Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dirt Devil

Dear Future Mrs. Jack Dyer Becker -
I'm training him well. You're welcome.
-Your Future Mother-in-Law

Nancy got him this Dirt Devil for Christmas. He LOVES it. For a half second, when he opened it, I really thought it vacuumed. My heart jumped with excitement. But then, the truth was really was "just a toy." 

Never fear - My dream isn't dead...perhaps I will invent a little "Dirt Devil" of my own...that actually WORKS.  And that's how I'll make my millions.  (I wrote it down, does that count as a patent? Lawyer friends, draw something up.)

Friday, December 30, 2011

J is for Josephine

So - one month later, I'm finally getting around to explaining why we chose the name Josephine. Yes, I realize it is a very old name. That was what drew me to it. I like old, classic, strong names. I also like that she will most likely be the only Josie in her class...maybe the only Josie in her school. Actually, I love that.

I found the name Josephine when I was pregnant for Jack. We didn't know if he was a boy or a girl, so I put a big star next to it and moved on.  Once we knew he was a boy, his name was chosen and I never looked at the baby name book again.

Fast forward to when I got pregnant for Josie. I knew immediately that I was pregnant (I have a weird intuition when it comes to that) and I also knew the baby was a girl. Tyson can attest - I told him BOTH of those things the night I got pregnant. (was that TMI??) Anyway, I started looking at girls' names right away and when I came across my star next to "Josephine" - I added it to the list I was keeping on my iPhone. I sent my list to Tyson and he hated 90% of the names on there (including Josephine). I was pretty set on the name and made it my mission to get him on board. When we left for the hospital on November 30th - Tyson wasn't sure if he would be bringing home a Josephine or a Lillian (hair color was a determining factor for him).  I knew I would be bringing home a Josephine.

Yes, I realize that both of my children have a "J" name. No, we are not trying to be like the Duggars. I can't think of another "J" name that I'm in love with - so future children will probably NOT have a J name. (although Jedidiah & Jinger are very tempting)

**that was a joke**

The name Josephine has some connections within our families:
- my brother is Joseph and Josie was due really close to his birthday 12/4.
- my Grandma is Peggy Jo - which is close
- and thanks to Tyson's Aunt Sally we learned that Tyson's Grandma Ruth and her brother, Dyer (Jack's namesake) were raised by their mother and her two sisters after their father passed away. One of the sisters was Josephine - but they called her Aunt Jo.

Josie's middle name Elizabeth is also my middle name. We also considered the name Ann (my mom's middle name).

Weird fact: There used to be an elementary school in the Cincinnati area called Josie E. Becker Elementary (Becker Elementary), but it was shut down a few years ago.

So - there you have it...the reason we chose Josephine. I can't wait to see the person Josie grows up to be and I hope she loves her strong name as much as I do!

Shot of Jack

See how much Jack misses Uncle Devin??? He tried to grow some facial hair to be JUST like him. No, actually, this is what I found after I gave Jack an Oreo for his "after-dinner dessert". Thank God I saw him before he decided to use my couch as his napkin.

He's definitely related to me. Oreos have been a steady part of my diet since I was little. I joke that calories from Oreos really don't count for me, because I'm immune to them. Seriously. I think I am. However, my waistline begs to differ.

Becker Christmas

Nancy, Denny, Devin, and Kristin were in Royal Oak for Becker Family Christmas. Apparently, I was a terrible photographer and got a big F for my effort in taking pictures. I did manage to snap a few...
Jack was ready to open presents. Can you tell?
 "I don't think any of these are for me." 
 "What? Almost ALL of them are for ME? Yeeeessssss!"
And then - keeping in form with typical toddler behavior...he decided to play with all of the empty gift bags (and mommy's new Jenna Kator purse).

PS: Like Jack's tractor shirt? My friend Kassey made it. She's the Martha Stewart of Tipton, IN. Seriously, SO talented. I'm trying to talk her into quitting her job and opening a store with me... It's not working.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

School Daze

Today is Jack's last day at school. I'm pretty sure I'm more sad than he is...but he probably doesn't realize it's his last day. All of his friends were playing in the gym when we arrived and Sydney was the first to greet him. Jack is decked out in his new (super cute!) IU outfit. He just wanted to let all of his friends know where they can find him in 16 years - Bloomington, IN.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jack, Josephine, and Sydney Josephine

Jack had a play date with Syndey yesterday. Maybe it was too soon to expect him to share his new presents from Santa. I'll be honest, it wasn't his best showing...
Lunch put him in a better mood. Apparently toddlers have something with doing the wave at the was HILARIOUS to all of the 2 years olds in the room.
See - Sydney was doing it too. Josie didn't get the "inside joke."  Jack told her she would understand when she was TWO.
A very smiley Sydney Josephine.  She held "baby Josie" like a champ.  We are sad to be moving away from this little girl. She is cute and funny...but she will always be "Jack's first neighbor."

