I am having a hard time blogging from the road. My laptop told me that it is officially "full" - meaning I have uploaded entirely TOO many pictures/songs/movies etc. So, sadly, blogging is on pause until we get back to Michigan and back to the official computer of the Becker Blog.
I'm sad about it, too...because I have some GREAT pictures from Jack's 1st Birthday party (Fort Wayne edition).
It was a wonderful Christmas with Tyson's family! Jack was showered with love & everything a toddler could dream of! He officially has more toys than Toys R Us.
Reading a Christmas book from Devin & Kristin.
Playing with his new frog from Uncle Devin.
Jack's first Mercedes - SO fun!
Enjoying some time with Grandma Nancy before bed. She couldn't get enough of her little grandson and he loved the attention. Somehow he has managed to get all of his grandparents wrapped around his little finger...
We celebrated Christmas with the Becker side of the family on Christmas Eve. Jack had a chance to see many familiar faces and meet some NEW family members, too! He met his second cousin, Alex (15 months) and Alex's parents. Alex is going to be a BIG brother in February! Jack got SO many fun things! He is a very lucky little boy.
Jack & Alex hanging out. Jack is showing off the book Jack & Jill...he thinks it was written about him. Alex was not impressed. Showing off his skills with cousin Billie. Jack is extra nice to her because he wants to get inside info about growing hair. Billie's husband Brent (Tyson's cousin) has a very nice head of hair that Jack stares at EVERY TIME he sees him. Major case of "hair envy".
For Christmas, my husband surprised me with a SUPER special date night (Tues night) to Chicago! He bought tickets for us to see Wicked, which we have been wanting to see for a while, AND a hotel room at the W Hotel. Niiiiice! Plus, he arranged childcare for Jack (Aunt Gina & Uncle Joe) AND he contacted my best bud, Kelly (aka: Chicago's hottest bachelorette), to make sure we could meet up! I am SOOOO excited!
We celebrated Christmas with Nancy's side of the family last night. Jack had a chance to play with his second cousins: Elliot, Nuala, and Eliza (although Eliza is just a couple months old, so she isn't into playing quite yet). Jack and Elliot were buddies. They actually have a lot in common, despite the two year age gap. Both are January babies, who came TOO early AND they both have blonde hair & blue eyes! Nuala - the "Queen Bee" of the cousins, was busy all night. I'm not exactly sure what she was doing, but every time I saw her - she looked like she was completing something on a "To Do List." And little Eliza was content being held. In the past year, Christmas on that side of the family has gotten crazy...but also VERY fun!
Elliot helped Jack with his stair crawling endeavors. Jack has actually learned to come down on his belly since we've been home. Elliot was a great teacher! Elliot and Eliza got Jack a soccer ball (Elliot's favorite sport). As you can see in the picture, Jack was SUPER excited! Nuala, taking a break from being "busy" to hang out with her dad. And model his new hat. Baby Eliza with her Grandma Sally. She is SO tiny and adorable. Made me miss my little Jack - when he liked to be cuddled and held...and slept the day away. Now he is a man on the move...and he will only get faster. Dear Santa, I need new running shoes.
We had the Clevenger family Christmas in Plymouth yesterday. Jack had a chance to see his great aunts & uncles and his second cousins: Connor, Owen, Ada, and Elliott. He loved watching them run around and play - and can't wait to really join in the fun next spring (when he can run too).
Tyson was a kid magnet with his iPad. Fun for hours.
And LOOK who stopped by! Santa!!! Jack didn't know what to think of the man with the long white beard. He had a really funny HO HO HO...but his voice sounded a lot like his grandpa's.
Couldn't take his eyes off Santa.
His Gigi and Grandpa Gigi got him a doggie that sings and flaps it's ears. He LOVES it!
Chillin' in a box next to Elliott (20 months). They will be good buddies at family events!
Wouldn't Jack have a really cute identical twin? I think so, too.
Jack, you're a SHINING STAR! (that was first grade lingo)
Sometimes, after a long day, the only thing that makes him happy is Skyping with family or playing in Photo Booth. We have taken some hilariously wonderful pictures...but most make Jack look a little "strange." So, instead of worrying anyone, I'm sharing the "cute" ones.
To those of you going on vacation after today...(I'm looking at you, teacher/school friends)...HAVE A GREAT BREAK!
Since we will be traveling home with a baby and two large dogs...in a vehicle MUCH smaller than my Avalanche (miss you.) - Tyson and I let Jack open his two presents from us. Two? Yes, just two. Let's be honest about this whole Christmas thing...
1) The kid gets everything he could ever want/need EVERY DAY of the year. When I see an outfit I like, I buy it for him. When I find a toy I think will be "fun" or "educational," I buy it for him. He does not WANT for anything.
