Things I learned in the last week or so- 10/8-10/19/14

1. Those things on the top of giraffes’ heads are called ossicones.  I kept telling my kids they were horns, but that is incorrect.  Unlike horns, ossicones are made out of cartilage and remain covered in skin or fur.

Whoa dude, check out those ossicones!

Whoa dude, check out those ossicones!

2. Sammy held his teacher’s hand and walked across the playground to me last Wednesday.  Yay!  He also busted a move and shook his maraca in Music class.  Sometimes he just cracks me up!

3. Mike, Sammy, and I spent a rainy Saturday watching movies.  We rented “Muppets Most Wanted” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” from the  Redbox.  I would recommend them both.  “Muppets Most Wanted” was good muppet fun, even Sammy liked it.  “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” was exciting, entertaining, and a worthy addition to the Marvel superhero franchise.

4. I started my new tutoring job this week.  I think it went pretty well, but the youngest of the two boys is definitely a challenge.  He has a really negative attitude towards schoolwork and cries any time he doesn’t get his way.  We definitely have some things to work on!

5. My mom and I took Sammy to Walden Farms on Saturday for his first trip to the pumpkin patch.  He really liked riding a bike and tossing fake apples in the Toddler Town.  He laughed about getting his hand licked by a calf and seemed interested in the baby pigs, bunnies, and ducklings.  He did not like the pumpkins.  He picked out one tiny pumpkin and would not allow any other pumpkins in his wagon.  We had a great time!

Apple Toss!

Apple Toss!

Sammy with his tiny pumpkin

Sammy with his tiny pumpkin

6. When leaving the pumpkin patch, it is not a good idea to drive your Chevy Impala into a ditch.  Poor Sylvia got stuck, and after pushing her without success, the very nice Walden Farms workers had to hook her up to a truck and pull her out.  To add insult to injury, the people on the hay ride drove past us frequently, so there were lots of observers of my stupidity.  It was not a fun way to end our trip.

7. Mike and I watched “Transformers: Age of Extinction” on Saturday night.  None of the Transformer movies are paragons of plot, but this one was really confusing.  It just had too much going on, and not much of it was explained.  I did think the Dinobots were super cool, especially the one that breathed fire!

Dinobot!

Dinobot!

8. Last week, my Titans barely squeaked out a win against Jacksonville.  Sammie Hill blocked a Jaguars field goal with 12 seconds left in the game, and we won 16-14.  This week, Washington made a field goal with 12 seconds left in the game and beat us 17-19.  We are now 2-5, and I am sad.

9. Last week, my undefeated fantasy team was defeated.  I also dropped out of 1st place in our Pro Pick ‘Em League.  My fantasy team is winning this week, but I made a big move that backfired and have dropped even more places in the Pick ‘Em League.  Doh!

10. Super brief TV recap:

  • The four designers going to Fashion Week on “Project Runway” are Kini, Sean, Amanda, and Char.  I am so glad Korina is gone, as she is a heinous person with a bitter, spiteful soul. I am rooting for Kini all the way!
  • I was watching “Nashville” the other night, and Amanda from “Project Runway” was on!  She played Juliette Barnes’ stylist.
  • I like the format of this season’s “Survivor: Blood vs. Water.”  I haven’t really picked any favorites, but I am glad John Rocker is gone.  He’s a ginormous douche bag.
  • On “The Amazing Race,” I love the soul surfer team of Bethany and Adam.  They just seem like a genuinely sweet couple who work hard and really love each other.
  • I have added a new show, “How to Get Away with Murder.”  It is seriously addicting!

murder

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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- 12/17- 12/19/13

1. The reason the shopping carts at Ross have really tall poles on them is to stop you from leaving the store with the shopping cart.  Unfortunately, I learned this as Sammy and I tried to leave the store and slammed the pole into the wall above the doorway.  It was rather embarrassing.

2. When making hot chocolate for 3 and 4 year olds, it really needs to be lukewarm chocolate.  I ended up having to add several cups of ice to the hot chocolate to cool it down.

3. I thought our Polar Express party went really well Wednesday at Mother’s Day Out.  My kiddos looked adorable in their pjs, and I think they had lots of fun playing games, eating, and watching “The Polar Express.”

4. Mike and I saw “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug” for his birthday Wednesday night.  It was so good!!!  I definitely recommend you see it in theaters, especially for the awesomeness that is Smaug.  I also really liked Tariel, played by Evangeline Lilly.  I nicknamed her “Elf Ziva.”

Tariel- AKA Elf Ziva

Tariel- AKA Elf Ziva

5. Stephen Colbert has a cameo in “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.”  I learned this from imdb.com.  I am sad I was not observant enough to realize it during the actual movie.

6. I still don’t know who won “The Amazing Race,” as my DVR is stupid.

7. BIG NEWS:  Sammy said “Mama” today!!!!   I was picking him up to put him in his car seat when he said it.  Mike didn’t hear him, so I bugged poor Sammy until he said it again.  I didn’t know two little syllables could be so exciting to hear!

Today was my second favorite Sammy moment, after this one, of course.

Today was my second favorite Sammy moment, after this one, of course.

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!

Things I learned lately- 11/6-11/8/13

1. I am a little concerned about the Thanksgiving program we are having at Mother’s Day Out.  Wednesday during practice, half my class sang and did the motions and the other half got into a fight.  So, yeah.  Hopefully their parents will think they’re cute no matter what they do.

2. Nielson picked us to write in a TV diary for a week and paid us $30.  Woo woo!  I like getting paid to watch TV.  I must look into making this a permanent gig…

3. Mike was working the CMAs Wednesday night and saw Jason Aldean in the parking garage at Bridgestone Arena.  I grew up in Nashville and have never seen an actual famous person.  Mike has lived here 8 years and seen/met more than he can remember.  He also got to see Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, and the Duck Dynasty guys parody “Blurred Lines,” which was pretty amusing.

