Search This Blog

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Quarter Pounder of a Halloween

I’m not so great at coming up with Halloween costumes. I blame it on my lack of craftiness (to which I also blame my failures as a Michael’s employee).

But in 1996 I had a good plan. I was working at the University of Texas Annual Fund office, where we called alums and asked them to donate money to the school Wait…not donate…contribute. We were trained that “donate” was a bad word. By the way, we also had these codes we had to put in the computer for “reasons alum didn’t contribute.” Here were a few:

RICH: UT is too rich already
ATH: I already give to athletics
EX: I already give to Texas Exes
MAD: I’m mad at UT about something
LIB: UT is too liberal.

We had comebacks for all of these although I can’t remember how we overcame the liberal one.

Anyway, at this particular job I wore a head set. One day it occurred to me that drive thru employees wore similar headsets and that’s when I decided I would be a McDonald’s worker for Halloween. Now I had the headset and the khaki pants. I just needed an authentic McDonald’s shirt.

About a week before Halloween I went into the McDonald’s on campus and told the person behind the counter, “I want to be YOU for Halloween!” I thought he would be flattered but he just looked confused. I asked him if I could have a shirt. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even offer to pay for it. (Hey, we didn’t make all that much hitting up alums for money.) The guy said he would ask his manager. He did. She said no.

I was bummed. I figured I would have to come up with another Halloween costume that involved a headset. I thought about just wearing the headset and saying I was a telemarketer. But that’s kind of just like going as myself. It’s like going as “sorority girl.”

All this thinking about McDonald’s got me hungry for the golden arches so later that night my friends and I took a trip through their drive-thru.

(Aside: Tips from Thea, you were driving! Remember?)

I was sitting in the back seat so I didn’t even see who was working the drive-thru but apparently it was my buddy from earlier that day. After he handed Thea our food and she passed it around the car he said, “Wait!” and he handed her a big McDonald’s bag and said, “Just go! Just go!” So we drove off before we looked in the bag. “I think it’s a side salad!” I remember Thea saying.

But it wasn’t. It was a McDonald’s shirt! And not just a t-shirt, a nice polo-style shirt. It sort of smelled but still, it was the real deal!

So my costume was complete. But the story didn’t end well: we all went to a fraternity foam party for Halloween and as it turned out, that was the year that girls decided Halloween was code for “dress like a slut.” Since I had on the most conservative costume at the party, I felt like a dork. Plus, there was a lot of explaining about how I didn’t actually work at McDonald’s. “I swear, this shirt was just donated to me! I mean contributed!”

Lucky for you, I've got a scanner so you can see for yourself!
I'm wet from the foam, not sweating in my McDonald's outfit.

See what I mean about girls dressing like sluts? Tips from Thea, there you are in the background in an equally conservative jail bird costume!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Leo's been here six months

That's half a year!

Here are the amazing things Leo can do:

-Just today he's decided he has lots to say. In addition to babbling "mamamama" he can now babble "dadadadada" and "blah blah blah." I think that if you asked him what mommy talks about he'd say, "blah blah blah blah."

-He's still working on sitting up. He can do it but I like to stay close by.

-He rolls from back to tummy and tummy to back. He likes to sleep on his tummy now.

-His favorite apparatus is the activity mat with the jumpy swing coming in a close second. Right now he's on the activity mat and he's a little frustrated because he rolled onto his tummy and now he can't see the dangly things.

-He's still a fan of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

-If he was stranded on an island he would definitely want to have Good Night Moon, But not the Hippopatamus and Leo the Late Bloomer.

-He smiles at everyone; he's very non-judgmental. He does get especially excited when daddy
comes home though.
-He cracks up laughing when we rub Aquaphor on his neck.

-He likes bath time.

-He eats rice ceral and oatmeal and will start "real" food next week. He's fascinated by our food to the point that we can't eat in front of him unless he's eating too.

-If you hold him you must be standing up. Sitting down is not allowed.

-He's excited about Halloween tomorrow because he's going to be a lion.

Pictures from his six-month check-up today where the doctor described him as "wonderful" and I agreed:

Getting his vision tested. He wasn't sure about this pirate patch!

Sitting up all by himself!

"Mommy, why are you so far away? I might need you to catch me!"

"Are you sure this thing is accurate?" He weighed 17 pounds, 6 oz.

