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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November in a Nutshell

Here we are on the eve of December 1st and I don’t even have my Christmas decorations up yet. I’m drowning in deadlines, laundry, bills, cleaning, kid-drama and oh, a lot of fun too. Here are some pics to prove it. No time for amusing anecdotes, I’ll just list out the events: the zoo, riding the Pink Pig, Thanksgiving (with Grandmother, Grandpa Ron and Tia) and Texas beating A&M on our last game in the same conference. The last pic is Gus smiling about the win!

Gus and his buddy Tyler out to dinner:

Big Booty B-Roll

Oh my gosh, I'm the biggest blog slacker. I can't believe I used to write this every weekday (15 blogs a month) and now I'm barely getting out of November with three blogs.

And speaking of big and slacking, that's my topic for today: Big Booty B-Roll.

First, I'll explain what B-Roll is for those of you who have never worked in advertising, journalism, broadcast production or the adult film industry. (Not actually sure if they use B- Roll in the last one but needed a funny one to add onto the end there).

B-Roll is basically random footage. Like when you're watching House Hunters and they show scenes from the city they're searching but not with the hunters in it. A common B-Roll scene involves lots of people walking down a crowded street.

Pretty much every night on the news there's a story about "Obesity in America." During these stories they inevitably flash to a street scene featuring several large butts waddling. These butts are enormous, jiggling and are almost always sporting sweat pants.

When they're putting together that story I imagine that the journalists say, "And then just throw in some of that Big Booty B-Roll and we'll be all set." I have several questions about the Big Booty B-Roll:

1. How do they capture it? Is someone lurking on the street with their camera at their waist so they can get just the right angle?
2. Has a big-bootied-person ever attacked a camera man, saying, "Hey! Don't you feature my ass on the news!!"
3. How much would you just DIE if you saw your own ass waddling by on the TV screen during the evening news?
4. If you did recognize your own ass, would you pause it and ask your spouse, "Hey, do you think that's me? Is my butt actually so big that they're using it as an example for this report on how soda is expanding our rears?" And would he/she say, "Well, that does look like your magenta sweat pants. And your ass is a lot bigger than average. And you DO drink a lot of soda. Look, there's a soda stain on your pants there." Or would he/she just say, "No way. Lots of people with big butts wear magenta sweat pants."

Next time you see the Big Booty B-Roll, pay attention. It could be you or someone you love. And if it is, you better run to wherever that tape/DVD is being held and destroy it. And you know how that will help? Well, it will at least get you to run.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

For Grandma Val

This is one of my favorite songs to sing to Leo and Gus. I learned it while doing Guys and Dolls for our senior musical. Frank's Grandma Valerie always ended phone calls with it. She'd say, "I love you...a bushel and a peck."

Disasters with Elsa

"Gotta be somewhere in 20 minutes? Takes 15 minutes to drive there? Sure, I can take a shower, do my hair and get the kids dressed and ready to go. If I hurry, I may even have time for a snack."

And that's the latest episode of "Disasters with Elsa." Frank made it up and he likes to say it in that deep, voiceover way: "Welcome to Disasters with Elsa." (Hopefully you got the voice from just reading it. Not sure of a good font treatment to describe that.)

Here are some more episodes to stay tuned for this season:

"I don't need directions. I know where it is in my head."

"Gus is sleeping soundly in the car seat. But he looks cold. I'll put a hat on him. He won't wake up."

"I'll go to Target, put gas in the car, make a Sam's run, work out, eat lunch, take care of Gus, do some writing, tackle the laundry and vacuum the house...all in the time that Leo's at preschool." (Time management is a common theme.)

"I don't need to bring an extra diaper."

"I don't need to bring a spare outfit for Leo. He NEVER has accidents anymore." (Lack of preparedness is also a common theme.)

"I can totally walk 60 miles for 3 Days. No problem that I will have a four month old baby and that I need to raise over $2,000." (Okay, that one turned out good but felt like a disaster waiting to happen!)

Join us next time for...Disasters with Elsa (You did the deep voice, right?)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gus has been here five months

I keep waiting for Gus to suddenly spin his head around and become a horrible baby but we're five months in and he's still the BBE...


I don't look at this as bragging but rather as being grateful for a baby who is so easy-going. (Because his brother is especially challenging right now!)

The way he wakes up tells you everything you need to know about Gus: if I didn't have a video monitor I wouldn't even know the kid was awake. He just wakes up and starts sucking his thumb. He makes no noise. And when I go into get him, he just smiles.

He's starting to "play" now. He grabs at the toys on his bouncy and he loves this little rabbit rattle, given to him by John and Tyler's grandparents--Nanny and Grandpa.

Here's what else is new with Gus:
He's a rolling machine! He actually rolled back-to-front before front-to-back (the latter is easier) because he was rarely in tummy time due to his unfortunate spitting up habit.

