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Sunday, June 24, 2012

He ain't sweaty, he's my brother

Things are heating up here so when we're not in the water, we're inside, trying to have some fun. 

Here are Gus and Leo sporting their adorable crab shirts from the Robinson family. Leo loves that his has a pirate hat and Gus's doesn't, "because he is a baby and babies can't be pirates." 

Raiding the pantry...Leo is teaching Gus about the wonders of Entenmann's muffins:

Leo loves to climb into Gus' crib when he wakes up from a nap (and throw in all the stuffed animals). Gus doesn't seem to mind:

Sometimes Gus is the instigator!

Leo teaching Gus how to chug:

I think he's got it!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What a difference...


(And I'm not just talking about my hair length!)

Training Day at the DPS

DPS HR Rep: Welcome, new Department of Public Safety employees.

New Employee #1: Um, why did we have to wait outside for an hour before coming in?

DPS HR Rep: Because that's how we do things here at the DPS. It's the DPS way.

New Employee #1: And why are the people who need driver's licenses standing out there? One lady told me she's been camping out there all night.

DPS HR: Son, I don't think you're DPS material. You're fired.

Now, moving on: the main thing you need to know is our turn-away quota: each DPS office is tasked with turning away as many people as possible, we like to keep it around 80% or higher. Now, if they leave on their own because they got tired of waiting, that's okay too. In fact, it's preferable.

New Employee #2: But what if they have all their paperwork?

DPS HR: Fella, whaddya think the chances are that someone has the following? Their current passport, birth certificate, old license, updated insurance card for all vehicles, social security card, car registration, car title, electric bill AND all seven forms filled out correctly? I mean, really? We know it's less than 20%. In fact, when I was a bouncer at the DPS in Waxahachie, we turned away 97%. I've got a plaque in my office to prove it.

New Employee #3: Um, excuse me. What did you mean by "bouncer?"

DPR HR: Oh, that is the HIGHEST honor placed upon a DPS employee. As the bouncer,  you get to check everyone's paperwork and turn them all away. You're like the first line of defense.

New Employee #4: I think I'd be great at that job! I used to be a greeter at Wal-Mart!

DPS HR: You're fired too. We don't need no cheerful types. Why, I used to make every other applicant leave in tears.

New Employee #5: I'm your guy, sir. In my last job, I made people cry by being really slow. I mean like comically slow.

DPS HR: Say, are you the new hire from the postal service? I had heard we were gonna get one. You guys are a perfect fit here. Welcome.

New Employee #5: Thanks, sir. I also like to take lots of breaks.

DPS HR: Perfect. When you get in at 8:00, be sure you take a break by 8:15.

New Employee #5: It'll be just like my days at USPS.

DPS HR: Now, to illustrate the kind of experience we want applicants to have, let me tell you about a lady who tried to get her TX DL a couple of weeks ago:
Broad had moved here from Georgia but since she had lived in Texas before, probably thought she'd be  fast-tracked. Boy, was she wrong. Once you leave Texas, you are dead to us. So the lady goes to the Lewisville DPS (erupts into laughter). I'm sorry (more laughing), it just cracks me up that she thought she was going to get a license at the Lewisville DPS. They lead the state in extreme wait times! They got a pizza party for it last year!

Anyway, she gets there real early and waits outside for about an hour. Then she goes inside, actually gets past the bouncer, only because her husband was one of those over-achievers who did have all his paperwork. Then she gets number 304 and waits and waits and waits. Now, the numbers aren't based on when you got there. We tell people they're based on the type of applicant you are (new license, renewal, lost, etc) but really, we just like to screw with people. It's totally random.

So they call 300, 301, 302, 303 and this lady actually stands up, purse on her shoulder, thinking she's gonna get called next (major laughter). Of course we NEVER called her and she had to leave.

Next day she goes to Denton (more laughter) and waits outside for another hour. When she gets up to the bouncer she doesn't have her social security card. Thought the chick was going to cry. She's running all over the parking lot of the DPS office, searching for the card. Finally finds it face down near the line she had been baking in. She kissed it and screamed, "Alleluia!" The DPS'll do that to ya!
So she waits and waits and waits and after about four hours, they finally called her number. She gets up there and the DPS worker says her insurance isn't right. That she needs to show proof of insurance for BOTH cars in the household, not just hers. Lady really does tear up now and claims she's only the title holder on one car. DPS worker lets it slide. Big mistake in my book. I'd have got her on that one. But hell, I'd have made her go to the back of the line when she lost her social too.

New Employee #5: And no way would she have stayed! She'd be outta there. That's why you have the plaque, sir!

DPS HR: That's right. So she gets through all the hoopla and then comes the eye test. Lady failed it the first time and DPS worker gave her a second chance. You know what I would have done, of course.

So the moral of the story is that if someone is going to ultimately get their Texas DL, this is a good example of the kind of experience we want them to have. Got it?

New Employee #5: Yes, sir!

DPS HR: Hey, where did everyone else go?

New Employee #5: They left.

DPS HR: That was all in my plan! Now we're understaffed, just the way I like it! I'm gonna go find a good spot on my wall for my next plaque.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Split Personality

This morning I told Frank, "Did you see that half a banana on the counter? That's for you." He replied way too enthusiastically, "I didn't see it but I'll go eat it now!" It occurred to me that every time I've left a half a banana for Frank he seemed super pumped about it. Why? What was with the banana-thusiasm?

