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Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Tooth Fairy's Business Model


The Tooth Fairy 

Dear Gus- 

I heard you were disappointed about the gift I gave you. I am sorry you were sad :( 

We fairies don’t feel the emotion of disappointment but I know it is a normal feeling for my human friends--you expect one thing but you get another! That can be a major bummer. 

I thought it would help if I explained how my Tooth Fairy business works: 

When I get a tooth from a child, I figure out what to leave under their pillow based on two things: 

  1. Which tooth it is: Your tooth was a “Lateral Incisor” which is an important tooth--well, they all are! Right now I have a medium amount of those so I give a medium amount of money for them. If I had A LOT of those I would give less money and if  I had only a few, I would give more money. It’s all about “Supply and Demand” which you will learn more about in school. 

  1. Your parents’ rules: You may not know this but your parents give me guidelines on how much I am allowed to give you (same goes for Santa). Some parents say “Give our kid whatever you want!” and some give me a range like, “Give my kid anywhere between $.25 and $5 but never more than that.” And still some parents say, “Don’t give my kid ANY money; just give him stickers or a pencil.” (By the way, I don’t love giving pencils because those don’t work that well under pillows--ouch!) 

The bottom line is, you never know what to expect from me. Like all fairies, I am UNPREDICTABLE! I hope that clears up any confusion, Gus! 

Love and Fairy Dust, 

P.S. You keep your room very clean! Thank you! Makes my job much easier!! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Conver-cusions with Gus

Gus (age 9) is a funny, honest, handsome, athletic, smart little boy. He is also chronically confused. A dialogue between the two of us often sounds like "Who's on First?" They are more like conver-cusions rather than conversations. 

Examples, would help, obviously: 

As Gus was heading back to regular school last week (for one day), I asked him if he wanted to bring his lunch or buy. He said he wanted to bring so we started negotiating what would go in his lunch box. Curious, he asked what they were serving at school. I pulled up the menu and showed him that the options were orange chicken with rice or a "jamwich" pack. He mulled it over and considered changing his plan. "Well, I could get the jamwich pack and if I don't like it, I can always go get a muffin or something." 

"No, let me explain how it works now," I said. "Things are different because of Covid." (Parents utter those last three words to their kids all day long.) "You can't just walk up to the cafeteria line after you get your food and get other things. They don't have other things. It's grab and go. They just have what is on this menu." 

"So, are we eating in our classrooms?" Gus asked. 

"No, you are eating in the cafeteria but that's different too, like they will have empty seats--" 

"Are you going to pick me up before lunch?" Gus asked. 

At this point I am exasperated because, by the way, we are having this discussion in the morning, BEFORE school when time is crunchy. "No, Gus! That is why we are packing this lunch right now!" 

"Do I eat this lunch outside?" Gus asked. 


Gus, looking completely lost replied, "But you said it's grab and go???" 

OHHHHHHHH. Ok, Amelia Bedelia. "You grab it from the lunch line and GO to your seat. And you just don't get up again!!" 

In addition to latching onto one thing and taking it literally, Gus also jumps around from topic to topic which makes for complicated conversations: 

Me: "There was a storm last night. Did you hear it?" 

Gus: "No, I don't ever hear storms when I'm sleeping" 

Me: "Well, Smitty heard it and since he is scared of thunder, I slept in the living room on the couch near him." 

Gus: "Was daddy already asleep? Why doesn't he ever sleep on the couch with Smitty?" 

Me: "Since daddy has to get up really early for work, it is my job to sleep on the couch near Smitty." 

Gus: "It's your job? Is that because you bought Smitty? How much did Smitty cost? Do dogs cost money?" 

Then I went into a whole thing about how we got Smitty from a shelter and there is a certain fee you pay, like $100, for the shots and stuff they give him but it is not a big cost. I was about to go into the difference between a rescue dog and a breeder dog and the cost when Gus said: 

"I just can't WAIT to be able to drive. I think about it all the time! I am going to love driving. I'm saving up now to buy a car. How old do you have to be to drive a car?" 


Also, it seems that so far, Geography isn't a strength. We were driving today and we passed a big apartment complex. We were about 15 min from home at this point. Gus says: 

"Hey, is that the place we stayed one time with the lazy river?" 

