Birkley Simon is Winner of 2011 Moniteau County First Baby Contest

Manda and Scott Simon, Tipton, with their son Birkley, who was born Jan. 4 and ultimately declared the winner of the  2011 Moniteau County First Baby Contest.

Manda and Scott Simon, Tipton, with their son Birkley, who was born Jan. 4 and ultimately declared the winner of the 2011 Moniteau County First Baby Contest. Photo by April Arnett.

Birkley George Simon, son of first-time parents Scott and Manda Simon, Tipton, was born Jan. 4 at 5:18 p.m. at Capital Region Medical Center, Jefferson City, and was officially declared the winner of the 2011 Moniteau County First Baby Contest Friday.

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Birkley naps, tucked safely in daddy's hands.

Born just four days before his due date, Birkley weighed 6 lbs. and 12 oz. and was 20 1/2 inches long.

"It was a great day," Manda, 31, who teaches first grade in Jefferson City, said. "I really wanted to have him natural, so I'm glad it worked out. We were both happy with the entire experience. And I thought being pregnant was so much fun."

"As I was literally watching Birkley come into the world, I was thinking to myself we could do this again," Scott, 41, who works for the State Retirement System and also farms with his father, said. "But after a couple of nights of not much sleep, I started thinking we would have to think it over before we do this again."

He quickly added, "Really though, I think we've been blessed because he's a good baby. I certainly envisioned crying fits, but it hasn't been like that. He's just pretty content. I think he gets that from his dad!"

Manda said Birkley likes to eat and definitely doesn't like being naked. "His cry is little, until he's naked. And he doesn't like baths, but he loves it when we wash his hair. The faces he makes are adorable!"

"He looks like a drunken sailor," Scott added with a laugh.

"I think the best part so far has been just enjoying the three of us at home," Manda said. "Both Scott and I have been able to be off work, so just the three of us, stuck at home with all of the snow outside, has been wonderful."

She added, "We're having fun. We still have a lot to learn, so we're reading quite a bit, but that's okay."

Both Manda and Scott think the birth of their son has brought them even closer as a couple.

"We're more of a team now," Scott said. "I was single for so long before we got married (the Simons celebrated their second anniversary in Dec. 2010) and we're both pretty independent. So having a child is like the first big project if you will, that we've done together."

"We have been a good team," Manda said. "I don't know how single mothers do it on their own! Scott has been such a big help."

Scott added, "I definitely have a whole new appreciation for what women go through. Manda has been a trooper through this whole experience. The demands on her are so much greater."

He added with a chuckle, "Though one of Birkley's favorite things to do is to whiz on dad at least once a day!"

"Birkley smiles all the time," Manda said. "Of course, it's probably just gas, but it's the sweetest thing. He also has this face he makes like Scott where he crinkles up his forehead. It's adorable.

Sometimes we'll think Birkley is still asleep and when we look over at him, he's wide awake, just laying there looking around, so content. He's a sweet baby."

Birkley's grandparents are Kay and George Simon, Tipton; Darrell Thye, Columbia; and Laura Thye, Overland Park Kan. Laura Baker, Seminole, Fla., is Birkley's great-grandmother.

As the winner of the 2011 Moniteau County First Baby Contest, Birkley and his parents will receive numerous gifts from local merchants, including a $50 savings bond from Hawthorn Bank, California; a baby blanket from Bond Pharmacy, California; a six-month subscription to the California Democrat Newspaper; a lube, oil and filter change from Nathan's Tire Service, LLC, California; and a $15 gift certificate from Longfellow's Garden Center, Centertown, to name just a few.

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