But even his spit up is better! On Saturday he spit up on me so bad that we couldn't even go out to dinner because I smelled and looked so awful. But now, after a few more days on his third spit-up medication, he seems a little less spitty.

Do you know what this means? If Gus doesn't spit up then he is perfect! I have no complaints about this child. And if he's perfect, well then, that can only mean one thing...

His head will surely start spinning any day now!! There's no such thing as a perfect baby, is there?

Gus also sports cloth diapers now. He's super hip. But more on that later when I get some cute pics.

Gus and Leo are finally playing together. Gus used to look at Leo with an expression of, "What the heck are you doing?" Now he laughs! He smiles and coos at Leo and thinks everything he does is funny. It is so sweet!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Leo's Spiritual Side

Lately Leo has been interested in all things religious. A few examples:
--The other day at church, rather than chugging trains or talking too loudly or being generally disruptive, Leo wanted to follow along with the readings! He kneeled and stood in all the right places. And when it came time for the Lord's Prayer, he obediently recited it word for word.

--For about a week he was into reading all his churchy books. One day we were reading "The Mass Coloring Book" and there was a picture of Jesus sort of hovering over these people at a church. Leo asked, "Why does Jesus never come to church?" I tried to explain that Jesus doesn't really live here anymore. He lives in heaven. He said, "Is heaven far away? Is that why Jesus never comes to church?"

--We recently had a loss in the family. Frank's sweet Grandma Valerie died last week at the age of 93. While Frank was at the funeral in Houston I needed to explain where he was to Leo so I said, "Grandma Valerie lives in heaven now." I used a picture
I had of Leo with Grandma Val to remind him of who she was. He looked at the picture and asked, "But mommy, what am I doing in heaven?"

--The past few days Leo has not been excited about going to school.
Yesterday when he was especially resistant I said, "What could we do to make going to school better?" He said he needed a blessing! So I said a little prayer.He still threw a fit about going to school. Maybe he's beyond preschool. He's ready for the seminary.

Here he is trying to transform Gus:

If the priesthood doesn't work out, Leo's back-up plan is to be a chef/volunteer firefighter:

Plan C is to be a paid firefighter/volunteer doctor

3 Days of Walking and Talking

Most of you know (because I begged you for money for months!) that I recently did the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure event. Three of my college buddies came to Atlanta and we walked and camped (okay, in a convention center but there were tents and the floor was hard!) and raised lots of money.

I couldn't believe that on Monday I wasn't sore at all. Well, my legs weren't sore. My throat was sore because I talked and talked and talked. When you're walking 60 miles with people you haven't seen in almost three years, there's a lot of catching up to do. I sure hope I listened a little too!

Leading up to this 3 Day walk I kept thinking, "What did I get myself into?" But it totally exceeded my expectations. It was such a well-organized, fun, moving event that I am really glad I got myself into it...and that my friends did too.

Here's a video of our journey. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Halloween: Leo's Fourth; Gus' First

Imagine my relief when Leo finally gave up on the idea of being a TV set and settled on "Jake the Pirate" (from his current favorite TV show, "Jake and the Neverland Pirates.") Not only did I not have to get crafty with scissors and a box, his friend Etienne had been a pirate last year so the costume was available for borrowing!

Of course we had to have a long talk with Leo about not taking his character so seriously. For a week before Halloween he made us call him "Jake" and screamed if we forgot. By the way, "forgetting" can also mean just saying something to him and not using any name or not even talking to him at all.

"It's supper time!"


Driving in the car...silence...


Luckily, for the Halloween festivities, he went easy on the method actor stuff. On Sunday night we went to his school's church for "trunk or treat." It's like a Halloween tailgate (but without beer, much to Frank's disappointment. Hey, they're Presbyterians, not Catholics.)

Hanging with John, the crayon, at trunk or treat.
Mini hay ride:

For his school party on Monday Leo went as a cowboy (a dress-up costume he had) because his pirate outfit wasn't potty friendly.
His teacher said he kept his hat on all day! Notice his belt buckle says Leo. So cute.

Gus wore this "My First Halloween" onesie a lot this week. Love the pumpkin on the butt!

Time for the neighborhood Halloween party! Gus is a monkey (another borrowed costume)! Leo is holding a broom in case we see witches.
Seems like just yesterday they were a sweet pea, a tiger and a lion!

Underdog Etienne wasn't here that first Halloween but he's been here the last three. He's also bigger than the rest of them but a few months younger!
Leo won the prize for "meanest costume." Frank said, "I don't think it had anything to do with his costume."
Gus says, "No candy for me. I got my thumb."
Leo did a good job saying "Thank you!"
Trick or treating with the beautiful Bianca (Princess Aurora).
Frank took Leo trick or treating while I manned the candy bowl at our house with the monkey. When they got home Frank instructed Leo to dump out all his candy and roll around in it. "What? You never did that?" he asked. I think we need to work on our Halloween traditions!