Thursday, September 30, 2010


Thank you SO much for helping Jack in the Gerber Contest! You are AWESOME!

As a reward, we have a video for you to enjoy. This is also some insight into what my family enjoys doing when we all get together. Pathetic, yet funny.

IMPORTANT: If you are viewing this at work, you may want to turn your volume down or put on headphones. If you own a dog - have them come watch it with you! It's for our Hounding Hounds!


Goodbye Dear Avalanche

Dear Avalanche,
When I first saw you, I thought you were hideous. I hated your gas milage and I thought you should only be driven by a man.

How is that for goodbye?

You know the saying, "Don't judge a book by it's cover?" That is a lesson I learned again, as I drove you for the past three years. You had a...different....look, but you were amazing. Let's start with the basics. You were HUGE. When we first got you, we labeled you the WMD (weapon of mass destruction). You were a beast on the road and I felt safe driving you. You stood up well to heavy winds, heavy snow, and a brick pillar that Devin drove you into (sorry about that).

You carried us all over the place. We were given 48,000 miles on our lease and we used 46,600. The dogs loved you (and loved to shed in you). We loved that we could ride comfortably in your cabin, while having your truck bed full (and I mean FULL) of all of our junk. Friends and family borrowed you, to haul goodies of their own. You were loved.

In the past 9 months you have carried some very precious cargo. Jack. Thank you for being sturdy and strong.

I wanted to keep you (and get a new car too). My Dad and Tyson pointed out that I was becoming a car hoarder and I'm simply not wealthy enough to do that. So I let you go. Have fun with your new life, your new family. You will be missed (especially this weekend when Tyson is tailgating).


PS: I hope they let you live in a garage.


So...based on the number of phone calls, emails, texts, and comments we have received on this manner - I think it is safe to say we will not be purchasing a helmet for Jack. Instead, we will hope that Becker Head of his provides enough insulation to protect that Clevenger Brain.

Kidding, are a smart group.

Advice Wanted

Jack is becoming more brazen in his constant quest to move. Lately, he has been experimenting with his newest "trick" - pulling himself up onto anything and everything (chairs, shower curtains, stairs, my legs). I have a more laid back view of his explorations. I think..."Millions of kids have done this. If he falls, he'll be okay." (Obviously, I'm not going to let him hurt himself badly.)

However, Tyson is extremely worried about Jack's head meeting our hardwood floors one too many times. Therefore, he has found a HELMET. (see image) He has it sitting in his "cart" on I'm trying to talk him out of buying it.

So - please give us some insight into this dilemma. Keep in mind that our house is 100% hardwood...except for the kitchen (slate) and the basement (thin carpet over concrete). Oh, and our son believes he is Spiderman.

Shots of Jack

Today is the LAST day to VOTE for Jack!!!
Vote, Vote, Vote!

Another year older.

We hope the people of Moscow, ID know how to celebrate birthdays like the people of Indiana.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Library Visit

Remember when these two sat still for pictures? Yeah, me too. But they don't anymore! Molly got her crawl-on - for the first time last Saturday. She is still perfecting her style, but she moves.

Molly prefers two knees on the floor...while Jack opts for one leg extended, for a faster pace.
"Stories are boring. Sitting still is boring. We like to crawl and get into things." - Molly & Jack

Vote, Vote, Vote!!

Just two more days... Jack sends smooches to all the voters.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sydney!

Jack attended his neighbor, Sydney's 1st birthday party tonight. He watched her open her presents and then enjoyed playing with them, too. Syd likes to share. We liked that we were literally 10 steps from our house. We left at 7:57pm and Jack was bathed and in bed by 8:15pm. Amazing. Neighbor parties are nice.

Playing with wrapping paper is fun. He is preparing for two big events...Christmas and his own birthday.
Having some "guy time" with Sydney's daddy.

Is it sad that I have already started planning Jack's 1st birthday party?!?! We're only 3 months away from the big day.

(Sidenote: my obsessive family is already worried about the weather for the party. it's SEPTEMBER. and yes, I am aware that Michigan has snow in the winter. Jack was born in the winter. I'm sorry.)

Eat Well

My neighbor, Jessica, makes all of Sydney's food. Syd eats like a QUEEN! Jessica has shared some of Syd's favorites with me and last night I went to town in the kitchen! Jack now has lots of new blends to try including: broccoli, cauliflower, and cheese; green beans & squash; banana-peach; apples & cinnamon; sweet potato, squash, & chicken; and two different types of chicken fingers: sweet potato/chicken and apple/chicken.

With the recent Similac recall - I was reminded that the only way I really know what Jack is eating, is if I make it myself. I know his milk isn't contaminated...unless I enjoy one too many glasses of vino. (which I don't)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shots of Jack

We took our canine sons to the dog park yesterday. Jack enjoyed seeing the boys run around and play with friends, but it was COLD!! Luckily, we were all bundled up in our hoodies.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Shots of Jack

Yesterday Jack joined me on a shopping trip across town. I told him if he was good, we would go to the indoor playground. Of course, he was a good boy. Here are some shots of him playing and CLIMBING on things.

Friday, September 24, 2010

My First Crush

I had a moment today while watching Ellen (love her). She had my very first crush on her show - Rick Fox. He is a former NBA player (Celtics & Lakers), now appearing on Dancing with the Stars.

I fell in love with Rick at the tender age of 5. He was one of my mom's students and a stand-out basketball player in Warsaw (yes, we have more than orthopedics in Warsaw - ever heard of Coco Wheats?!?!). Rick was tall, dark, and handsome and I was head-over-heels IN LOVE.

