Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Movie Date

I took Evelyn back to the doctors office on Monday and with a little finagling the doctor managed to get the intrusion out of Evelyn's ear.  It turned out being a little plastic bead from a beanie baby.  Who would have guessed?  I still don't know how long it had been in there or even what prompted her to put it in there in the first place.  I'm just glad we got it out.  I was really worried for a while there.

A couple days later I took the kids out on a date to see their very first movie, Monsters vs. Aliens at the Starplex Cinema theater.  The kids were both super great!  They sat quietly and watched the movie the entire time.  It went so well I think this is going to be the first of many movie dates for us.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Phase Two in the news!

an independent bakersfield news source | July 28th, 2009

Local Film Crew Lands Big Budget To Make Zombie Film
Just when Bakersfield film fans thought Hectic Films was no more, comes the huge film project “Phase Two,” which promises more explosions, crazier zombies and even better acting with Hollywood talent in the cast. Only, this film is in association with Higher Definition Media and will be mostly shot outside of Bakersfield.

“I’m not allowed to disclose our budget,” Rickey Bird of Hectic Films said. While the budget is rumored as sizable, that doesn’t mean it’s of Hollywood blockbuster scale. It does mean that film crews will be shooting on a camera fit for Blue Ray disks.

Jason Sanders, who started Higher Definition Media with colleague Andrew Waite, added that the budget is good enough where they can hire actors, have catering, pyrotechnics, props and vehicles.

Either way, after landing an investor, Hectic films name is still associated with the movie, and is even shooting on an actual film lot. George the Giant, who was in “Big Fish,” was associated with an earlier rendition of the film. But he, like other actors, weren’t paid, but donated their time. Their big cast member is up-and-coming actress Jessica Erin Sylvia. While she is most well-known for her Italian lingerie and Playboy modeling, she is a promising talent that the project is banking on.

“We went casting in LA. It was her look. The way she looked more Latino. And that’s what I had going with the character,” Bird said. He added he also wanted the main character to be both beautiful and tough looking.

Shaun Paul Piccinino, who plays a soldier in the film, is already well known for his Hollywood expertise. According to Sanders, Piccinino edits as well as does visual effects for the popular stop-motion animated show “Robot Chicken,” which is produced by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich. He has also directed more than one episode of “The Deadliest Warrior,” an original series for Spike TV.

According to a press release sent out on Tuesday, the indie film company Higher Definition Media will begin principal photography of the sci-fi thriller “Phase Two” in film lots located at California City Studios on Aug. 4.

Film crews will also be shooting on location in and around Bakersfield.

Many people came out as extras for an earlier version of the film to be in the unreleased zombie-slasher movie, “Wretched Flesh.” But that film was only partially made due to budget issues. “Money and time, but mostly money was the issue,” Bird said. Footage from the film will hopefully be added as bonus material on the DVD release of the movie.

Watch: Footage of Hectic Films and zombies. Motocross scenes are cool:

Local talent and crew around Bakersfield have already helped out. Bryce Hatch of Inspiration Studios is a production manager on “Phase Two.” Hatch directed and wrote the film, “Stamped!” which premiered at the Fox Theater in Bakersfield. He also adapted “Phase Two” for film production. The film was written by both Bird and Sanders.

As “Phase Two” production begins, cast and crew will head out to the high desert for on-location shooting. Jason Sanders is director, while Andrew Waite is director of photography. Bird, of Hectic Films, is slated as the assistant director.

So what does it mean to be a director duo? “Kind of makes things easier,” Bird said. “Jason is more of a technical person and I’m more of a people person, which is what the assistant director does. I deal with the people.”

“Phase Two” is set in a post-apocalyptic future. Survivors of a deadly virus are faced with an undead-filled environment of zombie-infected humans. John Ross Clark plays a high strung professor, while Jessica Erin Sylvia portrays his tough-minded assistant. Both are on a quest to find a cure for the infection. The film also stars Tattie Grace, Matt Thompson, Robin Steffen and Luke Bishop. 

