Sunday, March 30, 2014

Rain, Rain

We had some rain in the forecast last week...and I refuse to complain about it because - AT LEAST IT WASN'T SNOW! So we filled our days with more "indoor" activities - like play dough!
Rainy mornings make it hard for Josie to get out of bed...Nope, wait...That's just EVERY morning. I swear to you, she is a teenager trapped in a two year old's body.  I have to wake her up to get Jack to school on time and I'm always met with flailing arms and shouts of "NO NO MOMMY!" Gosh, I can't wait until she's in high school.
Last Wednesday we observed Epilepsy Awareness Day by wearing purple for our friends Greta (Carrie's daughter) and Finn (my Alpha Phi sister's son). If you want to know more about Epilepsy and Seizure Awareness you can click HERE or to learn about Dravet Syndrome click HERE.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Visit from Nancy & Denny

Nancy and Denny came up for a visit last weekend. They said they needed a "Jack & Josie Fix." I'm sure they got their fill while they were here! Friday night was low-key. We ate pizza and watched basketball. Saturday morning I woke up after everyone and found Nancy making breakfast. Not going to lie - it's pretty awesome to come downstairs to a hot breakfast in your own house!
Saturday night Tyson and I flew the coop for a date night with our friends (they're expecting #3 any day and we needed one last kid-free night before they are back in newborn mode). Both kids were asleep when we got home. Glorious. Sunday morning I came downstairs to find Jack & Grandpa Denny in the middle of a game of "fox tail." (Basically you swing a ball around & throw it - pretty much right up Jack's alley).
After breakfast, everyone played a game of Fox Tail in the basement. Jack made the teams - Becker Boys vs Becker Girls. I'm not sure who won - but I think the Becker Girls held their own!
Before Grandma & Grandpa left - Josie threw a Disney Music Dance Party.  Always fun to have them visit! Come again SOON!

By the way - the "Becker" family member most excited about the visit was Tucker. He couldn't get enough of Denny. Friend for Life.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sunshine...with a side of snow & poetry

First of all - let it be known - that we are now the proud owners of the movie {in every form} Frozen.  Josie spotted it when we stopped in Meijer last week and I have literally - never seen her that excited about something (well, maybe about meeting Minnie). She picked it up and carried it through the store. We've watched it about 4 times. She's a happy girl.

For a few days last week (and even this week) the perma-cloud that lingers over Michigan has lifted and we've had sunshine! The fact that we can actually SEE pavement was reason enough to celebrate! Jack wanted to take a bike ride and I didn't argue. We had to navigate some snow hazards, but it was nice to be outside.
Even with sunshine - we still have snow piles...although these pictures were taken last week, so we have less snow now.

And finally - we are SO excited for Uncle Devin, as we learned on Friday his poetry will be published in a BOOK! Like - his own book!! Devin has been working very hard for many, many, many years and his hard work has paid off! His collection, titled Shame, was selected from over 500 entries and won the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize. We are SO proud of him!

Tyson and Denny toasted to him this weekend - and Devin shared in the toast by finding the same exact beer (all the way in California, where he is conducting interviews for work). The Becker women and children all celebrated with ice cream. Priorities. 

Congrats, again, Dev!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Seeing Green

 Last Monday was St. Patrick's Day and having just returned from our vacation - I wasn't really interested in going out & about. So we did a few 'at home' activities to celebrate. I pulled a mental file from my Kindergarten career and we made green pepper print clovers.
Josie didn't quite grasp the "stamping" concept and just used the peppers to paint. Needless to say, we had plenty of green paint on many surfaces. Fortunately, it's washable.
After painting, we decided to make some green cupcakes - which was the highlight of Jack's day/week. He thought the cupcakes tasted better than normal because they were green. Must be a Ninja Turtle thing...

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Our Journey Home

We started our journey back home last Friday. After a stop at a nearby Publix for some snacks & drinks - we hit the road and said goodbye to the warmth. No one in the car was very excited about the trek home. Jack asked if he could just live with Mickey Mouse.
Stickers, coloring, and pipe cleaners made the journey a little more tolerable for the kids. We also used the iPads and a couple Red Box movies.
We made sure to stretch our legs when we could. Jack and Tyson had a sword battle at a truck stop in Georgia.
Josie engaged in the newest phenomenon to sweep Truck Stops - shadow dancing. You can see part of her routine below.
Of course, there was also plenty of napping on the way home. Disney wore us all out! And - not surprising - we returned home to a snow covered yard & piles of snow everywhere. I was really hopeful, too, because we hadn't seen much snow cover...until we hit Metro Detroit. Oh well.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Disney - Part 2 {the evening}

As I mentioned - we broke our Disney Day up into two parts. FYI - tickets are pricey and Tyson & I decided to "get our money's worth." It was a smart move. After naps, showers, warmer clothes, and dinner - we made our way back to the "happiest place on Earth." We weren't sure how long the kids would last - but we had a couple things going for us: 1) neither were interested in the parades or the fireworks 2) they were SO excited to be back there

Our first stop was Pirates of the Caribbean. We realized pretty quickly that the lines had dissipated A LOT. And once we were on the ride, I realized it probably wasn't the best parenting move for Josie's sake. She buried her face in me and I felt awful. Oops.

