Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Movie Monday fail...

Welcome to Movie Tuesday!  After surviving a brief breakout of influenza, three Christmas's, four cousins under the age of four, presents, family and more food than you could eat in a month...here we are on Tuesday.  Not only did Movie Monday fly by, but so did our Christmas holiday.  Somehow we are now sitting on the brink of the new year.

I am sad that looking back at Christmas I feel overwhelmed and tired.  I didn’t start the traditions that I wanted to start with Scarlett, I didn’t stop to reflect on the real “reason for the season”, or enjoy one meal without having to shove the food in my mouth to get Scarlett in bed by six.  I am trying to embrace this reality, and know that as the holidays continue to come and go,  and the cousins continue to multiply the season will only get crazier.  Every year will be a new chance to start traditions, eat good food, laugh with family, sit by the fire, thank God for the birth of His Son and enjoy the magic of the holidays before I blink and it is gone.

On to the real reason for this post...Scarlett doing what she does best...being ridiculously cute in her Christmas pj's!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Movie Monday...better late than never.

a week in the life of Scarlett...new toys, new ways to clap at her own accomplishments, and lots of kisses for inanimate objects.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Saturday project day (two weeks behind)...

Chris spent the day tiling the shower...


YES...those are giant "baby eating" cockroaches.   This project has taken, needless to say, WAY too long...without thinking we decided to undertake this project renovation right before Chris went back to school in the fall and we are now finally covering up the exposed walls.  For the past three months only a towel stuffed tightly under the door has created a barrier from the bathroom to our bed...totally gross.
Here is the shower so far...

While Chris worked hard, I spent the day finishing craft projects on my long, growing list of projects.

Plaques for our hallway...got the silhouette idea here

Book wreath for our dining room

 Advent calendar


Picture hanger thing made from drift wood Chris and I found on the beach in Crescent City on our second honeymoon.

Birthday fun...


We had such a good time at Scarlett's birthday.  The kids had a blast decorating their own ceramic piggy banks and took home a baggy full of pig shaped crayons and pink and brown homemade coloring books.  After gathering every piece of my party planning mojo, I left the party tired but satisfied.  Thanks to everyone who joined us for Scarlett's special day! 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

but unfortunately it still feels like summer.

Chris and I bundled up after Scarlett's party on Saturday, stepped outside ready to pick the perfect tree to fill our house with the aroma of the season, only to shed layer after layer as we stepped into what felt like a summer night.

I look forward to this night every year.  There is something so magical about stepping onto a tree lot, scarf wrapped tight around my neck, surrounded by the sight, smell and aura of the Christmas season.  But this night we brought in a baby sitter, stepped into to seemingly summer air, rushed to the tree lot, picked one that had the least amount of dead needles, strapped it on the car, got McDonalds for dinner and rushed home in time to put Scarlett to bed.  Not quite the night I had been imagining. 

Luckily with one plug in the wall the magic was rekindled.  Add some ribbon, a few ornaments, and an angel on top and Christmas is in full bloom in the Becher household.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Movie Tuesday...

Courtesy of my dearest friend Laleanne...I can only pray that Scarlett will be lucky enough to have a friend as gracious, loving and steadfast as Lolli has been in my life.   Thanks for capturing a moment with my little girl. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Movie Monday...

The birthday party was a total success...I am officially the mother or an one year old little girl!  Pictures coming soon...for now enjoy this little movie Monday madness.
Kisses all around...and especially for the sock monkey.



Also, please be aware...there is an official one year old Scarlett monster on the loose.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The end of an era...

I am officially done being a food dispenser for Scarlett.  Goodbye pumping and expensive formula, hello whole milk.  I kept waiting for Scarlett to tell me she was done, feeding her only in when she wakes up and goes to bed at night.  I kept telling myself at a year I would be ready to cut her off completely. 

I am still feeding her briefly in the mornings as a comfort to Scarlett and honestly myself...there is a closeness that I am not yet willing to give up.  Although I still spend an equal amount of time holding her bottle before she closes her eyes at night, I will miss the connection created knowing a part of me is fueling her little body, growing her little fingers and toes.  As this stage ends we open the door to new experiments with food, sippy cups and self feeding.