2) He is the only grandchild ON BOTH SIDES. Therefore he has two sets of grandparents - who LOVE buying for him and three sets of aunts/uncles who also enjoy buying for him. (although I worry about their choice in toys, because they seem attracted to the most annoying/noisy toys they can find. one word: payback...and you know what it can be) Needless to say, he will have plenty to open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
3) He is 11 months old. Will he remember that his parents didn't buy him his own Toys R Us for his first Christmas? Nope. And if he asks, I will tell him we put the money toward his future car.
No really...to God...THANK YOU! I'm pretty sure the "Man Upstairs" saw my To-Do List and said, "You know what? Kady could use another day at home." And then he convinced the Superintendent of Troy Schools to cancel school for Tuesday.
We better have school sometime this week...or I may get back into my stay-at-home Mom routine and then I'll need an Intervention. (Yes, it's that addicting.)
Today was a SNOW DAY for me! Jack was happy to sleep in and then spend the day with his mama. I've been busy getting things ready for our trip back to Indiana. SO much to finish up, pack, wrap, and mail. Plus, I decided it was a good idea to have Jack's 1st Birthday party the day after Christmas...which means more planning, mailing, & crafting... I must be crazy.
Needless to say, I needed today. I needed the extra sleep. I needed the time to run errands. I miss my days of running to Target or Michaels - when a burst of creativity hit me. (Tyson & our bank account DO NOT miss this)
But - it's back to work tomorrow. The kids have already "checked out." So we will "glide" through the 4-day week...playing games, making gifts for parents (aka: paper & glue globs), and pray we can learn some spelling words. It's 12 degrees outside, there is snow on the ground, and Santa is coming in 12 days...I can't expect too much.
Warsaw Cut Glass is a well-known, family-owned business in Warsaw. It was featured in the Chicago Tribune today and I thought I would share...HERE is the article. It's definitely a favorite in the Clevenger-household!
This is a really cute website (that I found on a coupon website) - it's a quick and SUPER simple way to send a soldier a message during the holidays. Plus, you can see some very impressive artwork created by children. Jack just sent the postcard above (because it featured the state of Michigan). It took me 3 minutes and you don't have to enter any personal contact info - just your name, hometown, and state. Then select a pre-written message.
It is okay to cry on your way to work, as long as you wash off the mascara stains before you go inside.
For some reason day #2 was harder on me than day #1. I think it was because I looked back at Jack as I was walking out the door of his daycare and saw him realize that I was leaving. He didn't cry, but he looked confused and that made me sad.
Still no baby. Seriously?!? Is the kid stuck in her? They induced her yesterday at 4 and were thinking of sending her home at noon today. For the love. My time doesn't start until the baby is born...so I'm a little anxious to know when I will be finished. Is that a bad sign, two days in??
It is a terrible idea to set your 11 month old free in a first grade classroom, while trying to do work. It only creates MORE work in the end....in the form of 100+ popsicle sticks scattered on the floor, children's folders emptied, and the calendar area demolished.
However, it IS a good idea to ensure the paci is in place, because there is NO TELLIN' what he could find on the floor.
I have been a very good boy this year (for the most part). I rarely throw fits and I am learning to be a good sleeper. I promise to leave you lots of cookies (I hear you like Oreos) and water (?). And I will leave some pup-peroni's for Rudolph...wait, doesn't he like carrots? Whatever.
I want snow and I want to be with my whole family - even my Uncle Devin who lives in Timbuktu (I mean, Idaho). I also want a banana tree for my backyard. Do you think it will survive in Michigan? Do you think my parents will kill it? They are TERRIBLE with plants. My mom says I don't need you to bring me anything, because I have two grandmas who LOVE to shop for me. But I don't think they know where to buy a banana tree.
I hope you will be able to find me. I will be in Indiana. It is 3.5 hours from my house in Royal Oak. I love you, Santa.
I decided to go ahead and put up the Christmas tree. I just decorated it with non-breakable ornaments...and lots of bows. I know my son and I know his obsession with all things NOT his... We would have had broken glass ALL over. As I picked out ornaments to put on the tree, I realized the importance of a childhood tradition my parents started for us as infants. Each year they would purchase or let us pick out a Hallmark ornament. As I put them on the tree this year, I noticed that I often chose ornaments that reflected my interests at the time.
This is one of my MANY "1st Christmas" ornaments. I think it was the only one that was "Jack friendly."
Totally stumped on this. I never played tennis. Maybe I just really enjoyed Wimbledon that year?!?!
Bought this when I was 8...during my obsession with Ryne Sandberg and the Cubs. This was my ornament from my freshman year in high school when I enjoyed summer afternoons on Winona Lake. I was twelve when I discovered my love for horses. Sadly, I chose a BOY over my beloved Arab, Chaney, when I was sixteen....dumb...very dumb.
I look forward to starting this tradition with Jack this year and continuing it throughout the years. It will be fun to watch him choose ornaments based on his interests. And when he's 22 and moving out, I will help him pack up his collection for his own tree. What a great family tradition! (Thanks, Mom & Dad!)