Rickey Bird, Andrew Waite, Jason Sanders, and Travis Yoder

Scene from earlier rendition of “Phase Two”
Images and video by Nick Belardes

Here's the link to this article.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Kid Update

Hey, it's Frankenstein Head here!  I forgot to mention that I have a new nickname.  Not exactly flattering but certainly fitting.  I very briefly considered attempting to walk through a metal detector today but... I opted out at the last minute.  I am doing much better though in case you're wondering.  The whiplash is gone, the wound is a little itchy but doesn't hurt, I'm taking my meds so no infection and the staples come out in just a few days.
And speaking of wellness, the kids each had their well visit to the doctor recently.  Other than Preston's constant runny nose from his allergies they are both doing well and growing perfectly according the the growth chart.  Preston is now 33 inches tall and weighs 25 pounds 5 ounces.  Evelyn is 37.3 inches and weighs 31 pounds.  The only bad news to report is that Evelyn has a tiny plastic bead stuck in her right ear so unfortunately I have to make another appointment on Monday to get it out.  Kids... man!  But it does explain a few things.  The past couple weeks she's been asking me over and over to repeat things and when I tell her something she'll say it back to me completely wrong.  So, hopefully it's no trouble getting it out and things can return back to normal.  But other than that the kids are growing and changing much too quickly.  

One new thing about Evelyn is that she has finally mastered coloring in the lines.  One day I was coloring with her and I was watching her scribble all over the paper with no regard to the picture at all.  Then I picked up a crayon and started coloring along with her and I guess in that short amount of time something clicked.  After a few minutes I started to make dinner and to my amazement I returned to find her coloring in the lines and she's been doing it ever since.  

A funny story with Evelyn happened a few weeks back.  Some of you may have heard this already but I thought it was funny enough to keep in my records.  So, the story goes;  One day Evelyn sees a picture of a lion and starts asking about it.  So with my limited amount of knowledge I went on to describe to her what a lion does, what it eats, what sound it makes and that it has a mane.  And I taught her that a mane is the hair all around it's neck.  Well, a few days later we're at church and Evelyn is sitting on Andy's lap feeling his beard and all of a sudden out of the blue she says to him "Daddy, I like your mane".  After that I had the hardest time making it all the way through sacrament keeping a straight face.

Other things about Evelyn are that she is obsessed with the color red.  She enjoys having her picture taken and has the cheesiest smile.  Every night when she goes to bed she tells me "Good night sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs and the alligators bite".  She detests anything even remotely spicy and she is terrified of loud noises.  I've been teaching her the ABC's and colors and she's catching on very fast.  Her very best friends are Eliza, Brayden, and Preston.  And... in case your wondering (which I know you are, don't lie) she is STILL crazy about her Baby.  I know, what can I say, she's had it since she was a year old and she's attached.

As for Preston, he's done a good deal of growing lately.  He talks about a million words per minute, only about half of which actually make sense.  He looks dang cute in his little swimsuit and he's a pretty good little swimmer to boot.  For the longest time he would say "Thank you, Dadda" to EVERYONE.  He has a fear of lizards.  The other day I took the kids around to the front of my in laws house and we saw a ginormous lizard that was almost close enough to touch.  Evelyn reached out to pet it and Preston screamed.  I don't think he realized until it moved that it was actually alive.  Now when we go out there he tells me, "I scary" and he keeps a very watchful eye out for any lizards.  He's mastered all the major body parts and facial features.  One of my favorite things to hear him try to say is glasses.  It comes out "glathes", his little tongue sticking out trying to make the "s" sound.  The other day I was pretty proud of myself when I deciphered one of his sentences.  Turns out "iwannaitpadely" is his way of saying I want a peanut butter and jelly (sandwich).  Who knew?  But now that's almost all I hear when I ask him what he wants to eat.  I guess it is his favorite.  One thing I should mention about Preston is his constant need to use the bathroom stool.  It drives me crazy!  It's almost never where it should be because he's always picking it up and moving it around with him.  He played his first video game the other day, the fish arcade game on the Xbox.  He's such a cute kid.  He puts up with his bigger (sometimes bully) of a sister but he manages to hold his own.  And for the most part they're pretty good playmates.

They're both great kids and I love them a lot!  I love watching them grow and become the little people that they are.

Las Vegas '09: Part III

One night we bought tickets to see Nathan Burton at the Flamingo.  I had never heard of him before but decided to give him a shot anyway and I was surprisingly amazed.  He was pretty good and he had special guests that were hilarious.  That very same night after we got back I was watching America's Got Talent and guess who shows up, that's right, none other than Nathan Burton and of course he made it through.

For my second night out without the kids I got to see tons more stuff.  Some of which where the Bellagio,


and my personal favorite, the Luxor, which was a trip.  We snuck into the "key card required" elevator and rode up to the 27th floor.  The elevator goes diagonally!  And the whole inside looks unreal.