I realized it was because Frank LOVES to split things. Now, had I said, "There's a full, unpeeled banana on the counter for you," he would have said, "Nah. Is potassium really necessary?" But since it was a HALF of a banana, he was gung ho. 

When we eat our fajitas on Sunday nights he's always up for splitting a third one.  "I can't decide if I want more," he always says, and then adds, "Wanna split one?" Let me point out that he asks this after he has already eaten two and I have taken one bite out of one. "I can't commit to splitting one yet," I have to tell him. But we usually do end up splitting because he's so pro going half-sies. 

If we're ever eating in a group and someone says, "Does anybody want to split one more (hamburger, hot dog, rack of lamb)?" Frank is the first to jump up, mid mouthful, screaming, "YES! I'll split one!" He'll even split beers. 

I'm usually down with splitting (even a beer) but only if it's a first course.  I don't go to a restaurant and say, "Let's just split something" unless it's fajitas for two.  

If it's a big dessert, I'll split it. But I hate it when I want to have a cupcake and Frank says, "I don't need my own. I'll just have a bite of yours" and I give him the evil eye because I know that is code for splitting! I mean, I will gladly split a banana with you but a cupcake? That's just taking it too far. 

BTW, we totally need this half a banana holder! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gus has been here ONE YEAR!

Gus had his first birthday on June 10th. Well, it was really his second birthday. Our whole birthday system is a little peculiar. Let's call it "The First Anniversary of his Birth." Until now Leo has been telling people that Gus is "zero." Now he can say that he is "one." So that's sort of a big deal. We had a small party at our new home in Frisco. Gus hesitated at first but eventually tore into the cake:

Frank used to always comment, "Leo looks more like a kid now" and I think it happened around 18 months. I'm not sure if it's the hair or the shoes but Gus is looking more and more like a kid. He also sports two piece outfits (shorts and t-shirts rather than onesies) which adds to his kid-ness.

I'm happy to report that after one year, Gus' head hasn't spun around, revealing an evil personality. He's still jolly and laid-back 91% of the time. That's down from 95% because we have to account for him developing more of an opinion about things like toys, food and climbing the stairs. So the kid wails a little more than he used to but it's nothing his blankie can't fix. TGFTB...ATT (Thank God for the Blankie...And The Thumb). But usually he's content or happy or laughing or blowing raspberries and then laughing hysterically. He also claps and I'm pretty sure he says "yay" when he does that.

Gus eats like a kid. When we go out to a restaurant, he orders a grilled cheese sandwich or it's Mexican counterpart, the quesadilla. He likes Goldfish, mac n cheese and pancakes. (Hmmm, I'm not making myself look like mother of the year in the food department.)

Leo definitely loves Gus. Just today he asked if he could sit in the Boppy and hold Gus. (It was a year ago tomorrow that we brought Gus home from the hospital and I recall Leo not being very eager to hold his brother.) But today he wants to hold him and squeeze him, a little too hard. So that's our main issue--Leo being too rough. Our secondary issue is Gus destroying Leo's train tracks. Sometimes Leo says, "I hate Mus!" (his nickname for Gus) but we know he doesn't mean it. Right?

I mean, how could you hate this face?

We love you, Gus! We are looking forward to many more fun anniversaries of your birth!

Friday, June 01, 2012

I Love Lamp

Ever since that scene in Anchorman when Steve Carell's character says, "I love lamp," it's been a running joke around our house. I don't know why it comes up but every now and then one of us will say, "I love lamp." And then, oh, how we guffaw. Or just smirk.

But now I have a real occasion for saying it. I LITERALLY love a lamp. I love this lamp, the red gourd lamp from Pier One.

First, let me share with you my quest to find a lamp: I searched online and glanced around in Target. Sure, that's not that impressive of a quest but for someone who doesn't like shopping, I feel I put in some quality quest time. Since my furniture is pretty traditional (Rooms to Go Chic) I wanted something with a splash of color...funky even...or maybe just a splash of color. I kept finding beautiful wooden lamps but I knew if I came home with a brown lamp next to our brown sofas Frank would say, "What can brown do for you?" (Another running joke at our house).

I stumbled into Pier One after a successful shopping trip at Old Navy. I have more confidence in my ability to find cool things after I've already found cool things, ya know? I figured lamps at Pier One would be beyond my price range (not that I had a price range, really) but I thought it couldn't hurt to look.

First I saw this sky blue lamp that was pretty cool and I thought, "Maybe I'm going with a beachy theme here." But then the red gourd lamp spoke to me. Really, its clearance price tag spoke to me. Originally $75, it was $39.98, y'all! 

The cashier asked if I had noticed the pretty stuff on the inside of the cream colored shade. I said, "Yes, I wish it was on the outside!" But then I got home and turned on the lamp and check it out:

Can you see it? The pretty stuff on the inside is illuminated through the shade!!

I think it fits in nicely with my Rooms to Go decor.

I'm pretty sure this is the coolest thing I've ever bought. Every time I look at it I just think, "I love lamp." It makes me wonder if I might have a future in decorating--especially if there are potential clients out there who want someone who specializes in finding cool pieces from Pier One and Rooms to Go.