Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy 7 Months!

Miss Josie is 7 months old today! She can sit (most of the time) all by herself! She loves to eat - loves it! And she got her very first tooth TODAY! Tucker is her favorite "toy" and her big brother is pretty entertaining for her. She weighs 21lbs and wears 9mth clothes! As long as she's well fed & well rested - she is a perfect, happy baby girl!

Friday, June 29, 2012

It's Friday, Friday...

Woo Hoo! It's the weekend! We're excited about it! Can't you tell?

PS: if you're celebrating a birthday this weekend…HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
(wink, wink!)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Popsicles & Pools

If you need us today - we'll be eating popsicles poolside. If you want to join us - come on over!

{and, yes, I realize that popsicles are probably not ideal for a 7mth old - especially one who has been on a "diet", but here are my excuses: this is my second child, rules change, it's hot, it won't hurt her, & I'M HER MOTHER}

That's Pinterest-ing - Food {Mainly Chicken}

Here is a review of a few recipes I've made from Pinterest.

THIS recipe for Pesto Cream Penne & Chicken was pretty great! I added some artichoke hearts, because I had them and I love them. We had a lot of pasta left over, so we ate it for lunch over the weekend - still great! Two thumbs up!
THIS was called "Man Pleasing Chicken" and was {surprisingly} made with Dijon Mustard & Maple Syrup. I was intrigued, but not that impressed with the outcome. I did use the leftovers to make a chicken & noodle casserole - and that was WAY better than normal, thanks to the added flavor on the chicken. Would I make it again? Probably not…unless I wanted to make an extra tasty Chicken & Noodle casserole.

{I am noticing that I make a lot of chicken…as I type this.}
THIS was a recipe for Beer Chicken that is made in the Crockpot {or as my Dad calls it - the "Crap" Pot…I will not elaborate}. I have a {not so} secret love affair with my crockpot and I have a feeling that "working mom" Kady is going to use it A LOT…so prepare yourself, husband. Anyway - Beer Chicken - tasty! I love that I had all of the ingredients in my fridge and most likely will always have them on hand - no beer shortage here. It's definitely a "go-to" recipe!
{YES, yet another chicken recipe} These Chicken Ranch Tacos were recommended by my friend Kelly Wright. She didn't disappoint. They were AWESOME! I made them for Tyson's birthday celebration with Nancy & Denny - and we all really enjoyed them! Actually Tyson told me I could make them once a week and he'd be okay with it. Again, it's a crockpot recipe (Ready? Chicken breasts, one dry packet of Ranch, one packet of taco seasoning, one can of chicken broth - cook on low 3 hr then shred, cook for another 30 minutes)…but you can also adapt for the stove and that recipe is HERE.

Okay - now for a couple desserts:
THESE were called Cake Batter Blondies. I made these for Tyson's birthday, too. Less impressive than the tacos. To be fair - I may have over-cooked them. I believe one of my children distracted me…which never happens {false}… If you try these and like them, let me know - because I haven't ruled them out yet.

Finally - the Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies. THIS recipe is usually my favorite. I {unfortunately} made them with whole wheat flour and they didn't taste as good as they normally do. I'm all for whole wheat…but not in my cookies. They tasted "healthy" and you all know how I feel about "healthy" desserts. Try it. You'll like it. {Yo Gabba Gabba, anyone?!?!}

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Distracted Driving

We ventured to Warsaw on Monday night while Tyson was in Philly for work. Uncle Joe & Aunt Gina  *tried* to keep Jack entertained with bubbles and a run through the sprinkler. Grandpa Jerry *tried* to keep a very grumpy Josie happy.

The ENTIRE way to my parents' house Jack kept me busy with his new favorite phrase: "What's that, Mommy?" He asked it - no less than - 100 times…

Jack: What's that, Mommy?
Me: a house
Jack: What's that, Mommy?
Me: a barn
Jack: What's that, Mommy?
Me: a cornfield
Jack: What's that, Mommy?
Me: a tree
Jack: What's that, Mommy?
Me: another cornfield

I love his inquisitive mind…but I'll admit - he watched a Curious George episode on the way home.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cookies Monsters

We did some baking yesterday morning. I had a craving {don't even think it!} for chocolate chip cookies and I enlisted Jack & Josie's help baking. We decided to share the batch with Grandma & Grandpa Becker and my family. I'll share the recipe on Thursday in my "That's Pinterest-ing" post. There is a secret ingredient...
but Josie is SO bad about keeping secrets!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Book Worm

I've blogged about some of Jack's favorite iPad apps - but rest assured we spend LOTS of time reading, too. (duh, I'm a teacher) We have made books part of our nap time & bed time routines…and Jack LOVES reading. But sometimes Tyson & I get a little tired of reading the same books over & over & over…

I bought a few new ones for the Becker Library and I thought I'd share them - in case you know some kiddos interested in some new books, too.

(each number is linked to Amazon…my favorite store & favorite place to buy books!)

