Things I learned in December 2014:

Since December is full of big events at our house- two birthdays and Christmas- this blog post is chock-full of photos.  Enjoy!

1. Pam and I managed to make some really cute Elmo and Cookie Monster cupcakes for Sam’s birthday.  I got the ideas off of Pinterest and was pleased they were not a Pinterest fail.

Elmo cupcakes!

Elmo cupcakes!

Cookie monster loves cookies....Nom, Nom, Nom!

Cookie monster loves cookies….Nom, Nom, Nom!

2. Sammy’s 2nd birthday party was fun and much less stressful than his 1st birthday.  I tried to keep it more low-key and spent way less money.  The best moment of the party was definitely when he opened his big stuffed minion and proceeded to freak the freak out.

Party decorations

Party decorations

Cupcakes

Cupcakes

Sammy loves minis!

Sammy loves minis!

3. For Mike’s birthday, we continued our tradition of going to see one of the new “Hobbit” movies.  “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” was good.  However, it did make me cry and I was not a fan of basically everyone dying.  So…I would say I liked the other two better.  Still, it was a good time and a worthy addition to the trilogy.

4. My folks, Heidi, Sammy, and I journeyed to the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens a few days before Christmas.  We had a great time checking out the beautifully decorated Christmas trees- each representing a different country.  Sammy was excited to meet two reindeer, but was ecstatic to discover that the gardens had their very own Thomas the train.  He would have willingly stayed at the train exhibit all day.  No joke.

Sammy, Baba, and Nana in front of the poinsettia tree

Sammy, Baba, and Nana in front of the poinsettia tree

Sammy checking out the England tree

Sammy checking out the England tree

Reindeer!

Reindeer!

Thomas!

Thomas!

5. We really shouldn’t have gotten Sammy any Christmas presents this year.  Upon opening his stocking and finding a small Thomas the train and a car driven by Elmo, he was happy and didn’t want to open any more presents.  He did request that we help him put on his new Mickey Mouse socks over his footsie pajamas- these were also from his stocking.

Sammy sporting his Mickey Mouse socks, holding Thomas and the Elmo car.  Along with his minion hat, this is quite the look.

Sammy sporting his Mickey Mouse socks, holding Thomas and the Elmo car. Along with his minion hat, this is quite the look.

6. Santa brought Sammy a potty for Christmas.  He was very excited to sit on it, sometimes for very long periods of time, but so far that is all the progress we’ve made.

Sammy sitting on the potty on Christmas night

Sammy sitting on the potty on Christmas night

7. I was very excited to hang out with my friends Brad and Angela and their four kiddos for a few days the end of December.  Their daughter, Maggie, is my goddaughter, and I hadn’t seen her since she was 6 months old.  She is now 2 and a half.  I also got to meet their newest addition, baby Zach.  After spending some quality time with four kids, I think I’m going to stick with just one for a while.  Honestly, I don’t know how either of them remain sane.  (Love you guys!)

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Things I learned in the last week or so- 2/25-3/4/14

This one is really long.  I have been a bum and not written in a while, so I learned a whole bunch of things!

1. I finally watched “The Amazing Race: All Stars.”  I was very sad that Bopper’s health problems kept him off this season, but I do love Mallory.  I was so happy when the annoying “Twinnies” got out first!  I honestly don’t know if I could put up with them another week.

2. An imminent winter storm almost ruined the exciting weekend Miriam and I had planned.  She and Stuart decided to come anyway, but they had to leave Saturday evening to beat the bad weather to Indy.  We managed to pack three days of fun into two days, because we are awesome like that.  That’s right, winter.  You didn’t win this one!

3. Christmas is officially over because Miriam and I have finally exchanged our presents.  (We believe Christmas presents should be exchanged in person, regardless of how many months it has been since Christmas.)

4. This week’s “Parks and Recreation” and “Modern Family” were hilarious!  Stuart, Miriam, Sammy, and I watched them together Friday night.  My favorite parts were as follows: Ron’s letter writing campaign, Ben and Larry’s Dream Date, and Ben’s stupid surprised face.  On “Modern Family,” I loved all the ways Cam tried to avoid Lilly’s lice, and the way Phil tried to give it to his enemy, Gil Thorpe.

Ben Wyatt's stupid surprised face- Leslie got him a replica of the Iron Throne for their first anniversary.

Ben Wyatt’s stupid surprised face- Leslie got him a replica of the Iron Throne for their first anniversary.

5. Sammy has learned another new word: Yes.  He has even used it in the correct context.  I asked him, “Did you learn the word yes?” and he said, “Yes!”