Next we visited Belle to for her interactive tale. Jack was cast as "Chip" - pretty appropriate. He felt like a real movie star and had so much fun!
There were NO WAITS for any of the rides our kids wanted to go on...and even better, NO WAITING to see the characters! This was HEAVEN for Josie. As you all know, my kids aren't afraid of creepy characters (only old men who bring them presents). Josie's reaction to seeing Minnie was hilarious. She was totally in awe.
Before we left we stopped at Mickey's Magic Show to say hello to "the Big Man" himself. Both kids were SUPER excited. Jack hugged him and professed his love...very loudly. "I WUV YOU, MICKEY!!" By the time we got to our car it was midnight and we had two VERY tired kids...and TWO very tired parents.

After a good night's sleep - we woke up for our journey back to Michigan. But Jack tried one last ditch effort to convince us we should go back to see Mickey. I found him studying the map of the park.

It was a great day, full of so many memories! We can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Disney - Part 1 {the morning}

We woke up early last Thursday for our Disney Day. It was WAY too early for Josie {our 2 year old, living in a 15 year old's body}. Per usual, Josie swatted me away as I tried to wake her up. Jack, on the other hand, bounced out of bed, ready to go. The child honestly has an unprecedented amount of energy.
We walked into the park around 10am - because parking, tram, tickets, a monorail ride, and bag checks take FOREVER. Once inside the park Tyson jetted off for FastPass+ tickets and everyone else took a bathroom break. It was chilly - but we were ready.
We made our way to a few different toddler-friendly rides. Both kids LOVED Dumbo, the race cars, and Jack had fun on the Barnstormer roller coaster.
Josie and Grandpa Jerry took a ride on the carousel - which was, quite possibly, the highlight of Josie's day. She thought it was "the best ride at Disney!" {good news, kid, carousels are easy to find}
After a brief nap for Josie and lunch for everyone else - we headed off to It's a Small World. Both kids LOVED it! We also went on Buzz Lightyear's ride and met Chip & Dale. By 4pm we called it a day. Grandma & Grandpa headed back to Sebring, while we left for our hotel room.
No surprise - everyone napped well....which meant we were all ready for Round 2 that night.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Outside + Pool = Happiness

It was no secret that the Becker Clan was ready to be outside as much as possible during our Florida visit. I feel like we've been inside for WAAAAY too long this winter. It's gotten the best of me. So we were all excited for sunshine, pool water, and green grass!
Jack did a great job practicing his swimming. He loved the freedom to swim all over the pool. Surprisingly, Miss Josie was also quite the fish! She loved every minute of being in the water. Grandma Shirlee worried the whole time...but Josie showed her there wasn't anything to fear.
 The kids also loved Grandpa Jerry's new golf cart. It was a hit! Our goal each day was to wear our kids out as much as possible - so they were ready for bed by 7:30. It was never too hard.
Of course, how could we be outside without playing baseball? Jack was so happy to have people to pitch to. Grandpa Jerry used baseball practice as an opportune time to partake in Cocktail Hour. I'll be honest...I was jealous.

Now - we just need the temps to rise about 40 degrees, so we can enjoy our pool in Michigan. At the rate we're going...we may see the pool in August. Maybe.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tigers in Florida

Last Tuesday afternoon we loaded the family up (along with Grandpa Jerry) and headed to Lakeland, Florida for a Detroit Tigers Spring Training game. It was HOT. But we weren't complaining. Snow was heading to the Detroit area that we were happy to be in sunshine and warmth.
The game was SOLD OUT. I was shocked at how many Tigers fans were there! I guess we weren't the only ones hoping to escape the Michigan winter! We sat in the outfield - and despite some bugs - had a fun time. Tyson thinks he was able to watch about a half inning of actual baseball...guess that's what we get for dragging the kids along.
We enjoyed some hotdogs, beer (not for me), and popcorn. And everyone around us was talking about the Tigers or our awful winter. Felt like home.
She's still chewing on her hotdog...
Overall, we enjoyed the day! Grandpa Jerry was disappointed the Cubbies weren't playing and his efforts to get Jack to become a Cubs fan were foiled.

Looking forward to Opening Day in Detroit! 