1 - llama llama misses mama  by Anna Dewdney - all of the "llama llama" books are super cute! I like this one because it talks about how little llama feels when his mom leaves him at school. When we read it we talk about emotions: happy, sad, scared, etc

2 - Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia - cute book about construction trucks and the job they do. This book was quickly memorized by Jack and we added hand movements for each truck's job (i.e.: rolling our hand for the road roller)

3 - Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld - this book is TOO cute for words! It's an absolute Jack favorite {and I love reading it too}! Each construction truck goes to bed, one by one… Girls would probably like it, too.

4 - Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo by Kevin Lewis - A very cute rhyming book about a train and a little boy's imagination. It ends with the boy going to bed…so that's a good incentive for Jack to do the same {in a perfect world}.

5 - Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? by Eric Carle - Classic book. We love this book because it reinforces all of the animals we have learned and it also has great rhythm & rhyme. Sometimes I catch Jack "reading" it to himself during nap time.

6 - Down by the Cool of the Pool by Tony Mitton - this book came recommended by Jack's friend Oliver and we are really loving it! It involves animals {yet again!} but they all do different dance moves down by the pool…and then OOPS - they fall in! It's a book that is definitely open to active engagement (wiggle, stamp your feet, etc). I think I might sneak it into my classroom when Jack's not looking!

Hope you & your family get a chance to read these books soon! Let us know what you think!

Visiting Plymouth

On Friday I picked up my Mom in Warsaw and drove over to Plymouth to visit my grandparents & two of my Great Aunts! Our first visit was with my Great Aunt Mary. She's 95 and she's a firecracker. She still drives, loves playing bridge, and is pretty computer savvy (a regular blog follower!). We left her house and I'm happy to report that Jack didn't break anything. Phew!
 Grandma & me with Aunt Julia
After a stop at Aunt Mary's house - we went to visit my Great Aunt Julia. She was just sitting down for lunch, but we had a chance to chat with her for a while. Jack and Josie were very popular among the nursing home residents. Surprisingly, Jack kept his "entertaining" to a minimum.
After that visit we went back to Gigi's (grandma's) and enjoyed lunch…and then Aunt Suzie came over with my cousin Justin's kids - Ada & Owen (6) and Elliott (3). Ada was excited to help out with Josie…which was nice because I was off monitoring Jack & Elliott. They beelined for Gigi's exercise trampoline…and, considering that were both in the ER for stitches in the chin within DAYS of one another, I knew I needed to keep a close eye on them. We will see them again in a few weeks. Jack can't wait!
 The rest of our weekend was pretty much spent in the pool…
And last night at dinner - Josephine was so tired she couldn't eat her peaches. Jack was trying to keep her awake by saying, "Jos, no nigh nigh - eat!" And, "Wake up, Jos." No luck. Once her head hit the tray on her high chair - I declared her ready for bed. It was 6:15.

Both kids were up at 6:30am…ready to start the week! We shouldn't have any issues adjusting once school starts...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cheers & Jeers

…to 15 year old Jack Andraka - who invented a new test strip to diagnose pancreatic cancer and other types of cancer. He's seriously 15! I'm amazed. More amazing - the strips are 100% accurate and cost $3/each. You can read the Forbes article about him HERE and there is also a YouTube video. Jack Andraka - you are amazing. Please continue to use your brain. I like your work {and your name}.

…to the middle school students who bullied an elderly bus monitor in NY. If you haven't heard about this - you can read about it and watch a video HERE - but be warned…I couldn't get through the entire thing. It's too disgusting.

Bullying is something I absolutely do not tolerate in my classroom. And God help me if one of my own children ever did something like this. Actually, God help him/her! It's inexcusable.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Red Oaks Farm

On Wednesday I packed the kids in the car early and headed south to Tipton, IN to visit one of my best friends, Kassey…and her adorable kiddos - Oliver & Monroe. Jack was SO excited to see his buddy and tractors! 

We spent some time at Oliver's House before heading over to see Dr. & Mrs. McQuinn at their farm!
The horses were disappointed we came with children instead of food. We were lucky enough to catch a Dump Truck AND a Bulldozer in action! Jack was a complete City Boy though… He cried when he thought the bulldozer was coming too close. And he absolutely refused to climb into any of the trucks or tractors. {Glad we skipped Touch-A-Truck this year!}
Oliver's excitement for a ride in the "Choo Choo" - convinced Jack to give it a try. But as soon as it started to move...
He wasn't a fan. {Thanks, Walker, for letting Jack borrow your pod! Sorry about the puddle of tears we left behind.}
 Jack was much happier sitting shotgun with Kassey!
As you can imagine - our ride home was very quiet! Jack had WAY too much fun! I absolutely love that I can fly down to Tipton for a quick {and much needed} visit with Kas & family!  Tipton - we'll be back!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chloe Ellene

The Becker Crew is SO excited to welcome Lucas' new baby sister, Chloe Ellene! She was born last night at 10:46pm and she weighed 7lbs. 2oz.  She is simply perfect and we can't wait to meet her! Congrats, Harucki Family!!!

