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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Kissin' Cousins

Leo has been curious about marriage lately. He often has questions like, "Why did you and daddy get married?" and "Can I marry John?" He and Gus play this game called "getting married" where they hold hands, spin around and chant, "We're getting married! We're getting married!" 

So I wanted to document this conversation we had in the car yesterday: 

Leo: Why can't I marry Gus? (He has asked if he could marry Gus before and I told him that was not allowed.) 

Me: Because you can't marry people in your own family. You can't marry your brother. You can't marry cousins either so you can't marry Ellie. 

Leo: But why? 

Me: (Not wanting to get into the whole "birth defects" topic…) Because it's against the law. 

Leo: What would happen if Gus and I did get married? 

Me: Well, you would go down to the courthouse to get your marriage license and they would say that you can't get married because you two are brothers. 

Gus: I can't marry Charlie either! 

I LOVE how Gus put together that if Leo and Ellie can't get married then he and Charlie can't either.
I'm sure Ellie will have many boys fighting for her hand, including her six boy cousins (as weird as that sounds)! 

Here are some pictures of the happy brothers (not happy couple): 

 First, Gus being cute (and only a small nuisance) at Market Street:

This morning I thought they looked older (especially Gus).

But not old enough to get married, thank goodness! 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sweet Tea Scorecard

I can't help but compare the two states in which I've lived. Obviously Texas has Georgia beat on important matters like Mexican food and state pride. But the other day at one of these said Mexican restaurants, I had this conversation with my waiter:

Me: Could I have sweet tea, please?

Waiter: We only have unsweet tea. But we have Splenda and sugar you can add to it.

Me: Ugh, I miss Georgia!

Waiter: Did you say Georgia? That's where I'm from! I hate how there's no sweet tea in Texas too!

Finally, someone who understood. We went on to discuss the virtues of offering both sweet and unsweet to patrons.

See, this happens everywhere I go in Texas. Rarely does a restaurant offer sweet tea. I think this is their reasoning:

"Should we have sweet and unsweet?"
"Nah, let's just make one batch and let the people who like sweet just make their own. Who are we to know how much sugar they want in their tea?"

Now that makes sense. I can understand how this type of conversation could transpire and end in a MYOST (Make Your Own Sweet Tea) situation. But let me tell you why that is NOT ok:

Have you ever tried to sweeten your own tea? Okay, you probably have. But have you ever sweetened it to the point of good tasting sweet tea? Georgia sweet tea? Probably not.

Because when I try to sweeten my own tea, there is no amount of sugar, Splenda, Equal or the pink stuff that equals good sweet tea. If I were to put the right amount in my tea then I would be so horrified I couldn't drink it. Why do Texas restaurants put us in that position?

In Georgia, at serve-yourself restaurants they have two tea dispensers in the beverage center and they are both labeled "Sweet Tea." That makes me giggle but I don't mind because I heart sweet tea and think the other stuff just tastes like brown water. In Texas, they have the same two dispensers, both labeled "Unsweet Tea." Now that just ain't right.

I explained my theory to the waiter at the Mexican restaurant and he said that's what his dad says too--that people don't want to sweeten it themselves for fear they will know how much is actually in there.
So clearly I'm not alone here.

Texas, you have the best queso, the best rodeos, the best ice cream, the best college, the best trucks (if you're into that sort of thing), the best state fair, the best lack of a state income tax. But when it comes to sweet tea I give you a ZERO.

Thank goodness I still have Chick Fil-a, a Georgia based establishment, when I need a sweet tea fix.

Friday, February 14, 2014

LOL = Lots of Love

It's Valentine's Day and that means lots of parties, candy and projects! Since Leo loves art, he insisted on hand-making all his Valentines.

First, there were the Valentines for the senior citizens in a nursing home. I'm so glad I only signed up to contribute two! But I am proud of Leo for overachieving on these. His Valentines included a counting game, a maze, a recipe and "The love bunny."

In case it's hard to read, it says "You know the Easter Bunny, here is the love bunny."

The day before Valentine's Day, Gus' Bears Class had their party. Here is Gus about to dig into his own Valentines while cute Camille looks on.

They did a craft, exchanged Valentines and decorated cookies.

Gus may have decorated his face more than the cookie!

Leo's next big project was to make all 15 Valentines for his wolf class. This was definitely an exercise in patience for me. And I can't say I always had a lot of it. Once, when he had only done one Valentine in, like, an hour, I may have raised my voice as I said, "YOU committed to doing 15 Valentines for your friends! I would have bought them at the store and you could have just signed your name. But you said you wanted to make each one yourself. So you better get to work!!"

These too included a recipe. Leo wrote it once (which took ten long minutes) and I made copies.

