A sunblock machine. They could have them at resorts. It would work sort of like a spray tan. You go into a booth, stand the way you do in the security scanner at the airport, and get sprayed all over with sunblock. You could pick your own SPF!

I, personally, would love this. I spent our whole vacation in Mexico slathering and then reapplying sunblock and then spraying for good measure. Oh, and then I would sit in the shade anyway.

I ran a few of Frank's other ideas/theories past him in hopes to feature them in this blog but he shot them down. For instance, he doesn't think his theory of "Both of those people in that celebrity couple could do better"(like Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton) was worthy of the blog. And I understand because it's not really an invention. So I'll just let you chew on that one and maybe I'll spin that into another "Frankosophies" blog one day.

Or we might be too busy promoting his still untitled new talent show. The Look? The Silence? Judging a Book by it's Cover?  Those are all terrible. I guess I should leave the big ideas to this guy.

(Btw, this is the only recent picture I have of him, shirtless except for the paper tie Leo made him for Father's Day.)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Gus' Two-Year-Old Stats and Stuff

And in this corner, weighing in at 27 pounds, in the 53rd percentile, with a height of 35.5 inches, in the 78th percentile, it's TWO-year-old...


At Gus' 18 month appointment back in December, I expressed concern to the doctor because he could only say seven words, and "mama" wasn't one of them. She said to watch it until his 2-year appt. and see if there was any improvement. After we left the doctor's office that day and I was getting him out of the car somewhere else, he said, "Mama!" Leo said, "You should call the doctor and tell her!" (I think I have told this story before. Yep, I have.) 

And since then his language has really taken off. There's no "counting words" anymore. He says tons of words and phrases and sentences: "I eat cake! I hold that. I call Tiga. I wah Go-fish. I want hot dog too!" Leo says, "Gus said castle and dragon as clearly as people do!" 

Since his favorite letter is G (obviously), he does like to add it to a lot of words: Potty is Poggy, Color is Co-gor, etc. (I threw in that etc. because I can't think of anymore examples but he does it to a lot. Oh, I got one: water is waga.) 

He LOVES sports. Right now his favorite is baseball: "I hit baseball." He can hit the ball off the tee just as well as Leo's t-ball teammates. (Sorry, Bulldogs.) And oh, does he want to play! He brings his own glove and will put on a baseball helmet like he's going up to bat. He's also a fan of basketball, soccer, football and most recently, golf. 

Everything belongs to him. "We're going to the pool," I'll say and Gus says, "My pool." People belong to them too. I'll say, "We're going to swim lessons with Ms. Katie," and Gus will say, "My Ms. Ka-gee." 

One thing that is definitely his is his beloved shoo shoo. If possible, I think he is more attached to it then ever. He has to have it in the car, while he watches TV and if he ever gets upset. "Where shoo shoo go?" he says. And of course he MUST have it while he naps and sleeps. And he knows there are three but that's ok with him. They all have different names: "Night night shoo shoo" stays upstairs in his room; "Play shoo shoo" stays downstairs; "Car shoo shoo" goes in the car and gets dragged around public places. At least I am able to switch them around. Cause I can only wash play and car shoo shoos and then I have to rotate them so that one of them becomes night night shoo shoo. It's complicated. 

He still calls Leo "Le-lo" (rhymes with yellow). And he can say his name but sometimes it sounds like "Gas." He also knows that his real name is August. He says, "I August!" Here is what he thinks of our family: "Mama Talk," "Dada Mow," "Le-lo High Pad." When he says "Mama Talk" he points up to the camera for his baby monitor where he's heard my voice come through before. He's obsessed with the lawn mower so he always points out the window and says "Dada Mow" and if he sees someone mowing a lawn (or even hears it) he says, "I saw mow." Yes, past tense and everything :) So when he said "Mama Talk" and "Dada Mow" I asked him what Leo does and he said "Leo High Pad." (Leo plays with the iPad.) 

He likes to give everybody things that belong to them, especially shoes. If he sees our shoes sitting by the door or the stairs, he picks them up, brings them over and says, "Here ya go, Mama" or "Here ya go, Le-lo." 

His manners are coming along quicker than Leo's did. He usually says "Dank-you, Mama" when I give him food and "Sorry, Le-lo" when he hits his brother (which is about 37 times a day). And he says "Please" the cutest way. It's like "Peeeese" and it goes high at the end. "Can I have lion milk, peeese?" It's not that clear but I know what he's saying. 

He can count to ten. So if I am trying to get him to come to me and I say, "Come here now, Gus. 1...2...3" he says "foh, fi, sic, segun, eight, ni, ten!" He even got up to twelve the other day. He knows he is two and will tell people that when they ask.

Colors, well, he can't be good at everything. 

He loves Frank's guitars or "gee-tars" as he calls them. "I play Dada gee-tar!" he says before knocking it off the stand. His favorite thing is when Frank plays the guitar for him and sings "The Leo and Gus Boogie." Here's a sample: 

Leo and Gus Boogie
(music and lyrics by Dada)
There once was a boy named Gus-a-roo
He liked to hold his shoo shoo
He liked to go poo poo
The Leo and Gus Boogie

Here's a video of Gus opening up a present from Uncle Doug and Aunt Julie, his Godparents. You can hear how he says "Guitar." 

For the most part, he is happy and easy going but when he's not, he is not. If he's in a bad mood, everything makes him mad and he'll cry about indefinitely. When he gets into this zone he often wants his shoo shoo, his thumb and he tells me, "Mama, hold you." Le-lo used to say this too so we think it's funny. 