6. Miriam, Stuart, Mike, and I watched our Nashville Predators lose to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.  This is the first time I have attended a Preds game that they have lost, so I was a bit bummed.  We still had fun, and they did score one goal, so we got to sing the “You Suck” song.  (This is “The HEY Song” but we add “You Suck!” after each HEY.  It’s honestly my favorite part of games.)

The four of us at the Preds game.  Check out my new fang fingers!

The four of us at the Preds game. Check out my new fang fingers!

7. I woke up Sunday feeling like crap on a cracker AGAIN.  I seriously just got over being sick like two weeks ago.  Stupid germs!

8. I ended up taking two naps on Sunday, so I was wide awake for the Oscars.  Here are the things I learned, including my new tradition of choosing the best and worst dressed.

  • The movie “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” was nominated for an Academy Award for best hair styling and make-up.  I was rooting for it to win, just because I thought it would be hilarious.
  • The movie “Gravity” won like a billion awards for special effects and sound editing and stuff like that.  The director, Alfonso Cuaron, became the first Latin American filmmaker to win an Oscar for Best Director.
  • Robert Lopez and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, won the Oscar for Best Song with “Let It Go” from “Frozen.”  Robert Lopez has now EGOTed!  That means he has won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and a Tony.  (The only reason I know what EGOT means is because of Tracy Jordan’s quest to EGOT on the show “30 Rock.”)
  • My pick for best dressed is Sandra Bullock.  Sandy just looked gorgeous- the dress, the hair, the earrings.  She was the epitome of Hollywood glamour.
Gorgeous!

Gorgeous!

  • My pick for worst dressed is Anna Kendrick.  I am sad about this, because I love her, but this dress is just weird.  Why does it look like there are fireworks across her mid-section?  What’s up with the Angelina Jolie leg?  This dress just has too much going on and none of it is good.
Not her best look...

Not her best look…

  • I don’t usually pick dudes for best and worst dressed because their clothes are kind of boring.  However, I am making a special exception for the hideousness that was Pharrell’s tuxedo shorts.  Seriously, dude?  Tuxedo shorts?  That’s just bad.  Stick to your giant hats, Pharrell.
No.  Just...no.

No. Just…no.

9. We got another snow day yesterday, which was good news for Sammy and I.  We now both have the crud- boo!

10. I watched the first episode of the new season of “Survivor” last night.  This season, the contestants are divided into three tribes- brains, beauty, and brawn.  I don’t know what the qualifications were for being in the “brains” tribe, but it didn’t seem like anyone on that tribe lived up to its name.

Things I learned in the last week- 12/20-12/26/13

1. I keep forgetting that the usual five-hour drive to Indianapolis is not a five-hour drive when Sammy is along.  Especially when he decides to poop three different times during the trip, requiring multiple diaper-change stops.  Also, I think every fast-food restaurant and gas station should be required to have a diaper changing station.  It is really not fun to try to change Sammy’s poopy diaper on the backseat of the car.

2. Mike’s brother Matt is engaged!  Yay for Matt and Bethany!  I have known that this was in the works for some time but could not write about it on here.  Matt purchased a yorkie puppy to be part of his proposal, which has been staying at Mike’s folks’ house.  Chewy the puppy wore a tiny tuxedo for the occasion, making it impossible for Bethany to say no.  She now has a beautiful ring, an adorable puppy, and a goofy fiancé.

Matt, Chewy, and Bethany

Matt, Chewy, and Bethany

3. Sammy received so many presents for his birthday and Christmas while we were in Indy, they would not all fit in the car to go home.  The Little Tikes racetrack he received from Aunt Kristen and Uncle Drew is going to have to stay at their house for a little while.

The giant dump truck Sammy is riding in was a birthday gift from his Grandpa.

The giant dump truck Sammy is riding in was a birthday gift from his Grandpa.

4. The movie “Despicable Me 2” is hilarious.  I might like it more than the first one, which is saying something, because I really love the first one.

minion vs. evil minion

minion vs. evil minion

5. Our early Christmas with Mike’s family was really fun.  I received several kitchen gadgets, bath stuff, and some cute sheep pjs.  There was also some amazingly delicious food, which I may have eaten too much of.

6. Sammy does not sleep well when he is away from home.  Mike and I spent a considerable amount of time up in the night with him both nights.  Not fun.

7. The Titans actually won on Sunday!  Sadly, I didn’t get to see any of the game because we were in the car heading home.  In other football news, Amanda is the official winner of the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Fantasy League.  Congratulations Amanda!  I came in 4th.  I had high hopes for getting out of last place in our Pick ‘Em League when someone forgot to make their picks. (It turns out, he made his picks but the computer didn’t save them.  So he says…)  Alas, I am so far behind it didn’t make any difference for me.  It did help out my Dad and Miriam, who are fighting it out for first.

