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



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





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!)


Things I learned in the last two weeks or so- 9/21-10/7/14

I got behind again, and a lot has happened!!  Here goes:

1. Our hot water heater decided to stop heating water, so we had to get a new one.  Bummer.  Sometimes it is no fun being a home owner.

2. I have a new job!  I am going to be tutoring two boys afterschool each day.  The boys live in my folks’ subdivision, so they will watch Sammy for me.  I think it is going to be good, but Mondays and Wednesdays will be long- I will be going straight from MDO to tutoring.

3. Mike and I were sitting at the table with Sammy asking him questions the other day.

M- “Do you want Fruit Loops?”

S- “No.”

H- “Do you want goldfish?”

S- “No.”

M- “Are you pooping?”

S- “No.”

M- “Do you want a million dollars?”

S- “No.”

H- “Do you want a new car?”

S- “No.”

M- “Do you want a cold beer?”

S- “Yes.”

Mike and I laughed so hard!  I almost fell out of my chair.

Please note: This is Sammy.  We don't let our baby drink beer.  I got this picture from this website:

Please note: This is NOT Sammy. We don’t let our baby drink beer. I got this picture from this website:

4. My neighbors are home with their adorable adopted baby, Chase.  Sammy and I walked over for a visit and I got to hold her.  She’s so tiny!!!  Sammy didn’t seem to notice her, as he was much more interested in their dog.  He did point to her and say, “Baby!” a few times.

5. I journeyed to Indianapolis last weekend for some fun and football with my bestie.  Here are some things I learned during my time away:

  • I swear, all of I-65 North and South in Kentucky is under construction.  It sucked!!!  I have never been a big fan of Kentucky, but I am now full of hatred towards the Bluegrass State.
  • I got to “participate” in the ISC Corporate Challenge at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Miriam, Stuart, and I were supposed to walk in a 5K, but we got stuck in terrible traffic and missed the start time.  We were super bummed!  (Please sense my sarcasm.)  Instead, we participated by watching the events and cheering people on.
  • Miriam and I wandered around Super Target for several hours Saturday night.  I think we saw every single section of the store.  It was fabulous!
  • For our 4th Annual Titans vs. Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium, we finally got a beautiful day and the roof was open!
It's a beautiful day at Lucas Oil Stadium!

It’s a beautiful day at Lucas Oil Stadium!

  • There was an EXTREMELY drunk Titans fan sitting in the seat behind me.  He was so excited to see a fellow Titans fan; he yelled and scared the crap out of me.  He left about halfway through the game, for which I was very thankful, as he was really loud and liked saying the F word.
  • As per usual, my Titans lost the game.  The final score was 17-41.  Bleh…but we still had fun!


6. Last Monday was Sammy’s first day in the toddler class at Mother’s Day Out.  He did great!!  The only problem he had was with the playground, which is covered in rubber tire mulch.  He HATES it.  He does not want to walk on it, sit on it, or touch it.  So, that’s something we’re going to have to work on…

7. One of my students tripped over her own feet and landed face-first onto a doorjamb.  She busted her nose and her bottom lip.  There was so much blood!  I am very proud of myself for remaining calm and getting her cleaned up.  I am usually not very good in emergencies.

8. I had a fabulous 32nd birthday last Wednesday!  I ate Mexican food at El Pueblo in Smyrna, had my favorite strawberry cupcakes from The Cupcake Collection, and got tons of great presents.  I ended the day by watching “Pitch Perfect,” which was one of my presents from Mike.  I love that movie!

9. Sunday was a rough one for this Titans fan.  We played the Cleveland Browns, and at one point were winning 28-3.  The Browns ended up coming back and winning the game 28-29.  It was a super big bummer.  In good news, I am still in first place in our Pro Pick ‘Em League and my fantasy team is undefeated!

Things I learned in the last week or so- 9/11-9/20/14

1. Sammy is obsessed with Elmo.  Mike got him an Elmo DVD, and he will literally sit on the couch and watch all 50 minutes of it without moving.  In good news, I have used the DVD to bribe him into wearing his glasses.  No glasses, no Elmo!

2. Sammy is getting his two-year molars.  He has been chewing on his finger, not eating well, and waking up crying in the night.  NOT fun.