"This can't be right! Can I get a recount?"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cabinet Confusion

Frank, when I said, "It would be cool to have see-through cabinets, maybe even just one," this is not what I had in mind:

Cuteness runs in the family

I don't mean to brag but if you bought a picture frame and this shot was in it, you wouldn't think it was weird. In fact, you might think, "I'm going to keep this adorable family in the frame because they are way cuter than my own family."

We had a photo shoot with Frank's side of the family and the whole thing was saved by a game of Peekaboo. Every time you see Leo smiling and/or laughing it's because someone is behind the photographer, making a fool of himself, holding up a blanket, jumping up and down and screaming, "Peekaboo!"

And since I didn't get her permission to post these on my blog I want to give a big shout out to the amazing photographer who took these: Kimberley with Slice of Life Photography in Katy, TX
Because really, we're not always this cute.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nobody puts baby in the corner!

But he sometimes puts himself there. Now that Leo can roll over, he likes to sleep on his stomach. And not just in the middle of the crib (where we put him), he likes to inch his way into the corner and stay huddled there all night.

This is where I found him yesterday morning when he woke up:

(And he's in his sleep sack, not a sleeveless evening gown as it may appear).

Friday, October 24, 2008

Jamma Jamma Jamma Jamma Jamma P.J.!

The paper says it's a "dreary day" here in Atlanta. It's cold and rainy. Do you know what that means? We get to wear our PJs all day! Well, actually, only Leo gets to wear his PJs because we have a no-pajama-policy here at Writinggal.
Leo likes this book called "Pajama Time" and in it there's this little cheer that goes, "Jamma Jamma Jamma Jamma Jamma P.J.!"
So when I told Leo that it was too rainy for us to go on a walk outside he was bummed. But when I told him he could wear his pajamas all day and I sang the P.J. cheer, he got really comfortable with the idea:

As Frank always says, "It's good to be Leo James!"

Reindeer Games

I often wake up in the middle of the night and say crazy things. Rather than just telling me to go back to sleep, Frank plays along. So if I suddenly sit up out of a sound sleep and say, “The corn tastes like peas!” Frank will say, “Why do you think it tastes like that? Did you accidentally make peas instead of corn?”

Or if I say, “Save the cheerleader, save the world” after a particularly spooky episode of Heroes, he’ll say, “Are you gonna save the cheerleader? What’s your special power?”

None of these are even close to real examples because it’s all sort of foggy to me. All I know is that I say something that I think is completely coherent and legitimate and Frank chuckles because he knows I’m not making any sense. When he comes back with his silly questions, I get really frustrated and become more adamant about proving my sanity.

But I do remember one night a couple of years ago when I said something crazy, Frank responded and then I came back with, “I’m not gonna play your reindeer games!”

“My reindeer games?” he asked, laughing.

“Yes, you’re trying to trick me! And I know what I’m talking about!” I said.

Lately my middle-of-the-night outburts have been about Leo. I always think he’s there in the room and more specifically, caught up in the covers somewhere. I’ll wake up and frantically toss all the covers off the bed, searching for him. In reality, he’s sleeping in his crib in another room and Frank usually has to direct me to the monitor to assure me of this.

Last night I said something like, “When you pick up the baby, make sure you’re careful not to drop his limbs!”

Frank said, “What? Don’t take him to Grandma Lib’s?”

I said, “I know what I’m talking about. I’m awake. I just want to make sure you don’t drop the baby.”

“Elsa, where is the baby?” Frank asked. “Did you check the monitor?”

“Yes. I know he’s not in here. I’m just saying to be careful when you hold him,” I said (actually still thinking he was in the room).

“But you said something crazy about Grandma Lib,” Frank insisted.

“No, I said his limbs! His limbs! Don’t drop him or he’ll hurt his limbs!” I insisted, and then realized that I wasn’t making any sense and felt silly.

Frank came back with, “Hey, don’t think I’m gonna play your reindeer games!”

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On your mark, get set...

Leo fools me sometimes and acts as if he's going to crawl. He gets in this position and I say, "Come on, Leo!"

Then he just kinda falls over.