Here are some more pics of our big two-year-old. As Leo says, "There are no babies in this family anymore!" Is he TRYING to make me cry? 

"The flash on your phone is too bright!" 

"Who are you calling a baby?" 

 "Raise the roof! I'm two!" 

"Oh, am I cute? I had no idea!" 



"I see! I see!" 

"I'm TWO cool for this, lady." 

What a difference...

...two years makes! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Gus has been here TWO years!

Gus has been counting down the days till his birthday since Leo's birthday (so for about 40 days). I guess you could say the time between Leo and Gus' birthdays is like Lent. We all give up birthday cake between the two (unless we go to another birthday party which usually happens). 

Some two-year-olds may not realize it's almost their birthday but Gus has an "It's your birthday, Gus" CD from Granny Jo and Popsy that we have on a loop in the car. So for forty days he's been saying, "My birthday! Gus birthday! Gus eat cake! Two!" 

We didn't have a party per se but it is turning into a week long celebration. It started with Grandmother, Grandpa Ron and Tia coming to town. We had cake, sang and opened presents: 

Gus was so happy to have "Gran-Mu-duh,""Rah Rah Roh" and "Tiga" here. He also enjoyed Paloma or "Niiiice" as he says when he pets her.

Today, his actual birthday, he let us drag him around to Leo's activities--gymnastics, swim lessons and more swim lessons. He wasn't feeling great (two-year-old molars? sick?) so he was a little bit cranky. Because of that I didn't take the traditional "chair" pics. So I will leave you with a few pics and a video from this weekend. Later this week I will post chair pics plus an update with Gus' stats and amazing achievements.

Don't miss this cute routine that Frank and Gus put together:

Next weekend, Granny Jo and Popsy are coming and you know what that means: "Gus eat more cake!"

Happy Birthday, Gus! We love you!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Almost Two

There's evidence all around that Gus will turn two very soon, on June 10th. 

1. He hits everyone and therefore spends more time in time-out than eating, sleeping or playing combined. 

2. He picked up this stick and said, "Fight, Mama." 

3. He told me so. 

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Ever So Earthy Elsa

I think I knew I was turning earthy when I approached the t-ball coach's wife and said, "The person who brings the snack doesn't really need to bring bottled waters for the whole team too. I mean, all the kids bring their own water so that's really just a waste, don'tcha think?" And then there's the fact that I like to go turn off all the TVs that aren't being used on the treadmills at the Y.

So I guess I'm a little bit earthy, somewhat granola, a tiny bit crunchy. I may talk freely about my love of throwing things away but I still don't consider myself wasteful. I cause less waste by not buying unnecessary things in the first place.

But I can only claim to be a tiny bit crunchy because there are some things that I'm still soggy on.

Here's a little scale of my crunchiness: 1= Earth abuser, 5= BFFs with Al Gore/Ed Beagley Jr.

Cloth diapering: 5 
When someone catches a glimpse of Gus' cloth diaper I get big time crunchy cred. They assume I also compost, eat exclusively organic and have bamboo floors (none of which I do).

Cleaning: 2
I use way too many paper towels, Clorox wipes and chemical-laden cleaning products. I give myself a 2 rather than a 1, though, because I do have my new environmentally friendly cloths and mop so I'm moving in the right direction.

Recyling: 4 
Our recycling bin runneth over. Most of the time if it meets the criteria I recycle it. But there are those times where I just can't bring myself to clean out another yogurt cup and I throw it in the--I'm sorry, earth!--trash can. When that happens, I have a major case of what I call "recy-guilt."

Eating: 3
I buy organic produce if it's on the EWG's dirty dozen list. And acronyms like "EWG" just roll off my keyboard. I also try to avoid foods with things like Red 40, Yellow 5, high fructose corn syrup and artificially sweetened. There are plenty of other ingredients in my pantry that I cannot pronounce.

Sunblock: 2
My buddies at the EWG just came out with sunblock ratings. I'm on a mission to find ones that won't slowly kill us but won't kill our wallets. But currently I've got sprays (a no-no apparently) as well as lotions with some questionable ingredients that I'm slathering on the kids.

Water: 3
I take way too long showers but I do comply with the current water restrictions (only watering the lawn once a week). Oh, and I cut off the water while brushing my teeth and while loading the dishwasher.

Paper: 4
I try not to print very much and if I print something I don't end up needing, I save it and use the back for scratch paper. I also make Leo color on the back of all his papers rather than using another piece of paper. He now knows that's because we are "saving trees."

Modern Medicine: 1 
Now here is where I am okay with my low rating. My opinions on this aren't really earth abusing anyway, they just differ from the other crunchy folks. I tend to think that someone who graduated high enough in their college class to get into medical school and then spent four grueling years studying and training, followed by two more years of a residency probably knows more about what's right for my family medically than the crunchy mom on Facebook. So if they say my kid needs shots, give 'em the shots. If they say my baby and I are safer with a c-section, let's do it that way. I don't question these people as much as some of the other tree huggers do.

But I bet when our pediatrician sees Gus' cloth diaper she thinks, "Oh, great! We got another shot skipper in here!"

Nope. Don't worry, Doc. I'm just a cafeteria cruncher. I like to pick and choose. Now why area all these lights on? And do you really need that paper on the examining table? And come on, can't you reuse those throat cultures?

And then I drive away in my non-hybrid mid-size SUV.