3. Mom and I went to our annual live theater performance for Mother’s Day on Friday night.  (It is my present to her for Mother’s Day, but we don’t always find a show we want to go to until many months later.)  We attended “Singin’ in the Rain” at the Springhouse Theater in Smyrna.  It was such a good show!  I didn’t realize I knew so many songs in it.  Everyone did a great job, but the guy playing Don Lockwood was AWESOME!  He is apparently a professional tap dancer.  Mom and I think it is the best show we’ve seen at Springhouse, for sure.


4. Mike and I rented “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” from the Redbox on Saturday night.  It was good- exciting, entertaining, and worth $1.20.

5. Mike, Sammy, and I returned to our favorite trail around Couchville Lake on Sunday.  This week, there were no Lost Loonies, as referenced in this post, but we did see a mother deer and her baby very close-up.  People were actually feeding the mother deer tortilla chips by hand.  I took a few pictures of the super cute fawn.

Oh Deer!

Oh Deer!

6. My Titans lost to Dallas on Sunday, 10-26.  We looked about as pathetic as we made the Chiefs look last week.  Super sad face.

7.  I was rather unhappy to see one of the kids in my class sporting a Dallas jersey Sunday night.  His mom, who is my class helper, told me they had just been to the game.  The kid says, “My uncle plays for the Cowboys.”  I asked him who his uncle was, expecting him to say some name I’d never heard of.  He said, “Jason Witten.”  I about fell out of my chair!  “Jason Witten, seven-time Pro Bowl tight end is your uncle?!!”  That is crazy sauce.

8. In happier football news, my fantasy team won this week and is now 2-0, and I am still in first place in the Pro Pick ‘Em League.  Go me!

9. Mike did some research and discovered that the tiny dancing Groot I requested for my birthday is not available until January 2015.  Bummer!

10. Sammy’s new favorite word is funny.  He says it about everything.  “Dada, fun-nee.  Mama, fun-nee.  Dog, fun-nee.”  He’s so funny. 🙂

Silly Sammy!

Silly Sammy!

Things I learned in the last week or so- 9/2-9/10/14

1. You can buy a tiny dancing Groot!  I would like one for my birthday please. 🙂

So cute!

So cute!

2. My friend Katie came over on Thursday to eat tacos and watch “The Lego Movie.”  We both loved “The Lego Movie.”  It’s hilarious!  I have also added it to my birthday list.  (Have I mentioned it’s my birthday soon?!) Warning: If you choose to rent and watch “The Lego Movie,” the song “Everything is Awesome” will get stuck in your head for the unforeseeable future.

3. Sammy loves Cracker Barrel mac ‘n’ cheese.  He scarfed down an adult-sized portion and made the sign for more.

4. Mom and I spent some time shopping in Nolensville on Saturday morning.  We checked out the Tots 2 Teens Consignment sale and snagged some cute clothes and shoes for Sammy.  Then, we wandered around a store we have wanted to check out for some time- Polka Dots and Happy Thoughts.  It is full of fun gifts, baby stuff, and jewelry.  I will definitely be back!

5. It was a beautiful day on Sunday, so Mike, Sammy, and I headed to one of our favorite trails to take a walk.  We arrived to discover our normally quiet Couchville Lake trail teeming with people.  We also saw lots of signs declaring “Lost Loon This Way” and “Be True to Your Loony Self.”  It turns out, we had wandered into the Annual Lost Loon Triathlon- a biking, canoeing, and running/walking event open to adults and children of all ages.  We still went on our walk and got to do some fun people watching.

We saw this rather masculine Snow White and his crew of dwarfs.

We saw this rather masculine Snow White and his crew of dwarfs.

6. My Tennessee Titans beat the Kansas City Chiefs 26-10 on Sunday and are starting the season 1-0!  I love starting the season with a win.

7. My fantasy team won and I am in first place in our Pro Pick ‘Em League.  I’m super pumped about this first week of football!

8. Ricky won “So You Think You Can Dance.”  He and Valerie have been my favorites since the first week, and they were the Final Two.  Maybe my favoritism curse is broken?  I really loved everyone in the Final Four, but Ricky is amazingly talented.  Congrats Ricky!


Things I learned lately- 8/26-9/1/14

1. Rodman won “Last Comic Standing.”  I was rooting for Nikki Carr, but I thought that all of the finalists were really funny, so I am okay with it.