The last night we took the kids to see the aquarium at the Silverton.  Its a 117,000- gallon reef aquarium with beautiful tropical fish, sharks, sting rays and a live mermaid!  Every half hour a mermaid swims around and interacts with all the people watching.

Lastly we took the kids to see the water show at the Bellagio.  They were initially startled by the noise but after the first show Preston looked over to me and said, "again!".  So we stayed for the next show.  I loved seeing the excitement on their faces.

And just for the heck of it...  On the way home we had to stop and get gas in Baker, which as most people know, is the home of the Worlds Largest Thermometer.  Honestly, I can't tell you how many times I've driven by this place and I always told myself that one day I'm going to stop and take a picture.  So here it is.  And in case you're wondering, the temperature was 107.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Las Vegas '09: Part II

One day we took the kids to the Lied Children's Museum.  It was SO much fun and the kids loved it!  The museum had all kinds of fun hands on stuff for the kids to get into and it was a nice change to actually let them have at it.  This was easily one of my favorite parts of the whole trip.

There was a bubble section where the kids got to make bubbles of all sizes and even a giant bubble that you could stand inside.

A highlight for Preston was this little airplane.  He was so interested in it I literally had to pull him away from it when it was time to move on.  It seems I may have a little pilot on my hands:)

The kids got to experience what it feels like to be a firefighter and dress like one.  The jackets they're wearing are weighed down proportionally just like a real firefighter jacket.

The upstairs had even more fun stuff for the kids to explore.  In the wind tunnel we got to experience what a 70+ mile an hour wind feels like.  

Another BIG highlight, the Buffets!  You can't go to Vegas without eating at a buffet.  We actually went to two during our stay.  One, the Festival Buffet at the Fiesta Casino was one of the best I have ever been to.  Great food and lots of it too!  Another big highlight of the trip for me.  I let Evelyn pick out all her own food which was kind of fun.  She enjoyed it and ended up with pizza, spaghetti, and macaroni and cheese.  And the best part about it was the price.  It was only 10 bucks for me and the kids were both free!  I highly recommend that place and will most likely make that a regular place to visit in Vegas.

They kids couldn't get enough cousin time.  Evie and Preston had such a great time hanging out with their Mansius cousins.  Most of the trip they could barely be contained.

 Easily the VERY BEST part of the trip was simply spending time as a family.  This picture was taken at the end of a very long day.  Grandma reading a book to all 5 of her grandkids.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Las Vegas '09: Part I

Our long awaited Fitzgerald family trip finally came!  For our last family trip we traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and that was when I was about 8 months pregnant with Preston.  This year my parents decided to take us all to the fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada!  And this time it was Nichole's turn to be pregnant.  Here's a rundown of some of the amazing things we got to experience on our trip.

We stayed at the Summer Bay Resort.  The rooms were fantastic!  Very up to date and very comfortable.  Our view and the short distance we were away from the strip was incredible.  Here's a night time view from our 3rd story balcony.  Notice the Vegas Strip in the background!

For convenience and cost effectiveness we bought most of our food for the week at this little know place called Costco.  Here we are enjoying the bounties of our trip.

The first day we stopped by the Ethel M® Chocolate Factory and Botanical Cactus Garden.  We walked through the tour and got our free chocolate (Evelyn got two :), hence the picture, and we enjoyed the beauty of the Cactus Garden.

We swam A LOT, almost every day in fact, but with the weather as hot as it was it was almost out of necessity.  The resort had 3 beautiful pools for us to choose from and by the end of the week we had been in each one at least once.  My dad bought water guns for each of the kids and they had a blast going around shooting each other.

Sunday we dragged ourselves out of bed and went to church.  I had Evelyn go with Eliza to Sunbeams just to see how she would do in the older class and she had so much fun.  She went on and on about it afterwards.  And since we were so close we decided on the way back to stop and take a stroll around the Las Vegas Temple.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas... Right,  I got a ticket!  The cops really love me there.  But what can you say when you look as guilty as I do...  Oh well...

Monday we had quite the experience.  We took the kids on the shuttle and over to the Excaliber.  The girls LOVED the idea of being in a "real" princess castle.  We took them down to the bottom level where all the games are and let them play.  Evelyn and I played this fishing game and she won!  She picked a little stuffed monkey to take home as a souvenir.  Preston had a good time "playing the games".  I never did put any money in the machines for him but he spent a good long while with Joshua pushing all the buttons on this one machine.

