Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Getty....

A couple of weeks ago Scarlett had a play date with her friend Edith.

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I decided the first time I saw Scarlett pick up a crayon that I wanted to make art a big part of her life.

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She loves to draw, to paint with water, and make a mess of herself and the floor anytime I let her run wild with finger paints.

I have been wanting to take Scarlett to the Getty for a while but was too nervous to do it by myself, so after very little convincing from a fellow mother, we decided this would make a perfect play day. I quickly realized the art was more for the moms,  and all little ones wanted to do was climb stairs and run on the grassy hills. Regardless, Edith and Scarlett have now been exposed to the wonderful world of art. The Getty is too far to make this a ongoing expedition, but I think I could fit in another day or two in the name of art education.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Meatless Wednesday


Polenta as a pizza crust, roasted tomatoes and garlic pureed into a sauce, basil, spinach and cashew cheese for the topping…this pizza will get your taste buds tingling from all of the unique flavors.  Enjoy!

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crafty Tuesday

I am working on a very special project for a very special friend who is having a very special little baby girl in July.  I am super excited for this project but it is taking me WAY more time than I expected.  I take it to work to do on my lunch break, I slip in a little sewing during Scarlett’s nap, and when she is down for the night...let the finger pricking begin.  I spent five hours working Friday night, two movies later I finally felt like I was making a dent in this overwhelming project.  I am having so much fun pushing myself to create like I have never before created and I can’t wait to give away the final product to the most deserving of friends. 

But with all of that said I needed to take Saturday to create something quick and easy, I needed to see the finished craft sitting in my hands, usable.  So I made these magnetic paper dolls and a felt crayon roll (lots of tutorials online...I just winged it).  Two super easy afternoon projects and I felt revamped and ready to jump right back into my crazy time consuming secret project.

















Monday, March 28, 2011

Movie Monday...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fridge raider...

Scarlett had a blast pulling all of the bottles out of the shelf and pretend drinking them...until mean ol mommy realized how much energy was being wasted and cold was being lost. Queue the tears.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011


I get a big kick out of dressing Scarlett, have since I first buttoned that beautifully muggy white hospital issued onesie last December. Much to my shame, the only day of the week I was the first to respond to the morning scream was Sunday, more affectionately known as Cute Dress Day. I'm the guy that nags my wife for taking too long in the mornings, but I would try 4 dresses on Scarlett before I'd let her leave the house. She had to look just right in the light of my eyes.

I've thought about this a lot and I realize I always pick outfits that seem a better fit for a toddler or even a small kid. I want Scarlett to look older (see above picture with her skinny jeans). I keep anticipating her voice, disposition, passions, abilities and want to visualize them now. A easy way of making me feel like I have a classy daughter is by putting her in a classy dress Sunday mornings.

The point of all this? This afternoon Scarlett bunkered in for the most intensely stubborn "I have no reason to be pissed off" fit I've seen. She woke up from her afternoon nap and screamed for an hour, seriously, an hour, for no reason at all. I tried everything: food, drink, diaper, toys, ignoring her. All she wanted was to sit in my arms and be pissed off. It took a solid 20 minutes of pouting on my lap for her to finally get over it. It was wild.

She's becoming a kid. I've been dressing her up like a kid for months because I want so badly to see her that way, but today I did. She wanted comfort for no knowable reason and fought until she got it.

(written by Chris in December...I just noticed it in the "drafts" section and thought I would post it...pretty sure it was never finished but I am posting it anyway)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tip toes...

I love it when Scarlett reaches for something on her tip toes. To see those little feet and chubby arms stretching their full length...so stinking cute.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Our future author or artist...

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A couple of weeks ago Scarlett found a piece of paper and pen (with no ink) and walked around the house trying to find the perfect spot to settle herself and start writing.  She spent 45 minutes moving from spot to spot until she found the perfect place, she then spent another 10 just sitting there and pretending to write.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cooking together...

We love cooking.  There is just something so fun about coming home setting all of the ingredients on your counter and getting to work.  To see the immediate results, and enjoy the finished product, together.  We spend this time (on the nights Scarlett is in a good mood) sitting, relaxing, talking, eating, and if the want to spoil ourselves, sharing a bottle of wine.

This year for Lent Chris and I decided to give a no meat diet a try, and I LOVE it. Dinners are cheaper, I am reaching way outside my grab a chicken breast and stuff it recipe collection. We have had polenta night, chickpea chili night and stuffed baked potato night, all a success. I always feel full, but not too full, and always ready for a shared nectarine treat for dessert.