2. I just started watching this season of “Project Runway,” because my DVR refuses to record it.  (Stupid DVR, why don’t you do what I say?!)  I am really confused by the judges’ taste this season.  I don’t think I’ve agreed with a single winner they have chosen.  I mean, Sandhya has won twice, and while I like her as a person; her designs are hideous.  Amanda has also won twice, and I hated both of her winning looks as well.  I usually agree with who the judges send home, but their winning picks are wackadoo!!

This was Sandhya's winning look in the first challenge.  It's just...I can't....I don't understand!

This was Sandhya’s winning look in the first challenge. It’s just…I can’t….I don’t understand!

3. I participated in my first live Fantasy Football draft on Thursday night.  I got the first pick, which was great, but then I got a little stressed.  I ended up picking too many running backs and not enough wide receivers.  I also picked two quarterbacks who have byes the same week.  Doh.  I think I might have done better if I just let the computer pick.

4. Sammy took seven steps by himself during Physical Therapy on Friday.  We have been practicing his “walkies,” and he is getting so much steadier and sure of himself! He has also learned a few new words and phrases: fly (butterfly), pay! (play!), sit (he says this while patting the floor next to him), and I did it! (He usually says that last one after accomplishing something, like throwing a ball and hitting you in the head.)   He has also learned my sister Heidi’s name, which he pronounces “Hi-DEE,” and is now calling my dad “Baba.”

Gratuitous pic of Sammy being adorable

Gratuitous pic of Sammy being adorable

5. Mike and I rented “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” from the Redbox on Saturday night.  I really like Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man.  He is just the right combination of sarcastic and snarky, but also kind and compassionate.  This is an entertaining movie that I really enjoyed until, *MAJOR SPOILER ALERT* Gwen Stacy/Emma Stone dies.  I hate when the superhero’s girlfriend dies!  It is a big reason why I dislike “The Dark Knight.”  Well, that, and Heath Ledger’s “Joker” is terrifying.  Anyways, I do not recommend this movie because of the death of Gwen Stacy.  Superhero movies are supposed to be fun, not sad and horribly tragic.  Also, Emma Stone is awesome and doesn’t deserve to die, even fictionally.

6. My folks kept Sammo Sunday night so Mike and I could have a Date Night- woo woo!  We ate dinner at Panera Bread and went to see “Guardians of the Galaxy.”  This is the first time we have gone to the movies since “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” last December.  I LOVED “Guardians of the Galaxy!!”  It was hilarious, exciting, heart-warming, and had an amazing soundtrack (Awesome Mix, Vol. 1).  My favorite character was Groot, a walking tree/plant thing voiced by Vin Diesel, who made me laugh, cry, and busts out some sweet dance moves in the last scene.  I highly recommend “Guardians of the Galaxy.”  In fact, stop what you are doing, and go see it now!!  You will thank me, I promise.

Tiny dancing Groot

Tiny dancing Groot

7.  There were all kinds of little kids in the movie theater for “Guardians of the Galaxy.”  Yes, it does have a talking raccoon and tree, but it is NOT a kids movie.  The little girl a few seats down from me couldn’t have been older than 3.  Poor thing is going to have nightmares for sure.  Plus, the movie started at 7:30 and didn’t get out till after 9:30.  Do we not believe in bedtime anymore?  I swear, there is a serious lack of common sense in this world.

Things I learned in the last week or so- 8/15-8/25/14

1. I saw two movies last weekend I hadn’t seen before.  My friend Amanda came over Friday night for pizza and Divergent.  As someone who has read the series, I thought they did a good job of staying true to the book.  I don’t think I was as emotionally invested in the movie as I was in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, but I still think it was a good movie.  Mike and I watched Man of Steel on Sunday night.  I thought it was a little confusing, but I did enjoy Henry Cavill as Superman and Amy Adams as Lois Lane.  Henry Cavill looks exactly how I think Superman should look- HOT! 🙂

Helloooo, Superman!

Helloooo, Superman!

2. I only had six kids in my class at Mother’s Day Out both days last week.  It was actually kind of boring…

3. There is yellow watermelon!  One of my kids brought it for lunch last week, and we argued about whether it was watermelon or cantaloupe.  Turns out, he was right.  Who knew?

4. Sammy’s Indianapolis Grandma came to visit on Tuesday and we had Christmas in August!  She brought two garbage bags full of clothes, a bag of shoes, and about a billion toys.  My favorite of Sammy’s new toys is his “Let’s Rock Singin’ Cookie Monster.”  After first, he was frightened whenever Cookie Monster began singing, but now he’s obsessed with it.