I got to see just about everything on the strip between the two nights that I got out without the kids.  

The first night my group and I got to see a good portion of the North end, some of which included the Mirage, the Wynn and the Venetian (above)

We walked by Madame Tussuad's and caught a glimpse of Whoopie Goldberg.  

A New Computer and a Head Laceration all in One Week

The Apple eMac

As most of you know I've been without a computer for many a months.  Basically been living in a world with no electronic connection to the outside world except for my precious life-saving IPhone.  Almost every day I've had this urge, the urge to blog, and I've been forced to resist.  I know, everyone keeps telling me it's possible to blog by phone but it's just not the same.  Well it's been tough but I've done it and after much waiting and anticipation we finally got a "new" (new to us at least) home computer.

So it's no iMac but it does the job and I couldn't be more happy to call it my own.  Now if only I could remember how to use it...  But anyways, as of today I'd like to formally announce my long awaited return to Blogger.  You WILL be seeing a lot more of me from now on.

(This picture is not me, it's Stephanie.  She looks way hotter in a swim suit than I do)

Now for the NOT so great news.  Let's just say I took a bit of a spill yesterday at BV lake.  I was wake boarding and got a little too over-confident.  I tried to go over the wake going way too fast and lost all control.  The board rotated 45 degrees bringing me to a complete stop and shooting me face first into the water resulting in the board swinging up and slicing the back of my head. It hurt but not nearly as bad as I would have expected.  My great friend, Stephanie, drove me to the emergency room and I ended up with 8 staples.  Andy took the rest of the day off to be with me and make sure I didn't have any adverse reactions.  I'm amazingly normal now despite what happened and the pain has been fairly minimal.  I woke up this morning with some serious whiplash that I didn't feel yesterday but nothing a little bit of pain medication couldn't take care of.  I really got off easy and am seriously counting my blessings.

I know I put all this on my facebook so I apologize to anyone reading this twice but I can't express how grateful I am to everyone who helped.  Thank you!  And sorry again Stephanie and Nathan for totally killing the fun family outing.  I promise I'll make it up to you.  Although I may be sticking to the inner tube for a little while.

Other than the head laceration our little family has been keeping quite busy with other things.  The kids and I just got back from a Vegas family reunion (more on this to come), I have been frantically trying to get in shape for my Mt. Whitney trip next week and Andy's been spending practically every waking moment (except Sundays and weekdays after about 8:30 P.M.) preparing for the shooting of HDM's new movie, Phase 2.  I also have so much catching up to do and am actually looking forward to keeping up with this blog now that I have a computer.  So until next time...  Adios, take care and wear a helmet!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I finally gave in to the bangs

I can't tell you how frustrated I've been with Evelyn's hair.  It's constantly in her face and she doesn't get the concept of keeping it behind her ears.  Everyone keeps telling me I should cut her bangs but I guess I'm a little worried I'm not going to like them.  So yesterday I went in for my own overdue hair cut and I took Evelyn with me.   



Evelyn has BANGS now!  She also got a really nice summer trim up to her shoulders.  I was so wrong about the bangs.  I don't just like them, I LOVE them!  I can't believe I didn't do it sooner.  I love that I can see her face now.  She has so many adorable expressions that I missed before because they were hiding under all her hair.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July

For the 4th this year I had nothing planned.  Andy had to work and I was stuck at home without a car.  But in my sad attempt to make the most of it the kids and I celebrated by eating the most American foods I had on hand; sloppy joes and jello.  The kids LOVED them both!  After dinner I didn't know what to do with them so we went over to see what my in-laws had planned for their afternoon.  As it turned out they had bought fireworks for the kids to enjoy.  It turned out to be such a great night.  We sat out in the front yard and watched our own personal fireworks show.  I am so proud to live in such a great country.  I appreciate and admire all the men and women who put their lives on the line for the freedoms that we get to enjoy every single day.  I will never forget the sacrifices that have been made for me and for this blessed country.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Another reason to love Summer

The kids have been swimming quite a lot this summer.  They are both super great in the water.  It took Preston about a week to really get used to keeping his head up and kicking his feet but now that he's figured it out he does great.  I still can't get over how adorable they both are in their little suits and goggles.  SO cute!