As much as I have loved the stolen moments with Scarlett, her little warm body close to mine, her tiny fingers reaching up to grab my hair for comfort or inch their way into my mouth for a laugh, I knew this was coming.  I knew this would be the first of many hurdles I will have to survive on her quest to eventual self feeding freedom.  Before I know it she will be cooking her own breakfast and grabbing her own snacks as she is stepping out the door for school.  Scary...

Friday, December 10, 2010

One Year Down...

You ushered in your first birthday with a scream at 4:00am this morning. Why? Maybe your tummy was upset. Maybe you saw a creepy shadow on the wall. Maybe your bear pajamas were a bit too warm. Or, maybe you just wanted to be close. I held you for 20 minutes, trying to sooth you back into your dreams. Then your mother held you for another 20 minutes, snoozing on the couch until you dropped off to rest. It seems a fitting way to celebrate you presence in our lives; sacrifice.


You’ve been such an easy child this year that I often forget that parenting means sacrificing. I don’t remember many late nights with screams echoing off our walls or mornings where you did nothing but whine. In fact, your first year has been exactly the opposite. Most nights you’re mom and I have slept as well as you have. Most mornings we’ve played as freely as you. So, this morning was a good reminder. I love you and hope always to lay down my life for you.


Happy Birthday Scarlett. Here’s to a life of beauty, love, and grace. Oh...and sacrifice.


Dad

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A letter to the coach...

Have fun...


Don't get any of these...
because that would leave your players feeling


and




Score lots of these...

 

and come home  
 

and





See how that works for all of us!  Wish we could be there cheering you on.  Lots of love...your girls

Little drummer girl?

Seriously...she doesn't need parents when she has so much fun with the babysitters.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sneak peak to Scarlett's piggy birthday...


Tool skirt...for some reason she refused to let me take a picture of it on her head.

Photobucket

Pig crayons...saw the idea here...now on to the coloring books, the banner, the cupcakes, the piggy banks, the decorations, the food...did I mention that I greatly dislike planning parties...not exactly sure what I was thinking with this one.  All in the name of love.

November recap...

Movie Monday...

Please forgive the length of these videos...but she could seriously do this for hours.



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Laughing, smiling and teasing...

Eating popcorn on the couch, laughing, smiling, teasing. I forgot what it was like to be a "newlywed". To not care about what you did the rest of the day as long as you got to come home to your new husband that night. We would sit at the dinner table for hours, a bottle of wine, a game of cribbage, a fire in the fire place, smiling, laughing, teasing.

PhotobucketWhen did we lose this, when did life get tiring. I rush home, rush dinner, rush Scarlett to bed, throw on some sweats, and collapse on the couch asking Chris which episode of Dexter we finished the night before. Somewhere in the last three years, life slipped away and we are left with only tired shells of our former selves. Living two lives that didn't come together at the end of the day to form one.

Last night we fell into our position on the couch, curled up next to each other and turned on an episode of Dexter. Nothing new except the addition of popcorn. Moments later we found ourselves laughing, smiling and teasing. Tossing popcorn in the air, trying to catch it in our mouths...we love each other, but in these moments we love each other well.

We love without worry, without Scarlett, without Valley Christian Soccer, without lessons for the next day, without grading, without laundry, birthday planning, cleaning or diapers. We just love. We laugh, we smile, we tease. We strip off our shells of tired days and for those moments get lost in love. We recharge our tired bodies and remind each other the importance of a kiss and a snuggle. We remind ourselves that we are in love, the deep mushy gushy kind of love...the kind that will get us through the next fifty years of tired days.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Movie monday...

Self feeding begins...




Friday, November 26, 2010

The aftermath...

Giving Scarlett her own spoon might have been a bad idea...but it was fun.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Good Parenting?



This video debut is long overdue on the blog. This happened a couple of months ago. I'd like to draw your attention to the way the father quickly swoops to save his helpless daughter from danger. No hesitation or fear, just love for his little girl. Seriously, well done dad.

p.s. Note the daughter's drink selection. Another victory for paps.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Movie Monday...



Scarlett loves "talking" on the phone. When Chris is at work and I am at home he always tries to give us a "check in" call during the day...I think Scarlett gets confused.

Friday, November 19, 2010

View from my desk...

I walked in on Tuesday to the sight of Christmas.  Really...are we seriously decorating already?  It's not even Thanksgiving yet.  It looks like Christmas, it smells like Christmas, I might as well embrace the season...but seriously can we take it one holiday at a time?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Camping extravaganza...