Sunday, March 16, 2014


On Monday we headed West to Naples for a fun beach day with our good friends - the Moses family. Tyson & I met Jeff & Jaime when the husbands were at the Kelley School of Business together.  Jeff & Tyson rode the bus together (isn't that cute?) and Jaime & I became fast friends. We lived it up in Btown! Now they live in a suburb of Miami and we LOVE seeing them when we visit the Sunshine State. They have TWO adorable little boys - Cameron (3) & Landon (5mths).
We spent the day playing on Naples Beach! The boys played in the sand, took a walk to the Naples Pier for ice cream with their daddies, and had a really fun time squirting each other. Josie loved the ocean for the first 15 minutes - then took a big gulp of salt water and didn't think it was AS great after that. She still had fun running around the beach.
It was so fun to see the kids together and to catch up with our good friends. We hope the weather in Michigan warms up soon, so we can lure them north for a lake weekend!
After the beach, we ate a late, light lunch. Josie slept through most of it. She was SO tired. Not only did she play hard on the beach, she also had to make sure her mommy didn't hold baby Landon. (let's just say, it got ugly when I did hold him...poor Josie) Tyson & Jeff left the restaurant early with Cameron & Jack...but they didn't make it far. They were quickly sidetracked for some ice cream along 5th Ave. The boys thought they hit the jackpot - TWO ice creams in ONE day!
After the beach, we headed north a bit to Uncle Jon's Bachelor Pad. He lives in a gorgeous house! Jack thinks Uncle Jon is awesome because instead of having a boring old dining room table - he has a ping pong table. So fun!
Jack tried to win over the dogs by playing some fetch. Blade seems to be enjoying his new {warm} home.
We left the three dogs (Hogan, Hunter, & Blade) at Jon's house and went out for a quick bite. Dinner was interrupted by a phone call from one of Jon's neighbors informing us he had Hunter. It seems Hogan {aka: Houdini} opened the front door and let all of the dogs out. They were "terrorizing" the neighborhood. Jon & Dad rushed back to coral them.

It was definitely a fun and exciting day in Naples! So good to see so many people we MISS SO MUCH!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Driving South

We set out last Friday for our Florida Vacation. We decided to drive. Some of you may be wondering if we are crazy...the answer is NO. We waited too long to book flights (Tyson's work) and then decided we'd save some & do more "fun" things in Florida. Honestly, it wasn't bad.

Tyson was able to get this Bad Boy (2015 Yukon XL Denali) for our trip. Ummmm, it was a GOD SEND! So great to drive, tons of space - so much space we had a bed in the very back for naps (yes, we realize that's not safe...but neither is driving while tired). I'm in love with this car - for obvious reasons. I'll be sad when Tyson takes it back on Monday.
We had the car packed full of snacks and different ways to keep the kids engaged. They had books, movies, things to color/draw, stickers, pipe cleaners to play with, and - the favorite - silly putty.
Once we were in warmer temps - Josie was just happy to have the windows down. There was also some napping and our fair share of "are we there yet?" The navigation screen was a great way to show Jack how much farther we had to go. I'm sure you can imagine how excited he was when he saw Grandma & Grandpa's house "getting closer" to our car!

Our kids were REALLY great the entire way down! Sure - they had their moments...because they're 4 & 2. But overall, it was a fun trip & we were SO happy to arrive in Sunny Florida!

More to come...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Heading South

First things first, Josie went with me to my 16 week Midwife appointment. As you can see - my plan worked: sucker + iPad game = stress-free appointment. Everything was great...or at least it seems that way. Midwives take such a hands-off approach - which I actually love. No peeing in a cup, no prodding or poking. My appointments consist of: weight, blood pressure, listening to the heartbeat, and then lots of talking. The heartbeat was 160 (for those who like to know) and I was given the GREEN light for my anatomy scan...which I can schedule in two weeks. AHHH.
Yesterday afternoon Jack was driving me crazy. And by driving me crazy - I mean - he was non-stop action & pestering everyone (including the dogs). So, instead of losing my cool - per usual - I asked him if he wanted to vacuum. Then I put him to work. I'll be honest, it wasn't the best vacuuming job I've ever seen, but I didn't have to do it, so... I like to think of this as preparing him for his future wife. This will continue.
AND, finally, after over 83 inches of snow. Wait, let's say that again - EIGHTY THREE INCHES OF SNOW... The Beckers are finally heading south. Jack busted into our bedroom bright & early this morning and announced that he was packed and ready to go. I'm not sure what he thinks we'll be doing in Florida, but he's prepared for the worst. We have a jam packed schedule while we're down there and I'm pretty excited to see green grass & a soft sandy beach.

And just because we're leaving - don't think you can come throw a party in our house. We've hired this guy to dog-sit. Cooper is pretty pumped.