If you look at the finished Valentine in the picture below, you can see that there is a little
bag attached with a rolled up piece of paper. The paper is the recipe and the bag contains Hershey's Kisses (so they can get started on making those Chocolate Surprises)!

Valentine's Day morning!

Leo's Wolf Class party. They drank strawberry milkshakes and ate wafers dipped in strawberry and icing. Then they exchanged Valentines, played a spoon and candy hearts racing game and played Bingo.

Gus even got to join in the fun!

Somehow, between all his busy projects, Leo managed to make me a bajillion Valentines. He actually brought me this one as I was typing this blog. He insisted that I include it in my Vday recap. 

I guess Valentine's Day is really all about the kids now. Good thing Frank isn't one for grand romantic gestures or I would feel like I was missing out. 

Sunday, February 09, 2014

And the final rose goes to...

The other day I posted this on Facebook: 

"Had to decide between two fence guys. Now stressing about how to let one down easy. I could never be The Bachelorette."

I actually felt a little sick, thinking of how I was going to tell one fence guy that we decided not to go with him. I mean, he came over, chatted, gave us an estimate…there was a real connection there, just like on the Bachelor/Bachelorette (minus the hot tub). How do these Bachelors and Bachelorettes do this 24 times? 

I was so stressed about it, in fact, that I canceled the third fence guy (who was actually a fence girl) because then I knew I would have to let TWO people down! Sure, it's good to have three estimates to choose from (not sure why but three seems to be the typical number when it comes to estimates) but I couldn't bear to form a relationship with another "fencer" and then have to break up with them. 

So I called the fence girl and totally lied: "I know we have an appointment in 45 minutes but is it okay if I cancel? I'm just not going to be able to be there at that time." She said, "Sure, but it's actually a window of time so I could come on the later end if that works better for you." 

Ahhh! They always have a comeback, don't they? That's what scares me about the break up. I'm afraid I won't be able to do it. It's like on Friends when Chandler and Ross said, "I wanna quit the gym! I wanna quit the bank!" 

I wanna quit the fence guys (and girl)!  

So I went on to act like I was totally frazzled, even going as far as saying, "I'm just totally frazzled. Can I call you back to reschedule?" 

I knew I wasn't going to ever call again. I'm so cruel. Such a heartbreaker. So when she said, "Yes, but call soon so we can get you on the books and get you taken care of," I just wanted to cry. 

But I didn't cry because I was too busy being fake frazzled. 

Right after that, the first fence guy called (and threw me off because I didnt recognize the number). 

"Hey, just checking to see if you had any questions about the estimate I sent…" he started. 

Of course I was all, "It looked great! I'll talk to my husband and let you know…" even though I knew we were leaning towards the second fence guy. 

So Friday we gave the final rose to the second fence guy, who was elated, obviously. I mean our fence project is a total catch. And I just broke up with the other fence guy over email. 

"Thanks so much for coming out to give us the estimate on the fence. We thought your estimate looked good but we did end up going with another fence company. Sorry but wanted to let you know!" 

Is that lame of me? Should I have called? Should I have visited him in person? Now my fear is that he is going to ask why. And when I give him reasons like "the second fence guy was going to throw in a fancy gate for free" he will say, "I could have done that too" and I'll have no comeback. 

I'll probably just email back, "I wanna quit the fence!" 

So if you see a fence guy, riding around in the back of a limo, crying, that's because of me. 

Saturday, February 01, 2014

The Simciks go to Disney World!

Here's a recap of our trip to Disney World in various adjectives and nouns: Excitement, Anticipation, Conjunctivitis, Joy, Crowded, Thrilling, Fun, Tantrums, Amazing, Worn out, Memorable, Diarrhea. 

And here is a recap in pictures: 

It was Gus' "1st Visit" but Leo's second. He went in December of 2010 when he was the age that Gus is now! 

Downtown Disney our first night. They were impressed with the Lego store and Gus got his mouse ears. 

About to go into the Magic Kingdom. I LOVED this stroller we rented. The seats were comfy and reclined all the way! Also had lots of room for stuff. We called it the "brother stroller."

The coolest thing was the "Pirate Tutorial with Jack Sparrow" where Leo got picked to go on stage with Jack Sparrow!

This was a typical reaction by Gus at the end of rides. Here, it's on the "Barn Stormer" (formerly Goofy's roller coaster) which was his favorite. Even though this was his second time to ride and I warned him it was short, he still threw a fit at the end.

My favorite ride: the teacups! I even rode it by myself when the kids were sleeping (in the super comfortable stroller).

Frank researched and learned that this particular week was the LEAST crowded and cheapest time to go. But when I was shoulder to shoulder with people I told Frank he must have been mistaken. However, the Disney employees told us that this was indeed not crowded and one even described it as "dead."