Curvy roads are not my favorite. Curvy dark dirt roads, surrounded by fog, with a screaming hungry and tired baby are my least favorite. Our friends the Wards invited us for a little weekend getaway to the elevation of 7,400 feet. Tent packed and clothes layered we were off to a rocky start. The higher we climbed the less of the road we were able to see, 17.5 miles from Idyllwild Chris and I squinted in the dark to spot the dirt road that was supposed to lead us another 5 miles to our final camping destination. A half hour, 5 mile climb later, we found ourselves flashlights in hand setting up our family sized tent for the first time. Setting up a condo of a tent for the first time in the dark...not recommended.

The trip continued to challenge us by throwing in a nearly freezing dirt floor with nothing but a sleeping bag and tent to keep us warm (our fault being completely under prepared). Scarlett was in her pack n play crying, but still warm above the ground and surrounded in blankets. She wouldn't sleep, wouldn't eat so I brought her in my bag and cuddled up close...very close...it was a mummy bag. With no light, no clock, nothing to suggest any sense of reality, I lay there eyes closed drifting in and out of a light sleep. I woke to rub my feet together hoping to gain a little warmth but the movement only let more cold air in, I reached over to Scarlett and quickly realized that there was no movement, no breath only a cold stiff face. I yelled to Chris to wake up, shaking my bag off and squeezing her tightly, blew in her face and kissed her lips. It was then I heard it, through the ruckus that Chris and I were creating there was a soft breath of life. She was breathing, our little girl that just seconds ago I was fearing for her life, was breathing. She was sleeping quietly, still oddly limp. Chris and I bent over her, laying her with kisses. I have never had a moment in my life when I was more thankful for the grace of God. I laid her next to me for the remainder of the night, arm draped over her chest to count the rise and fall of each breath. We laid this way for what seemed like days but I am sure was only a few hours. In these moments I felt the deepest love. A love that I know Scarlett will never understand until she has a child of her own, a love that will get me through the teenage years of "I hate you mom", a love that will bring tears to my eyes when her father is walking her down the aisle.

Needless to say the rest of the trip had nowhere to go but up. We hiked, we ate, we drove to a new, lower altitude and much warmer campsite, we laughed, we shared and we watched the girls play together in the dirt. It was a successful first family camping trip with a few bumps along the way, memories that will last and stories that we will share for years to come.

Photobucket

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Movie Monday's

I love home movies, I love watching them over and over again.  I love how they remind me of a moment in time that was captured and frozen unable to thaw by the dulling memory.

In an attempt to indulge this deep rooted love I am making myself a goal of recording one home movie a week and posting it.  I am calling this escapade Movie Monday's!  I am doing this in a hope to capture all of the first of our little monster.  She is turning one and I am anticipating lots of new words, new steps, and new laughter.  I can not wait to savor these moments as they come and be ale to smile back on them as I share them with her when she is grown.

P.S.  I am fully aware that it is now Tuesday...is that a new weekly blog post goal faux pas?

New favorite activity...stair climbing.  She could do this ALL day long...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Halloween...

Yes, I know this is two weeks late...but better late than  never right?

Chris and I went for a costume that made the viewer think outside the box, grasp the whole picture, and still  come out perplexed...


Small Wonder and The Hanging Gardens of Babylon...yes, small wonder and a "big wonder" of the world.  I blame Chris entirely.

Crawling



I found this little gem on my dads iphone the other day and quickly emailed it to myself to share via blog land.  I was happy that this was recorded as Chris and I failed our parental duties of documenting all major developments in our daughters life.  Scarlett is now a full blown crawling machine, escaping us one dirty knee at a time.

Thanks for saving us from a serious parenting failure Grandpa!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fun with grandma...

One of the best ways to put a smile on my face is to remind me of how much I love my little girl.  I think she is the best thing, the bee's knees, the cat's pajamas.  She makes my life so full.

Sitting at work I got a couple smiles today after my mom sent me these...

with the caption of "auntie Breanna is teacher her to enjoy thrill rides early"

with the caption of "does this ever happen to you?"