Monday, December 26, 2011

Jack and Jos

Enjoying The Polar Express together...while sitting on the coffee table. Josie couldn't keep her eyes open...she was just too tired!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thanks, Santa!

Jack woke up at 7:40 today...his usual time.  I have a feeling his Christmas Day wake up time will become earlier through the years and then gradually become later and later (once he's a teen). I really want to have a tradition of taking a picture as my kids come down the stairs to see what Santa has brought them.  This was (obviously) the first year we could do that...Jack couldn't walk last year.
 He liked what he saw.
 Checking out his new Buzz Lightyear car. Too bad he isn't into things that move. He's scared to ride it. But we did catch him sitting on it throughout the day and one time he accidentally pushed the "GO" button.
Santa got the letter. Lots of trucks awaited Jack as he came downstairs. He added a garbage truck, two dump trucks, and a backhoe to his fleet.
The magna-doodle was also a hit. We like that he can "yellow" (color) without the mess.

We had a great Christmas, but we really missed our families! We are looking forward to Christmas' in the future - when we can celebrate with everyone and STILL be able to have our family Christmas (and our own traditions) in our new home.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,
I hope you are technologically advanced enough to know that you should check my blog for my Christmas Letter. Handwritten letters are SO 2010! Sorry I didn't get a chance to see you in person. Mom kept telling me we were going to come see you, but then Josie came early and everyone has been sick... So I guess I'll just see you next year.

Anyway, I have been a really pretty good boy this year. As I'm sure you've heard - I go to "time out" a couple times a day...but I think the time out is really more for Mom than it is for me.  She seems happier once I've sat in my chair for a minute. An amazing transformation, really...

You are already on your way here...but I wanted to tell you that I really want some trucks for Christmas. I love driving them around my family room and crashing them into each other. It's fun.  But my absolute favorite thing is watching my parents trip over them ALL the time. Hilarious.  So if you could bring me some really sturdy ones, that won't break when they are stepped on - that would be great!

I'm supposed to tell you that Josie has been good, too.  Although I hear her crying at night sometimes, so she's probably in "time out." She better just get used to it...

I left you some cookies and milk.  Mom said that Oreos are your favorite.  She also wanted to leave you a glass of water, but I insisted on milk (you're welcome).  Dad said to leave you a beer...but I think drinking and driving applies to sleighs too! Hope you don't mind, but I ate one of your cookies. If you want to leave a couple behind, I won't mind.

Be safe getting to Michigan, Santa! I love you.


PS: Thanks for the Lions win tonight. Mom and Dad said it was a "Christmas Miracle."

Building Blocks

Last year for Christmas Jack received some building blocks and it took him almost a full year to discover how fun they are! While working in the basement the other day, I noticed Jack playing with his blocks.  And, much to my surprise, they held his attention for more than two minutes.  In fact, he built with them for over 30 minutes! World record!
 (Notice his new "kicks"? Early Christmas gift.)
 Such concentration
 One of his "towers"
Miss Josie received a teddy bear Wubbanub from my friend, Erin. It's her favorite!

Hope everyone has a WONDERFUL Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree

I feel so sad for you.

You used to be taller...but we are afraid our son will pull you over, so you shrank by 2ft this year. (for some reason a 6ft tree falling on him seems safer than an 8ft tree?!?)

You used to have presents under you, now they are hidden in our guest room.  The wrapping paper is too tempting to Jack and I refuse to re-wrap gifts 150 times before Christmas arrives.

You used to have beautiful glass ornaments all over you. This year you are "wearing" plastic ornaments, gold bows, and even some felt dinosaurs. Sorry, sister, but broken glass is dangerous and I have no doubt that 5-10 ornaments would have been broken in the one month you were up.

I look forward to the year you can be as beautiful and vibrant as you were in years past... It may take a while (especially if we keep having babies) but we'll get you back. Merry Christmas, Christmas Tree!

Flashback Friday

This isn't Josie (she has more hair) - it's a flashback to Jack at 3 weeks old! Oh how babies change...and grow... Looking at him in this picture, I most definitely see the similarities between Jack and Josie. They both have their mommy's blue eyes and their daddy's mouth!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Danger Zone

Josie spent some time strengthening her neck muscles yesterday. This activity required her to lie on the floor on a blanket. She gave me the side-eye...
"Really, Mom? Do you think this is a good idea? There is a crazy toddler and two 80lb labs on the loose in this house! I'm seriously questioning your parenting skills right now."
Jack was definitely a hazard...until he did this... How cute! He loves Josie.