One day, as a surprise - my mom had Rick stop by our house with another student to meet me. I'm sure she thought I would be ecstatic. Instead, I remember running to my bedroom IN TEARS! How could she TELL HIM that I was in love with him? In my mind, she had ruined any chance of a future with him. I was so embarrassed. I finally mustered up the courage to come out of my room to meet him face-to-face. I remember hearing his deep laugh and thinking he was mocking me, by coming to see me. I was mad at my mom for weeks.

When Rick played for the Celtics we went to a Pacers game to watch him. By that time I had moved on...I had discovered BASEBALL players! (And Cubs' second baseman, Ryne Sandberg!)

I wish Rick the best in his new endeavor. Surprisingly, he still looks like he did in high school. I think he may even be single again.

Sorry, Rick. In case you're wondering, you're too late. I married a baseball player.

BIG Coupon Weekend!

Heads up couponers - this weekend is a P&G Coupon weekend. (can you tell I'm excited? I am.) I always get 3-4 papers on weekends like this because we love SO many P&G products.

Also - I believe the toy company Hasbro will have an insert in the paper this weekend, as well. This is a great time to buy some Christmas gifts...WITH coupons, of course. Or you could also score some inexpensive toys for great charities like Toys for Tots. These coupons are also available for online printing if you go HERE.

Funny Friday

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Shots of Jack

"Excuse me, why am I locked up?"
"Get ME OUT of here!!!"
"Can I at least make my phone call?"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shot of Jack

Tucker: "Mom, tell the baby to give me back my toy."

Last night Jack and Tucker were playing together. It was hilarious. Tucker would bring his toy to Jack. Jack would pick it up. Tucker would gently take it away and run off. Jack laughed and laughed...then he would crawl after him. It was very entertaining - for everyone. I keep telling Tuck to be a few years Jack will be his best buddy.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shot of Jack

Last night we did some car shopping. My lease on my Avalanche comes up in the next month or so...and I'm looking for a new Mommy Mobile.

Jack had his eyes set on this balloon...which made his daddy very proud. We LOVE our OnStar!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Don't Judge.

Before I had a baby I would see mothers in Walmart, Target, or Kroger...and their babies would have snotty noses. I would think, "Ewww, lady...wipe your kid's nose!"

As a mom...I now know that a snotty nose can last for weeks (thank you, newly arriving teeth). Babies HATE having their noses wiped...and often scream as if you are removing their nose all together.

Therefore, to the mothers I have judged in the past - my sincere apologies. I now realize that you had probably wiped your child's nose 47 times that day. And since you were in a public place, you probably wanted to avoid WWIII - thus allowing him/her to just be THAT snotty-nose kid for the moment.

Now I understand. Don't judge me.

Shots of Jack

Since learning to crawl, Jack prefers NOT to sit still. Even diaper changes have become a wrestling match. He fights to get up and get going. I fight to keep him down and get a new diaper on. If I get clothes on too, it's an accomplishment.

As you can see, I lost the battle this morning. He did a Baby Boulder Run (yeah, DePauw) around the house. I finally caught him, wrestled him down, and got a diaper on him. Then he took off again.


Sunday, September 19, 2010


Last year, around this time, Tyson tried to get our TV put up above the fireplace. We went around & around with a contractor...and finally he said he didn't think he could do it (1917 homes weren't designed for TV's above fireplaces). I was relieved. I wasn't crazy about the idea.

Well, being Tyson...stubborn & persistent...he brought out a new contractor a few weeks ago. And as you can see...our TV is now above the fireplace. None of our wood was touched (thank heavens) - so a potential buyer could take it all down, spackle, paint, and you would never know it was like this.

Tyson's argument for "needing" this was that it would "create more room for Jack." I will admit, that has been the case. Jack is a wild man. He is all over the place in no time flat. Tyson took care of him for most of the day and as I type this - he is asleep on the couch. He admitted over dinner that he can see how an 8 month old could wear me out. Days like this are good for both of us.

More on Baby Proofing:
I stopped at Buy Buy Baby for some outlet plugs and foam corners. I bought two brands of outlet plugs. One was $.99 and the other was $3.49. The more expensive pack is going back. Turns out it is also adult-proof. It took us 10 minutes and a plastic pen to get it out.


Ellie is also "dating" Tucker. They love each other. Ellie Jakobsen has a nice ring.

Watch and Learn

Nuala: "Hey, what are you doing on my toy?"
Jack: "Ridin' on it."
Nuala: "Amateur. Somebody PLEASE get me DOWN!"
Nuala: "Sure, it's easy to ride around...but watch this..."
Nuala: "It's called walking. You should try it sometime."

A Birthday Party for Nuala

We traveled to Ann Arbor last night for Nuala's 1st Birthday! Jack got to see LOTS of family including his Grandma Nancy, Great Aunt Kim, Great Aunt Sally & Uncle Tom, Cousin Caitlin...and of course our hosts the Swihart/Small family: Blake, Jamie, & the Birthday Girl! It was a GREAT time! As you can see...since we were in Wolverine territory, Jack felt the need to "represent" for the Hoosiers.

Shots of Jack

Jack tried to crawl away with the balloons. What a party pooper.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Date Night

Last night was Date Night for the Beckers! Brooke and Mikkel were kind enough to watch Jack...or allow him to come over for a little "dinner date" with Molly...while Tyson and I enjoyed dinner out. Sometimes it's nice to only worry about feeding yourself.

As you can see - Jack had a nice "date." He took a stroll around Molly's new hood and let Molly help him get some sweet potatoes off his face. Thanks, buddy.

And THANK YOU Brooke & Mikkel!