Getting out

I have found I spend most of my days off inside, doing laundry, putting away laundry, tidying up the house, shopping, cooking dinner.  And therefore, Scarlett spends the day inside.  Yesterday I sat outside with Scarlett and my granny enjoying the beautiful day and realized that Scarlett LOVES being outside.  She picked leaves, reorganized the patio furniture, played with sticks, said her first word, "Dexter" (my parents dog).  She explored something other than the cabinets and carpet.  I have been using the excuse "until she can walk" but she takes in the fresh air around her and loves every minute of it regardless of the lack of total coordination.  I now admit, I have been a lazy mother.  It has been easier for me to keep tabs on the up and coming toddler when she is playing with the same toys and opening the same cupboards.  I am ready to move out of the expected world of clean clothes and embrace the holes in the knees and dirt in the fingernails.  Look out nature, here comes trouble. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A new play toy...



Toilet paper.  Chris accidentally bought single ply, way to thin to not get pee on your hands, toilet paper, Scarlett overheard how much we hate it and is making it her mission to rid us of our final roll...at least it keeps her busy and next to me when I am getting ready in the morning.






















































Apparently my mom hates her toilet paper too
 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Obsessive behavior...

Since having Scarlett I realized that I am crazy obsessive over "stuff". I have to know where things are at all times otherwise my mind is consumed by the thought of every place that it could be hiding. I have always been this way but it came out in full force when a child with even more "stuff" to obsess over was introduced.

Before marriage and babies I would go to bed at night scanning the invisible checklist in my mind, my Granny's old Bible, in the drawer next to my bed, my baby blanket (yes, I still had this until the day I got married), in my arms or under my pillow; my mothers wedding ring, safely tucked away in my jewelry box. All these things had a reason, history, or emotion attached that gave them meaning. Now I worry about pacifiers, bottles, stuffed animals and tiny shoes. I am constantly counting pacifiers, wondering how I could have lost four in ten months. My bag is always packed the same every morning and comes back to me in disarray every night. I take an inventory and a mental note of who might have left what at which house.

I know I am totally crazy, what kind of mom thinks she can keep track of every little thing in her house?  Well, honestly, this one.  But, after realizing that I am secretly driving myself insane,  I decided to make a change. Only sweat the big stuff.  I'll hang onto those things that evoke emotion, the dresses that I can give to Scarlett for her future family,  the pictures reflecting memories that will fade with time, the jewelry that might loose its sparkle but always keep its story.  I will surrender to just enough obsessive behavior to remember what is important and let the rest of my craziness slowly chip away one pacifier at a time.  Here's to new beginnings...

The kid in us...



I finally consider myself an adult.  After surviving the stress and worry of high school, enjoying the freedom of college, creating a life with a spouse, buying a house and adding one more to our family number, I finally feel i have hit the adult mark.

I love being an adult and a parent, I wouldn't make any changes.  Yet, in those moments that Chris and I get to step away from the invisible pressures of making our own decisions, cooking our own dinner and working full time to pay the mortgage we take full advantage of leaving the adult in us at home and act like kids.
 
 
 
Thanks Mike and Cassia for a duty free evening of friends, fun, and a lot of red heads!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall...


I love going to a pumpkin patch. I love seeing all the kids laughing while trying to pick out the biggest, most perfect pumpkin to host their carving creations. My mind runs wild with all of the possible ways to use the overlooked pumpkins to my personal craving's advantage. A twisted stem can become a hooked nose, bumpy skin becomes a witches wart or over sized freckles, a dent in the flesh becomes a deep rooted scar from a sword fight once lost.

I can't wait to teach Scarlett to see outside the perfect pumpkin box and create something genius, but for now I will settle with taking a hundred (literally) pictures of her sticking pumpkins in her mouth and saying "dada".









Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Starting to Feel Like a Dad


I remember the first time I felt like I was married. It wasn't at the alter or the reception or even the honey moon. It was a month after we said our vows when I introduced myself and Andrea to some guy I didn't know at a party. "Hi, I'm Chris. And this is MY WIFE, Andrea." It was the closest thing I've had to an out of body experience, like some one was using my voice. The words had never fit before, but for some strange reason that night, they did.

Fatherhood has been much the same. I teared up the first time Scarlett's voice graced this world and I wept as soon as we stepped through the front door with our child in arm. But, in spite of the overwhelming emotion, I didn't feel like a father. I felt more like a 6 year old wearing his dad's trousers. It's only been the past few months that this whole father thing has really sunken in.