Hello Everybody!  Let's get ready to rock!

Hello Everybody! Let’s get ready to rock!

5. I taught my class how to play Duck Duck Goose on Wednesday.  Honestly, I had no idea there were so many ways to mess up Duck Duck Goose.  My assistant Ryan and I spent most of the game laughing hysterically.

6. Sammy took four steps during Physical Therapy on Friday.  He is officially a walker!  Doggies beware!

7. It’s Fall Sermon Series time at WOC!  Last weekend, Julia’s Bakery truck was in the courtyard with some delicious cupcakes.  This weekend, we got to check out a baby camel, kangaroo, and a wallaby!  There has been special music both weekends and awesome sermons by Pastor Allen Jackson.  If you live near Murfreesboro, TN, come check us out!

Sammy LOVES these balloons in the lobby.  He points to them and says, "ball! ball! ball!"

Sammy LOVES these balloons in the lobby. He points to them and says, “ball! ball! ball!”

8. Sammy was invited to our neighbors for a sprinkler play date yesterday.  It turns out that both Sammy and our neighbor’s 3-year-old daughter are TERRIFIED of sprinklers.  You would think the sprinkler was shooting out lava instead of water.  We ended up letting them play in the baby pool instead.  #sprinklerfail

Things I learned in the last two weeks or so- 7/31-8/14/14

1. Sammy is doing so many new things, I am going to have to use bullet points to tell about all of them.  🙂  Here goes:

  • He has begun trying to do forward rolls.  Most of the time he just falls over, but he has accomplished a couple of almost somersaults.
  • He has learned more new words- eye, nose, juice, bus, mess, Melmo (Elmo), and please. (He rubs both of his hands on his belly while he says please, which is close to the sign language for please, but much cuter.)  His current favorite word is eye, which he says while poking you in the eye.
  • He has started calling my Dad “Bubba,” instead of Papa.  This cracks all of us up, as my Dad is about as far from a Bubba as you can get.
  • He can climb onto the couch and his little rocking chair by himself.
  • In Physical Therapy on Friday, he stood on his own for 9 seconds and took 1 step by himself.  Yay Sammy!!!!

2. Mike had to work traffic for last week’s Miley Cyrus concert and was appalled by the stupidity of the concertgoers’ parents.  He put one driver in a time-out.  “You just sit there for a while and think about what you did.”  He wrote another driver a ticket for chirping their tires and honking at a pedestrian.  The driver complained, “They were walking too slow.”  Mike replied, “He can lay in the middle of the road and make road angels, and you still have to wait for him!”  I can’t say I am surprised that those attending or allowing their children to attend a Miley Cyrus concert are not so bright.

3. Sammy and I met my friend Angela and her two kiddos at the Discovery Center in Murfreesboro last Thursday.  At first, Sammy was very overwhelmed and I wasn’t sure he was ever going to get out of his stroller.  However, he found a train to scoot around the floor with, and then became fascinated by a mysterious floating ball.  He loved the climbing room in Tot Town- I think he could have stayed in there all day!  We will definitely be back.

That floating ball is so cool...

That floating ball is so cool…

I love climbing and sliding!

I love climbing and sliding!

4. When making Greek Salad Skewers, be aware that the feta cheese cubes will crumble into tiny pieces as soon as you try to push them onto the skewer.  This will lead to stress and panic, causing you to yell, “The feta cheese keeps crumbling!”  Your husband will answer, “Isn’t that what feta cheese is supposed to do?”

5. I attended an awesome baby shower at our neighbor’s house Saturday night.  There was yummy food, cocktails, and lots of laughter.  I did not have to try any baby food or sniff candy bars melted into diapers.  Best. Baby Shower. Ever.

6. I have switched to volunteering for Little Kids’ Choir on Sunday nights, and this Sunday was our first week.  I thought it went really well!  We had 14 funny little first graders in our room, and they were mostly well-behaved.

7. I have gotten two new little girls in my room this week.  One of them is sweet, well-behaved, and loves coloring.  The other one does not want to do anything that I tell her, hates coloring, and is probably going to drive me crazy.

8. So, my eyebrow lady dyed my eyebrows when I went to get them waxed on Tuesday.  I think they are a little dark.  Every time I look in the mirror, I am reminded of that time I dressed as Viola Swamp for Storybook Character Day at school.

Pippi Longstocking and Viola Swamp

Pippi Longstocking and Viola Swamp