That's Pinterest-ing - Kid Stuff

So this Pinterest post is all about things I've tried…and how they worked. Pinterest is great for new ideas, but sometimes the ideas are total failures {at least in our house}…

Case in point: 
THIS pin is a Pinterest hit…claiming to keep a toddler occupied for "an hour." To that I say - HA! I got all of the supplies ready and set up - thinking to myself, "if Jack really does this for an hour - I can cook dinner…" {I had a skeptical tone, FYI} So, how long did he last?
 about 5 minutes

For Tyson's birthday I wanted to do something to surprise him. I decided to try THIS recipe for Sidewalk Chalk Paint - to paint a message on our driveway. It was very easy…and looked great!
via Pink and Green Mama

I used regular size paint brushes and was really happy with the way it turned out!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Holy Heat

We officially welcomed summer today…with 100 degree weather. HOT! We celebrated by visiting our friends in Tipton, Indiana! More on that later…

Tonight Jack had his FIRST Wee Bear soccer game. The Plex was {a wee bit} HOT - but Jack {and Tyson} did an excellent job! 
 Modeling his new "jersey"
Josephine is modeling her new headband & shades from her Great Aunt Kim. She's ready for the 4th of July. Annnnnd - at Jack's soccer game a lady walked by Josie and said "Oh.My.Goodness! Look at that chunky baby." Luckily Josie couldn't understand her…and I have thick skin. Back off, lady.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Josie is happy to report that Dr. Cohen lifted her NO EATING rule. She is back on the bandwagon and looking forward to lots of tasty homemade foods. She weighed 20lb 10oz - which is still in the 97th percentile…but he thinks she is "slowing down." 
We enjoyed some time in Warsaw last night celebrating Father's Day and Tyson's birthday. We all ate WAY too much! Jack kept everyone busy and I have to say - it is nice to have help in keeping him entertained.
He may have snuck off with Grandpa Jerry to see Ava & Annie's Grandma - Sue. She let him borrow a Little Tikes car…which made his night!

Happy Birthday!

Today marks 31 years for Ty. I can't imagine my life without him in it…and I feel very blessed to have married my very best friend.

If you get a second - send him a note to wish him a HAPPY YOU, YOU {as Jack says}. I know he will appreciate some love - as he works all day.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Our weekend kicked off on Friday morning with the Carsten's! They were our tour guides around the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. Jack was so excited to see his buddies!
Our little monkeys - with a monkey. 
This picture didn't turn out the way I envisioned it. Yes, that is my son - falling head first out of a kangaroo pouch.
Jack did get to feed a giraffe - which was definitely awesome! I was very impressed with the zoo here! I love the Detroit Zoo - but FW has done a great job with making their zoo hands on & interactive!
After an afternoon of no napping - we packed up and took off to the lake to celebrate Tyson's birthday with friends. Sarah, Blake, & Floyd came up from Cincy… you can see Sarah's pictures by visiting her blog TBC. Nancy & Denny were brave kind enough to take the kiddos for 24hr! It was a mini vacation - full of laughter, boating, and maybe a few "cocktails." (PS: Aaron showed up with these shirts for the trio…a tiger, an eagle, and a panther)
Yesterday we {recovered} enjoyed a low-key Father's Day. Jack & Josie are so lucky to have a Daddy that works so hard & loves them so much. Happy belated Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dude Looks Like a Lady

It's no secret that toddlers love to parade around in their parents' shoes. Jack is no exception. Yesterday he was obsessed with my red high heels. They did match his baseball shirt - I'll give him fashion points for that!
 He was a bit concerned about the holes. Less concerned with wearing them on the correct feet.
Josie is a professional roller these days. And she's moving on to bigger and more important tasks - like sitting up and eating remotes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Our Family: According to Jack via Little People

Today, while playing with Jack, I realized that he was calling his Little People toys various family members' names. I listened and then started asking him questions. Granted, he has had a chance to spend a lot more time with family - since we've been back…but I think he did pretty well labeling everyone!
Above you will see the grandparents and Josie. Pretty close! Nancy, however, does not knit and, to my knowledge, my Dad doesn't walk around with buckets of fish. Also - Josie may, or may not, be represented by Baby Jesus. Interesting.
As for aunts, uncles, and parents - again - not too bad! Joe and Gina are apparently construction workers…and considering Joe is the only member of our family who owns power tools {and knows how to use them} - I think Jack was very intuitive with his choice. Uncle Jon - being the world traveler that he is - is shown in his safari gear. Uncle Devin is viewed as a hippie drummer… I'm not exactly sure what's going on out in Idaho, but I have never heard any mention of drum circles. Kristin - aka: a Wise Man - is looking very friendly. To Jack's credit he may have mistaken the headpiece for a wedding veil. Tyson - aka: Joseph - is looking pretty awesome in his robe & sandal ensemble. Me? Well, I was the one that didn't quite belong with the rest. And apparently I squint a lot.

Here's the kicker…are you ready? When I asked him which person was "Jack"…he chose:

Someone has a big ego. And perhaps a skewed view of himself.

For those people less familiar with our family members - you can use the visual below to see how Jack did.