The big milestones have been weird and oddly self absorbed. Like the first night I spent away from home when she was 3 months old. I missed her so much I could hardly sleep. Or the first time I was alone with Scarlett over night this summer when Andy went to Pittsburgh. If I didn't feed her, change her, rock her, make her laugh, no one would. And most recently, when we went on a camping trip this past weekend and I feared for her safety for the first time.

Some good friends of ours from the ole supper club (Tom, Katie and Scarlett's little friend Edith) invited us to camp at a place just north of Idyllwild called Boulder Basin. We knew it'd be cold, but didn't realize just how cold. The overnight temperature was below freezing and we were at 7,300 feet. Needless to say, the air was thin and noses were red. That night I could hardly sleep. Yeah, I was freezing. But, the whole night I was terrified that Scarlett was too cold or couldn't breath or for some unspeakable reason, wouldn't make it through the night. It was the first time I was incapacitated by the thought of my daughter's potential harm. So, I tossed and turned and freaked out in the freezing cold the way only a father would.

It's strange how life pushes you through on to new stages long before you're dressed for the part. There's no exam to pass before you become a voting citizen, no course to become a faithful husband, and no handbook to memorize to become the endearing father; you just become. That's how I feel: I'm becoming. It's been a long, slow process, but I think I'm becoming a father, and I love it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

All stairs beware...

Scarlett is on a mission.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A letter to Scarlett...

It's October, your first taste of Fall...you are ten months old, only two month before you are officially a toddler.  I know this is getting repetitive and I have said it every month but your dad and I love you more than we ever thought we could.  Our hearts burst at the sight of your tiny head peeking over the crib in the morning, your arms reaching while your hands are silently screaming "milk", my stomach turns thinking about all of the ways that you can hurt yourself and knowing that there is nothing I can do to shield you from most of them, my eyes water from laughing at your growing sense of humor.  You learn quickly (sign language, kisses, lizard, bunny and fishey "sounds", showing us our nose) and move into the next new thing just as fast, completely forgetting everything you learned in the past.  You are already prepareing your self for the toddler tantrums by throwing your head back and making it nearly impossible to control your wiggly body, just to show that you mean business.  You are weary of all things new, reaching out a hand you look back at me to make sure that it is okay to touch and when I say "yes" you go for it, and when I say "no", you still go for it.

No matter where you go in life and no matter what crazy decisions you make, we will always be there for you.  You have a family that will do anything for you.  Not just your dad and me, but your Aunts and Uncles, your God Parents, your Grandparents, your extended "stand-in" Aunts and Uncles.  You are a lucky girl and we are very lucky parents to have support and love through our families inevitable growing pains.  All of these people will always be there for you to care for you through the terrible twos, the "I just want to grow up already" tweens, and the "I know it all" teens.  We are all ready for the roller coaster, strapped in, hands up, screaming the whole way.


And some ten month video updates...





Thoughts on Halloween

I dislike Halloween. I love the pumpkins, pumpkin carving, pumpkin pie, the fall colors and crisp night air, but I could do without Halloween. When I was a little girl my mom got so excited to dress me up for my first trick or treat experience, I was ready to go, bag in hand, when I changed my mind and begged to stay home. Another year I was a nurse and someone in my family had the brilliant idea that I should collect all of my candy in a bedpan, not knowing what a bedpan was I conceded until a little girl at one of the houses opend the door and said "look mommy, a toilet". Although these stories hang heavy in my mind, it isn't these memories that caused the sour tast in my mouth. It is the parties and the overwhlming expectation to be "creative". Don't get me wrong, I love to dress up, give me a themed party and I am there with my Egyption, decade, pirate or golfer garb on and ready to p.a.r.t.y., but leave the spectrum of costume glory wide open and my creative juices freeze immediately.
So here goes nothing...another Halloween, another costume crisis in which Chris and I will pull something together at the last minute and call it good. Show up at the party, out costumed by creative overachievers who I secretly admire for genius use of props, glitter, feathers, masks and more.
Happy Halloween everyone! (We are totally open to creative suggestions!)


P.S. Scarlett is going to be a skunk...and I must say I really enjoy dressing her up (she has worn it twice already for no reason)...I have a feeling all future Halloween joy will come from letting my creative juices fall purely on my kids.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Surprise love note of the week...


Reading is fun...