Milk Coma

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Owl Hat

Jack and I heading off to Jack's school yesterday. He was excited to see friends.
Daddy decided to sneak in the picture too! Tyson is officially finished with work unit January 23rd! I'm going to be spoiled having him around all the time! And he is going to be spoiled - sleeping in for the next 5 weeks!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jack "Occupies" our Family Room

This video is from Friday night.  Jack got on his soapbox and was giving us a great "performance." It's too bad we couldn't understand what he was saying, because I'm sure it was motivational and probably the answer to finding world peace. His "speech" went on for more than three minutes...but I captured the last 25 seconds. 

For the record: Jack laughed as he was getting up. We were laughing WITH him, not AT him. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekend in the Fort

Saturday morning we packed up the car and headed back to our new "hometown" - Fort Wayne for a quick visit.  The purpose of the visit was to meet with our realtor and look through a few houses we had found online.  The BONUS was that Jack & Josie got a chance to spend some time with their family! My parents, along with Joe & Gina, came over to watch the IU game on Saturday night. We were all happy with another IU victory! Sunday, after the house hunt, we ventured over to meet our newest member of the Becker family - Kinley Marlene! Kinley is Brent (Ty's cousin) & Billie's new baby girl. She was born on 12/13/11 and she is SO tiny next to (big-boned) Josie! I'm excited for these second cousins to grow up together!
 This is how all of us felt (and looked) as we headed south on Saturday!
Aunt Gina came with gifts for Jack! He was VERY excited to practice his unwrapping skills, just in time for Christmas!
 Uncle Joseph and baby Josephine. Josie wasn't impressed with Uncle Joe's beard (although it is thicker than Uncle Devin's)... He isn't shaving until IU loses - which we are hoping is a long time from now!
The Becker Grandpas! Denny with Josie and Bill with Kinley.
Three generations of Beckers. As you can see, Chloe is excited to have some new girl cousins!
Tyson's Aunt Becky thinks Josie was telling Kinley how hard it is to be the second child.  I think Becky interpreted the conversation like this:
Josie: "MY LIFE IS SO HARD! I have a rowdy brother and two crazy labs...I have to share my parents' attention - IT'S HORRIBLE!"

Kinley was a good listener.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sick of Being Sick

I have been a bad blogger and I apologize. We have been infested with germs here ALL week. It started on Monday night, when I realized I had a terrible sinus infection.  I didn't sleep well and vowed to go to the doctor after dropping Jack off at "school."  That afternoon, I got a call from Jack's school - he had woken up with "gunk" in his eyes and needed to go home for the day. Awesome.  So Josie and I headed off to pick up Jack and met Tyson at the pediatrician's office. Jack was diagnosed with an ear infection (yes, they can still get infected with tubes) and conjunctivitis (aka: pink eye) - FABULOUS!

God bless Nancy - she came up to help take care of us. I'm not kidding - I'm not sure how I could have survived the week without her. She wins Grandma/Mom/Mother-in-law of the year for walking into our germ-infested house and doing ALL of our laundry.

In the meantime, poor Jos developed some "gunk" in her eyes - so she has been getting a dose of the pink eye drops, too. Welcome to life with a toddler, Josie. Your brother is germy and he wipes his nose on his sleeve. He's a boy. When you go visit him in college you will be astounded at his living conditions...I promise (and I know from experience).

Good news - Jack seems to be better. Jos, too, for that matter. I am still dealing with lots of sinus pain. My beloved Neti Pot isn't being as magical as I would like.  Hopefully we will all be back to 100% soon.

 Josephine - all wrapped up in a blanket from her Great Aunt Sue.
Jack and Molly enjoying a Christmas treat or a "ho ho ho" as they call it. (it's a chocolate Santa) I can't even find the words to describe how sad we will be to move away from this little girl! She and Jack have been the best of friends since the day Jack was born. I cry when I think about I try not to. Skype dates are a MUST...and that goes for Sydney & Lucas, too!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Guest Blogger - Carrie Norton, mommy to Greta

Today, I am SO excited to bring you a guest post from Carrie Norton (aka: Greta's mommy).  Carrie and I met during our Masters at Marian University.  She was loud and funny and not afraid to voice her opinion. I was in awe of her and yet, also, a little afraid of her.  But I soon discovered that Carrie is a caring and compassionate person. And over the years I have been honored to call her a wonderful friend.  I know you'll enjoy her post! Make sure you visit Carrie and Greta on their BLOG - Carrie is SURE to make you laugh!