8. Jason and Amy won “The Amazing Race!”  I was really happy about this, as they were pretty much the only team I liked in the finale.  I had been a Nicole/Travis fan, but he was just so mean to her at the end!  I was very happy that Tim and Marie didn’t win, as Marie is a terrible, horrible person.  Poor Tim needs to move on and not hang out with her anymore.  No one is going to want to date someone who spends so much time with their ex.  The next season is going to be another All-Stars, which could be awesome or awful, depending on which teams they brought back to be on it.

Jason and Amy for the win!

Jason and Amy for the win!

9. The Christmas Eve service at WOC was amazing, as usual.  There was also a live camel, Carl, in the lobby.  He was HUGE!  I have no idea how people actually ride on those things.  Murphy the Burro was in the courtyard.  Apparently, the night before he “worshipped the Lord” so loudly in the lobby, he drowned out Pastor Allen.  Hence the move to the courtyard.

10. We had a long but fun Christmas Day.  It started with brunch at my folks’ place followed by stocking and present-opening.  We then headed back to our place to put Sammy down for a nap before heading to Christmas dinner at my Aunt Cyndi’s.  Sammy resisted his nap for quite a while, so we ended up being late to Christmas dinner.  Luckily, I was just bringing dessert.  Dinner was followed by numerous rounds of “Ball,” Sammy’s favorite game.  We also played a couple of grown-up Christmas games, one which involved singing.  We headed back to our place to put Sammy to bed, but he fell asleep in the car and was then wide awake.  So, we ended Christmas opening the presents under our own tree and watching Sammy play with all his new toys.  By the time Sammy was finally worn out, Mike and I put him down and then stumbled into our own bed.  Whew!

Sammy's favorite toy of the day was this tiny soccer ball. The little rocking chair he is sitting in was also one of his presents.

Sammy’s favorite toy of the day was this tiny soccer ball. The little rocking chair he is sitting in was also one of his presents.

A boy, his toys, and his blankie This is a happy Sammy shortly before bedtime on Christmas.

A boy, his toys, and his blankie
This is a happy Sammy shortly before bedtime on Christmas.

11.  No matter how old I get, the day after Christmas I am always a little sad it is over.

Things I learned lately- 12/13-12/16/13

1. Sammy had his one year doctor’s appointment Friday, and it was a little distressing.  He has actually lost weight since the last time we were there and is no longer even on the percentile chart for weight.  In height, he is in the 46th percentile and his head size is in the 56th percentile.  We must fatten up the Sammy!!!  I am trying not to stress about it too much, but I am concerned.

2. How to make applesauce/cinnamon ornaments and salt flour ornaments.  We had an ornament-making partay!

These cinnamon ornaments smell goooood!

These cinnamon ornaments smell goooood!

3. Cathy made some amaaazing hot chocolate in her crock pot.  Seriously, the best hot chocolate I ever had!

4. Our Christmas tree and all our Christmas decorations are up!  Thus far, Sammy has not seemed to really notice them much.  He did pull a little tree down on himself yesterday.  Both the tree and the Sammy were unharmed.

Sammy hanging out under the tree

Sammy hanging out under the tree

5. I participated in WOC’s Annual Christmas Package Wrapping at Stones River Mall yesterday.  It was really fun!  We were pretty busy, which is way better than standing around being bored.  We did have one woman who was not pleased with the ribbon and bow on her package and requested that we change them.  Everyone was very cordial and helpful, but seriously woman!  We were wrapping your presents for free.  If you’re that picky, wrap them yourself!

6. The Titans lost to Arizona yesterday in overtime.  The last two minutes of the game were really exciting, as we kicked a field goal, recovered an onside kick, and made a touchdown.  All that effort to throw an interception in overtime and still lose. 😦

7. In fantasy football news, I came in second place this week in the Pro Pick ‘Em league.  Go me!  My fantasy team lost, so we I am out of the play-offs.  I totally would have beaten Amanda, but then Jamaal Charles had to go and make 51.5 points.  How is that even possible?!

8. I am trying to catch up on my TV watching.  I am up to the finale of “The Amazing Race.”  I think I am actually rooting for Jason and Amy over Travis and Nicole.  I really didn’t like how he treated her in the last episode.  Marie continues to be one of the most annoying contestants EVER.  I am about two weeks behind on “Survivor” as well.  I just watched the episode that came down to drawing rocks.  Craziness!