Enjoy, and have a great 2015!
We started off our year by having friends over to celebrate New Year's Eve and play games. I have to say, Canasta and Baccarat are NOT as cool as they sound. Even after drinking.
On the 7th, we celebrated Tamara's birthday in style, at Chuck E Cheese with 40 of her closest friends. Wait, that's just how I envision birthday parties in my near future.
Early in the month, our bathroom sinks were backing up, so my dad and I did a little home repair, installing a cleanout panel in the closet behind the bathroom. We estimated it would take us about 45 minutes, and we were finished right at the 10 hour mark. In hindsight, a handheld power saw would have made cutting the two by four a lot easier and quicker, but we managed with the screwdriver and chisel.
I got a lot of birthday wishes on the 21st, as I hit the Big 4–1. Rather than tell my students how old I was, I told them I was born in 1973 and let them do them math. I did have a few who guessed I was 3987 years old.
I nearly got permission to go to Sochi to compete in the Luge competition, but two things help me back. One – I was not a valid citizen of Albania and therefore could not represent them, and two – I don't know what a luge is.
It took roughly 2 hours over the course of four days, but with the help of some Leapfrog letter blocks and a fanatical father, Drew made his very first bracket picks for March Madness! Though very few of his picks proved accurate, his bracket has nonetheless been framed and hung in his bedroom. We will always be able to fondly remember his bold pick of Baylor versus Villanova in the championship game!
Tamara found out that the cast of NBC's Revolution (now canceled) was shooting some scenes in her hometown of Blanco. She got pictures of Andrew and her with several stars of the show. Now that certain events have come to light, the one with a leering Stephen Collins in the background seems even creepier.
The culmination of this year's basketball tournament was in Arlington, so my dad, my brother, my buddy Ted, and I all went to the Final Four. Unfortunately, Duke could not join us there, but with the distance our seats were away from the floor, we could pretend it was anybody we wanted it to be.
At a local church where Tamara's mommy group meets, we took Andrew for an Easter egg hunt, and he got to meet the Easter Bunny. I don't think any other kids got to meet the Easter Bunny that day, though, because once Andrew got him in a hug, he refused to let go.
I finally finished my screenplay! I had been stuck for the longest time, unsure how to end my ethnic pre-Civil War zombie superhero rom-com. But then the answer slapped me in the face – mirrors!
We celebrated Andrew's second birthday with a bunch of wild animals. There were lots of other toddlers, but also a backyard petting zoo and pony rides. Sorry to say, the pony didn't go very fast with me on it.
It was finally time, so we turned Drew's car seat around to forward-facing. He appreciated the better view, the increase in leg room, and the more direct path to hit us in the front seat with flying projectiles.
My first year in the Coppell school district ended, and shockingly, I was asked to return for the next school year. Even more surprisingly, I learned that I’d be moving up to 5th grade along with the kids. Some kids cheered, while some used vocabulary words that are not to be found on any spelling list.
T and her mom took their annual Corpus trip, and unfortunately Andrew was not a big fan of the beach this time around. Instead of lounging on the sand, he wanted to spend all his time at the swimming pool, reading CNN online.
Our attempt to run a restaurant failed after less than a month. In hindsight, I guess "Raisin the Bar" was doomed to fail for two big reasons. One – the name lead some people to think we only served alcohol, and two – people really didn't like hamburgers, pizzas, and yogurt made out of raisins.
Tamara and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary with a nice romantic weekend in San Antonio on the River Walk. We didn't see Jack Flack or a six- fingered grandma, but I did come home with a longing to rewatch the 80s movie Cloak and Dagger.
The whole family took a weeklong vacation to Destin, Florida and man, did we have fun! The weather was gorgeous, the waves were mild, and it was so awesome to see Drew really take to swimming around in his little floaties. I could have done without the hairy dude walking around in his lime green Borat mankini, though.
A new school year began, and most of my kids were kids I had taught last year as well. However, the district theme was no longer Super Heroes, so I got a whole lot of very strange looks cast my way when I showed up at convocation wearing the Batman outfit.
The new fantasy football season arrived, and I once again drafted a team that looked good on paper but would outstandingly underperform in real life. I also had my PayPal account frozen for a brief time and found out their policy prohibits transfers related to "fantasy football" or "sensual bun massage."
Late in the month, I became one of the select few who accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Stylishly clad in sunglasses and a pair of underwear on my head, I dumped a Home Depot All Purpose bucket’s worth of ice water on my head, in the name of charity. A few days later, Andrew and I also completed the inaugural Pearson Tickle Challenge. It didn't catch on quite as well as the ice bucket challenge.
Mother's Day Out started up again on Tuesdays, and this year, there was a lot less crying involved. Drew started to learn the names of his school friends, but we have yet to figure out who the mysterious "Benjamin" is that he always mentions. As long as he doesn't start muttering "REDRUM" in his sleep, I'm willing to let him have this imaginary friend.
At the very end of the month, I flew out to Hollywood to film the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions. As it turns out, I shouldn't have wasted all those months studying, because nothing I studied actually showed up! But I did at least get a really cool picture with Alex Trebek, and I met a nice family from Australia who probably went home and told all their friends and family that they had met someone from Wheel of Fortune.
I flew back home from California just a few days after the Dallas Ebola scare began. It was fun to see Cheech Marin on the same flight; it was not so fun to have to wear a full body condom while walking through the concourse.
Our neighborhood was pretty quiet on Halloween night, so after answering the door a couple of times, Drew and I went trick-or-treating. Drew dressed as a spider while I was very convincing in my "Middle-Aged Daddy" get up. We only hit five houses, but Drew was able to charm an Elmo's head’s worth of candy out of the deal.
Dirty hackers broke into the cloud and stole several sensitive pictures off my phone. I've asked everyone to please not look at these pictures, but if you do, don't judge me. Catch up, nacho cheese Doritos, and Mountain Dew seemed like a good idea at the time.
At the beginning of the month, we went to a truck show at a local church and found our idea for Drew's next birthday party. Sitting in a police car or honking the horn on a tractor was fun and all, but apparently there is nothing more fun than 30 foot long delivery truck with room to run up and down.
The Tournament of Champions aired, and once again, I got bounced on the first day. On subsequent viewings, Andrew stopped pointing at the TV and saying, "Dada!" Instead, he pointed and said, "Ben!"
At the school admin Christmas bash, I was only five away from the correct answer of 1574 in the "Guess How Many M&Ms are in the Jar" contest. I won the glass jar, AND all 1574 M&Ms! So take THAT, Ben Ingram!
The Pearson Christmas Movie Marathon on the 23rd was a fun night with family and friends and hours and hours of Yuletide-themed feature films. Drew managed the double feat of not taking a nap that day AND eating several cookies and sweets. We are just happy he didn't start quoting the "sh!tter’s full!" line from Christmas Vacation.
After Midnight Mass, we found out the hard way – homemade eggnog is NOT a good idea.