"No, we definitely have never stayed there but what place are you talking about?" 

"Oh, you know, it had a lazy river, a pool, a hot tub and I made a friend!" 

It took me a little while to figure out what place he was talking about but finally I realized he meant a condo we stayed at in Fort Walton Beach. 

"Do you mean the place at the beach?" I asked. 

"Yes!" he said. "And Leo said that the only thing that could make it better was if we had our dog and there were lots of other dogs and he could play video games as he floated in the lazy river." 

"So, you thought this place right here was by the beach?" 


"So you thought we lived like 15 minutes from the beach?" 

"Well, NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT, I know that it takes longer to get to the beach like 1 hour and 30." 

(It takes 6+ hours if we only stop two times to go to the bathroom and drive thru to get food without eating inside, btw. But I am glad the trip goes by so quickly for him!) 

On this same excursion today he said, "If you turn right down that road, that's where my football practice is." It wasn't. Not even close. But he argued with me that it was. Like he would know better than me. I mean, I can actually drive!! 

I'll leave you with just a funny comment he made tonight. I was reading Harry Potter and a character talked about how he needed to look "smart" because his relatives were coming. I explained to the kids, "They are saying smart the way the English say it, meaning they want to look nice, not that they are trying to look intelligent." 

Gus: "But WE are ENGLISH!!" 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Sandwich Strength

I have been getting a lot of requests for more workouts that you can do at home*

(*"A lot" means my friend from high school Jessi and my sister.)

I made this video for my sister. I only mention that because you might wonder who I am talking to. Oh, and I should probably also explain the title. 

I call the exercises in this video sandwiches: 

You do a lower body move for 30 seconds 
Then you add an upper body move for the next 30 seconds 
Then you lose the lower body and keep the upper body for the last 30 seconds 

So the lower body move and the upper body move on their own are like the bread and then the "meaty" part of the exercise is when you do the upper and lower together.  

If your muscles aren't fatigued after 90 seconds then you can adjust the time of your sandwich--45, 45 and 45. Or you can adjust it the other way--20, 20 20. 

Have fun with your sandwiches! And if my fans bombard me with requests, I can make more videos! 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

But WEIGHT--there's more Quarantine Tabata

So if you happen to have weights, here are two more ideas for Tabata you can do! Honestly, you can do these without weights but it may not be challenging enough for you. I have a feeling you are super fit if you are reading my blog about Tabata!

Repeater Knee

Punches S2S (that is exercise instructor shorthand for Side to Side)

Monday, March 23, 2020

Quarantine Tabata

Stuck at home and can't get to the gym? Feeling like the subject of judgmental stares if you run outside? Don't let the Corona Calories pile on; exercise at home! 

"But Elsa, I don't have any equipment! And I don't want to order a treadmill; who knows who touched it? Plus, I'm broke big time." 

I gotcha.  

Tabata is just what the doctor ordered (in addition to hand washing, social distancing and not touching your face). 

Tabata is an interval workout but it's not just any random intervals. It's super scientific, y'all. That's what I love about it. Dr. Tabata, a Japanese Scientist, helped to design the workout for the Japanese speed skating team. The method (or "the Tabata Protocol" as it is technically called) helped to improve their times, even with just one set of Tabata. That's only 4 minutes of work!! 

Here's how it works: 
20 minutes of high intensity exercise 
10 seconds of an active recovery 
8 times 

= 4 min 

High Intensity exercises are things like: 
jumping jacks
running with high knees
jumping rope without the rope 
mountain climbers
jumping squats

Active recovery moves are things like a step-touch, a march or a hamstring curl. 

Your heart rate goes way up on the 20 seconds and comes down to the middle on the 10 seconds. 

Here is an example video I made for you! This is one set of Tabata--4 minutes. I like to alternate two moves (like I am doing here) but you can do the same move eight times or do one move four times, another move four times. 

If you do have some equipment like light weights or bands, you can incorporate those too. 

I like to do jumping jacks with a band on my legs and a band on my arms or punches side to side with weights or repeater knee on a step (bottom step of staircase) with weights. 