I am honored to be a guest blogger on Kady’s blog.  My name is Carrie Monforton Norton (that is my name, seriously), and I met Kady in 2006 at Marian College.  I believe it was the first day of Teaching class and we were sitting by each other.  We started to talk and soon realized we had a “Six Degrees of Separation” on our hands.  It turns out, Kady’s family is close friends with a family I grew up with in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan:  The Maldanados.  My brother, Joey, is close friends with the Maldanado’s second oldest son, Rick.  Small world.  And so our friendship began…….( I should also mention that Tyson played baseball  pitched against my husband in high school.  Again, a small world.)  Five years later, she lives fifteen minutes away from my family and I am in Bloomington, Indiana.  Like Tyson, my husband came to Bloomington to pursue his M.B.A. at Indiana University, but we have yet to leave.  In a funny twist, sometimes I think Kady and I should trade places---me, missing the great state of Michigan, and Kady missing all things Hoosier.

After graduating from Marian, Kady and I kept in touch.  Rather, I would call her and she’d give me advice---about teaching, marriage, pregnancy, and now, rearing children.  Kady was the first person I called when I found out I was pregnant.  Ironically, it was the day after my first Indiana University tailgate---Indiana was playing the University of Michigan.  (U of M is MY Big Ten team, NOT Indiana).  She was excited and reassured me things would be great.  She already had Jack , or Jackages Packages as I call him.  I felt like she was a great person to confide in, because of her outstanding parenting skills with Jack.  Nine months later, my daughter Margaret Elizabeth arrived on June 8th.  Again, Kady was the first person I called.  While my labor and delivery did not go according to plan, Kady was very supportive.  Margaret, or Greta as we call her, is now six months old and thriving.  Like Kady, I too started blogging to document Greta’s growth, 

**It should be noted that Kady attended my baby shower in March and was in the early stages of her pregnancy with Ms. Josie.  I was so excited, I told everyone at the shower she was expecting.  I knew Kady’s secret would be safe because no one there was a Facebook friend and it would not be revealed through social media. 

**It should also be noted that Kady and I attended a Tigers game on the day that Jack was conceived, or at least, that is what I believe. 

Now here I am with a six-month old daughter, and Kady with her little blessing.  I am most certain that Kady will raise Ms. Josie as a beautiful person----kind, considerate, artistic, articulate, passionate, and funny.  While I have no advice to a person who is raising a girl, I do try to live by this:  Take each day as it comes, and enjoy every moment as a blessing.  I am anxious to see what the future holds for Greta, but I am sure she’ll do well.  She knows she has a voice (through the shrieks and screams), and definitely knows how to get a person’s attention.  These are two qualities that are integral to life success.  (I should also mention Greta DOES NOT like to wear hairbows.  I’m still processing through this.  I hope this does not mean I’ll have the three-year-old in preschool with the dreadlocks from not wanting to get her hair brushed.  While this is not an important trait to have, having a neat hairstyle helps in life.)

Kady has been graced with two gorgeous, healthy children.  I have no doubt in my mind that Jack, and now Josie, will grow to be extraordinary people (who love the Detroit Tigers, support the Lions, and will appreciate Red Wing hockey…one day).

Thank you, Carrie! Now everyone imagine Greta as a three year old in dreads and it will help you get through your day!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy Due Date, Josie!

Today was supposed to be Josie's due date. I'm glad she came early! Two weeks have already flown by and I'm happy to report she is THE PERFECT BABY. Ok, Ok...everyone has a "perfect" baby.  She is really good natured and I'm thankful she knows that night time is "sleep time." Hopefully that doesn't change.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Computer Geek

How long before he wants one of his own? Keep in mind - he is Tyson's son.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Breaking News:

We are making a very bittersweet move...back to INDIANA! Remember before Josie was born...when I said we were experiencing some "stressful times." I was referring to this decision. We are VERY excited to be heading back to our home state...close to our families and so many of our very best friends.

Tyson will be working for Zimmer - an orthopedic company in WARSAW (yes, my hometown!!). He will be a Product Marketing Manager for hips in North America! (If you're in the market for a new one, give him a call.) Click HERE to learn more about Zimmer.

We will be moving sometime in January. No decisions have been made. However, we know we will be living on the southwest side of Fort Wayne - about 5 min from Nancy & Denny and 35 min from my parents. Raising our children around their grandparents and most of their aunts & uncles (ahem, DEVIN!) is absolutely priceless to us.