4. I have become obsessed with planning Sammy’s birthday which is a month away.  How did people plan birthday parties before Pinterest?!

5. Mom and I hit up the Consign and Co. half-price sale in Murfreesboro today.  I got Sammy a super cute baby basketball hoop, a sweater, a Christmas outfit, some shoes, slippers, and four pairs of socks.  I also got my goddaughter Maggie an adorable outfit, and I got myself some placemats that perfectly match the curtains in the dining room.  All of this cost me a whopping $17.  Yay for consignment sales!

6. In super exciting news, Sammy said his first word today!!  He was sitting in Mike’s lap and said, “Dada.”  I said, “What did you say?!” and he said it again, “Dada!”  He might never crawl, but at least we know he can talk. 🙂

7. I watched “The Amazing Race” this evening and was very sad to see the Oklahoma boys get out.  I was sure it was going to be non-elimination, as I don’t think there has been a non-elimination leg yet.  I also thought the singing Roadblock was really unfair.  Some people just can’t carry a tune, and it’s not something you can learn to do in one afternoon.  Side note for Miriam: I would have rocked the socks off that Roadblock!

Things I learned lately- 10/20-10/23/13

1. The library has gotten awesome.  I went to look for books on ghosts and goats on Sunday.  (It’s G week at Mother’s Day Out.)  The last few years I have used the school library as my main library.  Now, I am renewing my relationship with the public library, and it is so much cooler than I remember.  They let you check out 100 books at a time!  You can renew, request, and reserve books online.  They even send reminder emails when your books are due!

2. Sunday was a very sad football day.  My Titans lost, badly, to San Francisco.  We are now 3-4 and two games behind the Colts in our division. 😦  My fantasy team also lost and now has the same record as the Titans.  The only slightly good news is that I was in fifth place in the Pro Pick ‘Em League this week, instead of last.  I am still in last place overall.

3. Sunday was the three-year anniversary of this blog.  I don’t have many followers or many views per day, but I like writing and having a record of things I’ve learned.  Here is a look back at my first day of blogging.

4. This was my first week as lead teacher in the 4-year-old class.  It was really fun!  My favorite quote of the week: I asked one of my students if he was going to eat the rest of his lunch.  He said, “No, I’m poofed.”  “Poofed?”  I asked.  “Yeah, I’m really tired,” he said.  “Oh, you mean pooped!”

5. I am way behind on my TV watching, but I have been working hard to get caught up.  Here’s what I’ve learned so far: The “Project Runway” finalists are Dom, Braden, Alexis, and Justin.  I think for the first time I do not dislike any of them.  My favorites are probably Dom and Justin.  Justin really surprised me with the awesomeness of his collection.  The test tube dress was amazing!  I was really sad that the NFL guys got off of “The Amazing Race.”  They further endeared themselves to me by quoting Ricky Bobby to Phil on the Mat.  “If you’re not first, you’re last!”

This dress is made of hundreds of tiny test tubes.  So cool!

This dress is made of hundreds of tiny test tubes. So cool!

Things I learned lately- 10/3-10/6/13

1. I got to catch up with an old friend for lunch Friday and try out a new restaurant.  I have been wanting to visit McDougal’s Chicken and Wings since it opened several months ago in Nolensville.  I heard good things about the Hillsboro Village location, but that is a ways away from our house.  My review: Yummy chicken, fries, and Texas toast.  Fun and friendly atmosphere and my favorite kind of ice- the Sonic kind!  It was a little expensive for a fast food type place, but the chicken was really good.  I also like that they offer grilled chicken strips, although I chose to be bad and didn’t get them.

Inside of McDougals

Inside of McDougal’s

A nice old man won a rubber duckie from this crane machine and gave it to Sammy. :)

A nice old man won a rubber duckie from this crane machine and gave it to Sammy. 🙂

2. My old friend Kelly taught me a new phrase- “I get knowed for that all the time.”  She recently went on a date with a very country fellow.  He also said plumb, as in “I parked my truck plumb over there!”  I’ve never heard someone say that in real life, only on TV and the movies.  In case you are wondering, getting knowed for something is the same as being teased about it.  Who knew?

3. I am way behind on my TV watching, but I did finally watch last week’s season premiere of “The Amazing Race.”  There were a lot of teams on it that I think I could like, including the former NFL teammates who were on this Super Bowl commercial a few years back.  I think the only team I immediately did not like were the ones that came in first- the exes who hate each other but still hang out.  I don’t get that at all…

4. Sammy was up every three hours Friday night, screaming his little head off.  It reminded me of how much I don’t miss those days.  Poor little guy is getting a mean tooth.

5. Sammy has yet to start crawling, but he has managed to find other ways to get around.  Saturday, he laid on his back on the floor and used his legs to scoot himself around the living room.  I guess that is progress…

6. For the first time since Sammy started staying in the nursery at church, our number came up on the screen Saturday night.  It feels like everyone is thinking, “What did their kid do?!” as you quickly gather your things and make your way out of the sanctuary.

7. It took most of season 3 to find him, but the “Sons of Anarchy” finally got baby Abel back in the episode we watched last night.  I know he’s just a fictional baby, but I’ve been very concerned about him.

8. My Titans lost to the Chiefs 17-26.  I actually thought we might be able to pull off a win, but Fitzpatrick seemed determined to throw interceptions at very inopportune times.  Not that there’s ever an opportune time to throw an interception…  In better football news, my newly revamped fantasy team might actually win this week.  Go Schlegenators!