So how many rounds should you do? That is totally up to you!! If Tabata is your workout for the day, you should probably do 4-6 rounds. Today I did the treadmill for 20 min. and two rounds of Tabata. It's a great supplement to a moderate workout. 

Oh, and DO get a free Tabata timer to use on your phone. I like this one, Tabata Stopwatch Pro: 

Sure, you could just use a stopwatch but trust me, when you are working at Tabata maximum level, it is way too hard to remember what round you're on. 

Happy Quarantine Tabata-ing! 

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

A Souper Trick

Leo and I are both very good liars actors and we fooled Gus and Frank who are both quite gullible trusting.

We had a Bingo Night at the kids' school and if we brought canned goods, we got raffle tickets for bidding on door prizes. I went a little crazy with the canned goods and we procured A LOT of raffle tickets.

Leo named himself the raffle boss of the family and spent most of the evening lurking around either the door prizes or the DJ who announced the winners. He felt confident in his strategy--to choose just a few prizes and put a lot of tickets in each.

Early in the night Leo won a Stars and Strikes gift card for six people to bowl and have a pitcher of beer soft drinks.

As if that wasn't exciting enough, Leo still felt hopeful that one of the other prizes would go in his favor. 

With their Bingo cards depleted, Frank and Gus hitched a ride home with another family while Leo and I stayed behind to see if he would be a double winner. 

And he was!! He won two tickets to a UGA game (that is University of Georgia for my Texas readers) this fall! We had to run out of there for fear we would be attacked by jealous bulldawg fans. 

On the way home we concocted a story because we are quite the liars storytellers. Let me preface this by saying Gus hates soup. Thinks it is gross. 

Scene: Leo and I arrive at home. 

Frank: Did we win anything else? Did we win the UGA tickets? 

Leo: Nah. But we did win something else. Not as good as that. 

Frank: What did we win? 

Leo: Free soup for a year. 

Elsa: There is this new place opening called "Souper" and Leo thought it meant like "Super Hero" so that's why he put a ticket in there. But really, it's a soup place. 

Frank: Wow. So we can get free soup for a year?? That's pretty cool! 

Elsa: Well, it's all vegetarian soup like broccoli cheese and tomato. 

Frank: Oh, that's not as good. But still, free soup for a year!!? 

Gus: That's so gross. I don't want any soup!! 

Frank: How does it work? Can any of us go get it? Whose name is it under? 

Leo: Any of us can get it. 

Elsa: Yeah, anyone in the Simcik family. 

Finally, after several more questions from Frank and disgusted noises from Gus, Leo revealed that we had indeed won the coveted UGA tickets!!! Gus was excited and eagerly put on his Georgia gear to pose for a pic. 

After all the celebrating and rejoicing Frank said, "I can't believe it!! We won Stars and Strikes, the UGA tickets and FREE SOUP FOR A YEAR!!"

Oh dear. I told you he was gullible trusting. #blesshisheart

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Darndest Things 2020

I don't want to make any promises...but I would like to try to write more blogs in 2020. Still, don't hold me to it. And notice I didn't put a goal like every day or once a month or twice a year. 

Or maybe you didn't notice because nobody reads my blog anymore! Maybe I am just talking to myself. And if that is the case, well the pressure is really down. 

In the first weeks of 2020, each male in my family has said or done at least one memorable darndest thing. I will now share them: 

Gus, singing along with the Frozen song, "For the First Time in Forever" and when it got to the part where Anna says, "Don't know if I'm elated or gassy," Gus said loud and proud, "Don't know why all the ladies are gassy" 

Turns out he has thought that is what they have been saying for six years!! Now, of course, that is how we prefer the lyrics. 

Frank, as we were stretching together at the Y which we only do like...never...we've never done this. I begged him to stretch with me the other day. Anyway, I told him to go into Child's Pose and he sat up into criss cross applesauce (formerly Indian Style). I said, "That's not child's pose!" and he said, "Yes, it is. This is how kids sit!" 

And finally, Leo: He has really started to fine tune his comic timing. He asked Frank to come play a board game with him and Gus and Frank said, "I can't right now, guys. I have to go do the grill" and Leo, without missing a beat, went right into, "And the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon..." 

Unrelated to the stories above, I give you these photos from the past couple of months. Enjoy!