Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 2012 Round Up

Mosaic made with Picasa, made from my January Project 365 photos.

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
I don't think I read much of anything this month besides work emails!

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
* TV Time: The final episode of Chuck aired. Waaaaahhh!!! We've watched it since day one, and we're so sorry to see it go. And Catherine left CSI. ::sniff, sniff:: Luke is completely in heaven; there is now a television show based on LEGO Ninjago. Luke also saw his first ever episode of The Joy of Painting (with Bob Ross), and he really seemed to like it. It certainly prompted him to draw a lot for the next few days. :-)
* New Films: Managed quite a few this month! And 31 Days of Oscar have started on TCM, so hopefully there will be quite a few more in February.
  • Rod Roddenberry's Trek Nation - very good, really enjoyed it!
  • The Canterville Ghost (Patrick Stewart) - not great, but I'll watch him in nearly anything
  • Hawaii (Julie Andrews, Max vonSydow, Richard Harris, Gene Hackman) - I'd never even heard of this movie until it came on, it was quite interesting
  • Love and Other Drugs - better than I anticipated, actually
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding - this was really cute!
  • Death Defying Acts (Catherine Zeta-Jones, Guy Pierce, Timothy Spall) - Catherine sounds super strange with a Scottish accent! interesting film, though almost completely devoid of factual content
  • Dead Again (Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh, Andy Garcia, Wayne Knight, Robin Williams; quite the cast!) - interesting to see Thompson and Branagh in something set in "present day" (or it was at the time, 1991)
  • Country Strong - better than I thought it might be
  • Mother Wore Tights - I'll watch nearly anything Betty Grable is in; this was fairly typical of her work, fine but nothing amazing
* Old Favorites: Monsters, Inc., The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Oliver and Company, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Independence Day, An Affair to Remember, Remember the Titans, Kung Fu Panda 2, The Core, How to Train Your Dragon (let L watch, he's now obsessed), Anastasia, Cars 2, Tron: Legacy, The King's Speech, Chicken Little, Days of Thunder, Hello Dolly!, Planet of the Apes (original), The Emperor's New Groove, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Great Mouse Detective, Sneakers, Chicago

What special days did I celebrate and how?
We watched Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve to ring in the new year, as usual, while trying to catch up on my blog from missing nearly all of November or December.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
None really come to mind; I don't think I gave or received any.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
We finally had Luke's audiology appointment, and thankfully, they found nothing wrong. I also burned my finger on the oven rack. That's the second or third time I've burned myself in the last 2 months. Nothing major enough to need more medical attention than a piece of ice, just annoying.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
This month was much more about keeping our heads above water amidst all the turmoil than about having any sort of fun. We did make our first trip ever to IKEA, though, which was quite interesting and rather fun (and we spent less than $25, including lunch!).

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?

You can read all about my new recipes for this month at this previous post. I'll highlight the Sesame Encrusted Baked Chicken Tenders, since it was our best find of the month, though the Dressed Up Sloppy Joes and Cracker Pizza ideas were good, too (just need a little tinkering). The Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes, Toll House Pie, Chicken Parmesan Bake, and Baked Taco Shells didn't really blow me away. I also successfully made waffles (recipe link) at home on the new waffle maker I received for Christmas. We tried the recipe at Christmas, and it was really good. Luke has been begging for them ever since, so he's a happy camper. He ate two of them! They will definitely go into the dinner rotation.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
We finally booked our Disney hotel, though it isn't paid for, so not sure that counts. We also had the front porch and the back sinkhole repaired.

What were this month's disappointments or frustrations?
Nearly too many to name; it's been a really though month all the way around. We started the month with the meltdown we knew Luke was bound to have. He was so well behaved for virtually all of Christmas break, so it was definitely building up. Work went very badly for several days, some my fault, some not, and all terribly frustrating. In fact, on January 5, I tweeted: "If the last three days are indicative of how the rest of my work year is going to go, then I'm ready to skip ahead to 2013. ::headdesk::" Little did I know! We found out on January 20 that the company is shutting down, so now I'm back to job hunting. I also discovered that my email account was hacked, likely from the security breach at Zappos. Password changed and all that jazz, but caused some trouble for a few friends and family members. (Sorry!) And we had to have a parent/teacher conference to discuss Luke's deteriorating behavior at school. Just not a great month.

What were my accomplishments this month?
Sadly, I think simply surviving this month was quite an accomplishment! ::sigh:: I had made it to 18 pounds total lost since last February, but I gained 2 of them back due to stress eating after the job thing was announced. :-\ We started on LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, and we're about 12% complete. Not bad for just a few nights' work. Oh, I discovered app tabs on Firefox! I am completely in love.

As far as the 101 Things goes, I watched a bunch of movies (might should have made that 101 new movies instead of 50!), and made several recipes. Didn't do very well on most of my weekly and monthly items. I only actually completed one "single" item:

76. Visit Ikea. We did this the last weekend in January. It was interesting! We'll be back, I'm sure.

Project 365 is going well, as you can see from the mosaic up there. I think I finally got some of the settings on the DSLR corrected so I can take some decent indoor photos with it now. Still primarily using the point and shoot, though, since it sits right by my chair and is able to catch more "opportune moments" that way.

What were Luke's accomplishments this month?

Luke's survival is also worth noting as an accomplishment. It was a long hard month with him and his behavior, particularly at school. (What is it with him and January, anyway?) There were some bright spots, though. He started eating chicken fingers and chili at home, quite of his own choosing, which was shocking. He has upgraded nearly every one of his Skylanders to level 5 or beyond, with several of them maxed out. Glad he likes them! He has become obsessed with How to Train Your Dragon since we let him see it. I think we've seen it about 8 times now. And he lost tooth number five. Tooth 6 is fairly loose, but given his history, it's probably got a few weeks to go yet. 7 and 8 are just starting to wiggle, so we've got a few months left on those, I think.

Anything else noteworthy to record?
It finally got below freezing for the first time this winter. Other than that, temps have mainly varied from lows in the upper 30s to mid 40s (about 3C to 8C), with highs from mid 50s to mid 60s (about 12C to 19C). Very strange, considering we were in the midst of Hothlanta at this time last year.

Monthly Round Up courtesy of Katie the Scrapbook Lady.
Currently feeling: rounded

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