Though this is stressful (especially with a newborn!) - we couldn't be more excited! We will give more updates as the move gets closer! noted, we will miss all of our MI friends SO much! This is the birth place of our children...the first home we purchased together...and we have made some wonderful friends here. The good news is, thanks to technology, we can ALWAYS stay in touch

...and the lake is only two hours away from Royal Oak! Come visit!

Go IU!

You could say that Christmas came early for Tyson (and every other Hoosier fan). The Indiana Hoosiers upset the #1 Kentucky Wildcats with a last second shot...that left Tyson screaming and Jack scrambling upstairs in fear. I was holding Josie (not recommended) and managed to wake her from a pretty deep sleep with screams of my own. When I went downstairs 10 minutes after the game ended - Tyson still had tears of joy in his eyes. He was on Cloud 9 the rest of the weekend. (and the Lions won, too! Bonus!)

Jack and Jos were dressed appropriately for the game! Jack's shirt courtesy of's officially been deemed "lucky." GO HOOSIERS!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Daughter - Guest Post by Becky Christman

Today we have a guest post by my friend, Becky, from Naptime Confessional.  Becky and I did our Masters together at Marian University. She is now the mommy to her beautiful daughter, Lia (seriously, she has the most gorgeous eyes!!) and she has a baby on the way! I'm excited to share her post with you! Enjoy!

Miz Independent

So Kady asked me to write a little bit on having a daughter. I thought a lot about a lot of things. I could go sentimental about how I keep a journal of notes I write to Lia about once every couple of months because hopefully one day she'll be a mommy too but also so that she knows how crazy in love I am with her. Then things popped into my head like my fear of princess loving mean girls and eating disorders. Or about how I watch Teen Mom and pray that my daughter never ends up on MTV... or on any reality show. I assume most moms of only boys don't worry so much about these things...

But what I've really learned is to let Lia be Lia, even if it's not always what I want. Lia is a go getter, not a cuddler much to my dismay. She is spunky, bright, and tough. In fact just last weekend she fell down and scraped her knees in her Mimi's driveway. I didn't even know she hurt her knees until I took her tights off! She wears a pink and yellow cape, a monster hat she calls "pokey hat," and will pull any hair bow out of her hair faster than you can put it in. She talks in a monster voice even when it embarrasses me. Like when I told her to "come here," as I was trying to put her coat on, and she repeated it in the monster voice in front of company. I definitely lost my Mother of the Year nomination after that one. But then she amazes me with her ability to learn. She has a memory better than anyone and soaks up knowledge like a sponge. As a teacher, I didn't want to push any formal learning on her too early. But Lia lit a fire under me by learning her letters basically on her own. Now we play learning games and she loves it. She asks me for games all the time. 

When I dreamed of my little daughter, I saw cuddles and kisses and all those sweet girly things. But what I got was so much more. I don't get cuddles and kisses nearly as often as I like, but that makes them more precious. Instead I get to laugh at her silly style, marvel at how she learns like a sponge, and be proud of how she need can swing on a big girl swing and slide all by herself. I only hope that she stays independent and makes choices using the brain in her own head... and doesn't end up on reality tv.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Muffin Man

Do you know the Muffin Man? He lives on North West Street.

Jack and I baked some blueberry muffins this morning while Josie slept the morning away. Jack was a big helper and then enjoyed two mini muffins at lunch.

We are definitely settling into our new life as a family of four.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dog Tired

In our family - we say that our dogs are "dog tired". It's basically the most tired you can be. We know a dog is "dog tired" when he is a) chasing something while dreaming or b) barking at something while dreaming.

I think it is safe to say that Josie is "dog tired" tonight. She has been wrapped up in this super-soft blanket and couldn't be happier. Oh, and she has a dog on her head.

In other news - Josie's mommy is also "dog tired". Night.

Home Alone

Today is Tyson's first day back at work. There are three people and two dogs that are missing him already today. Looking forward to having lots of family time over the holidays!!

Josie received her first bath yesterday. She looks really mad in this picture - but overall she didn't seem to mind it. She's pretty laid back.
Jack is REALLY into cars, trucks, and trains. Both of his grandmas got him new trucks while they were visiting. I've seen such a difference in his independent play lately. Good timing.
And finally...a picture of Jack snuggling Josie before bedtime last night. He is always concerned about where she is and what she's doing. Her name is still "baby" - but we are working on saying Josie. 

All of us are fed, but we may rock the pajamas all day... Baby steps.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Jos says HI

Jack is at school today and probably very happy to be with all of his buddies. A bird bath is on the agenda for Josie and I'm hoping Tyson will agree to put up the Christmas tree.