And actually, I'm okay with that. Just as long as he's mobile by the time he goes to kindergarten.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Walk While you Work

I get lots of random press releases here at WG HQ but this one caught my eye: It's called the TrekDesk:

Basically, you walk at slow speeds while working and then at night you take off the desk part and you can break into a sprint. I like how they say it's a "mobile work station by day/treadmill by night." Reminds me of my favorite Barbie, day-to-night Barbie. She wore a business suit by day and you could take off her jacket, reveal her glittery camisole, turn the pencil skirt around to show a tulle fabric and she was ready for her "evening with Ken." I also had the office/apartment that went with it. DTN Barbie had a Murphy bed! If only she had had the TrekDesk, maybe Ken wouldn't have left her for Peaches and Cream Barbie.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Workin' It

When the camera comes out, Leo totally knows what to do:

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Today I had a busy-mommy-dilemma:

I needed to carry the basket of Leo’s laundry downstairs.

I needed to carry Leo downstairs.

I was pressed for time.

I came up with a solution that pleased everyone:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Unaffiliated Fans

This girl in my sorority was really into the Pittsburgh Penguins. Her whole room was done in a Pittsburg Penguins motif. The comforter, the pillows, the dust ruffle, her trash can—all yellow and black. And that would be somewhat tolerable if she had grown up in Pittsburgh, going to all their…hockey (had to look it up to see what sport we were talking about) games. But she didn’t grow up there. She didn’t even have family there. Her dancing* coach (*changed the sport to protect her identity) was from there apparently.

She is what I call an unaffiliated fan. People who are crazy obsessed with a team without really any right to it.

It’s even worse with colleges. My neighbor told me about a guy who had a personalized license plate that said something like #1Wildcat (but with fewer letters and no numeral sign and a different school). The point is that my neighbor said, “Oh, he must have been the Valedictorian of his class at Kentucky.” Come to find out he didn’t even go there. He went somewhere like Louisville Community College.

Now if you didn’t go to a school with a good football team or aren’t from a town with a decent pro sports team, then feel free to root for another. It’s your right. But when you get all obsessed with the team and start going fan-tacky (i.e. room in your house dedicated to the team, personalized license plates, painting your face), then you start to look a bit silly.

People will say, “Oh, I see you painted your house orange and blue and have a Florida mail box cover as well as several bumper stickers referring to the Gators. When did you graduate?”

“Oh, I didn’t go there. I just went to Disney World once.”

Hey, get a gators t-shirt, root for them to win, maybe even put some money down on the game but do you really need to pay tribute to the school in such an obnoxious, permanent way? A way that’s gonna beg some questions that you’re not ready to answer?

And if you went to a school that’s associated with a big school and you want to be an ├╝ber fan, I’m afraid you’re still out of luck. Like if you went to UT Arlington, for example. You’re welcome to get a #1 Mavericks Fan license plate (although people will probably think you’re rooting for the Dallas basketball team). But you really can’t justify a #1 Longhorns fan license plate.

To me, the point of fanmanship is because you have a tie to the team, the school or the city. That’s why they say “root root root for the home team” not “root root root for the team in the city where your dancing coach lives.”

A ball of fun

Saturday, October 11, 2008

How 'bout them horns?

"I'm not sure why the whole family is dressed alike but I'm having a blast!" --Leo, after his first TX v. OU experience.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Faces of Wall Street

Photographers at newspapers, internet news sites and magazines all over the country must be so bored. Every day since this Wall Street disaster started their photo editors have been saying, “Can you get us another image of a white man putting his hand to his face, looking forlorn?” The photographers oblige and try to find the most pathetic looking white guy they can.

But now the media outlets have decided to get a little more creative with it. The photo editors must now be saying, “We need diversity! But make sure, whoever it is, they have at least one hand on their face!”
Yesterday in the Atlanta paper our sad Wall Street cover guy had a pony tail!
And then I saw this collage of Wall Street guys on the internet--some not even white, some not even guys!
This guy knew he needed a gimmick if he was gonna make the cover:
When a photo editor saw this Wall Street chick he said, "She looks kinda concerned but not comopletely devastated."
The photographer said, "Wait! I've got another one! She looks like she might overdose."

These two are competing for a magazine cover:

He says, "If I can get my whole hand over my face, I might make the WSJ."

"I know I should look more upset but I'm not really even a trader. I actually just work at Burger King and our stock is doing fine."

"Dude, we gotta stay next to the NYSE sign. We've got a way better chance. Now put your hand on your face! "

"Turn around? No way! I've got a receding hair line from all this Wall Street stress."

"I'm going for REAL tears. Think of poor Miss Kitty and how she fell out of that tree."

"I've got a ticker behind me. I am SO in!"

"What Wall Street crisis? I'm just trying to take a nap."

"This look made that Home Alone kid millions."