We have allowed ourselves one night a week for fish. These nights are always welcomed with open arms and watering mouths. Last week we made the last of our fresh fish, caught in local waters by one of Chris's colleagues. We love fish, especially fresh. So we decided to keep it simple. Browned with a little oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Served with rosemary scalloped potatoes and brussel sprouts pan fried to soften and baked with garlic and a little cheesy topping.

Let the mouth watering begin...

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Reflections...

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Babies and chess...

A couple of years ago Chris volunteered at his school to be in charge/supervise the chess club.  Not knowing anything about chess or more importantly not know how to play it, he started researching.  Asking friends for tips, learning the rules, playing against the computer, playing against his students, and every once in a while he asks me if I want to play/learn.  I tried this once with him and it was no fun for either of us.  After four minutes, I was confused and bored, what is that piece called again?, which direction can this one move?, oh you have to think fifteen steps ahead in order to even be on par with your opponent...no thanks.  He still asks and I always say no...so this weekend he turned to the other lady of the house,  hoping that if he starts her early it might peak her interest fifteen years from now. 
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Movie Monday..

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bed Time...

This is what bed time looks like in our house...
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And this is what morning looks like...
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Email...

For those of you (specifically my mom) who are interested in receiving an email notification of our posts...I have added a new gadget at the top of the blog in my sidebar.

Enter your email, press submit and you are ready to be bombarded by Living A-8 emails.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dancing in a fort...

Usually our Saturday mornings are leisurely.  We wake up at 6 with Scarlett, throw her in the bed with us, play, go out to breakfast and come home for our much needed naps.  Unfortunately this Saturday we did not have these luxuries.  I had to work and Chris was proctoring SAT's.
Chris was out the door at 7 and I still had a couple of hours to kill with Scarlett before the babysitters would arrive,  I wanted to take advantage of the sad excuse for a Saturday that I was about to experience.  So I turned on toddler radio, got Scarlett dancing and started to build my first ever attempt at a fort.  Seriously, I can't remember EVER building a fort.  I started with a little black blanket, an Angels blanket and the coffee table...completely unsuccessful .  The blankets kept falling and sliding off the couch.  Disaster.  Then I thought...sheets, chairs, books, duh.  I grabbed a sheet, all of our dining room chairs and went to work.  Scarlett and I rocked our Saturday morning dance party in the perfect makeshift fort.  Well, Scarlett spent most of the time running in and out, laughing every time she had to duck under the sheet to escape the grasp of her amateur fort building mother. But after last Saturday, I have been converted...everything is better when done inside a fort.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eating...

She won't do it.  She refuses to eat.  We put her in her chair three times a day, we give her options, vegetables, fruit, meat, cheese, spoons, hands, messy, dry, goopy, nothing...she takes a bite, spits it out and throws it on the floor.  Last week, after much urging from my husband, I took Scarlett to the doctor.

She has gained weight, jumped in the percentage charts, and is a totally normal healthy happy baby.  The pediatrician (not our normal doctor) within seconds of walking in the door looked at me, looked at her and said "she's fine, you're small, she's small".   While Scarlett teared the bright orange "danger" sticker off of the cabinet, opened all of the drawers and proceeded to pull out the medical contents hidden inside, the pediatrician told me she was active.  That her 15 month old body is acting like a 18 month old toddler.  Eating attitude and all.

Scarlett is too busy to bother with eating, she wants to run, play, explore and create.  I love this about her.  The second she realized what her legs were for she was using them to conquer every unknown part of the house.  Opening and closing doors, climbing and falling off sofas and chairs, pushing light pieces of furniture all over the house, testing all of her boundaries (ahem...the fireplace).   She is an explorer.  She explores the world by touching and feeling and doing, by pushing and pulling and sometimes licking.

Although Chris and I constantly worry about her nutrition, I know that she is getting what she needs and when she is hungry she will eat.  Today we are just going to watch her explore and encourage her to continue to conquer her world one busy, meal less day at a time.

P.S. Why in the world does the pediatricians office not have child proof locks on their cabinets and "danger" doors.

P.P.S.
To our little one being a toddler ahead of her time.  Please slow down...
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I leave her alone for a second...

and this happens.

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Movie Wednesday?

She can't wait for Summer.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Movie Monday fail...

Due to serious craziness in the Becher household...Movie Monday failed to appear yesterday.  Movies were made, and hopefully will be available tonight. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Slides...

I have been trying to take Scarlett to the park at least twice a week to get out and stretch those crazy run happy legs of hers.  I buckle her in the stroller, start at a brisk walking pace and point out the trees, birds, squirrels and ducks. And oh the ducks. You would think that Scarlett forgot the English language and was blessed with the gift of speaking duck. All quacks, all the time.

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We continue strolling, and when she sees the brightly colored play set in front of her swimming in a sea of greens and browns, she yells "pak, pak" (translation = "park, park"),  kicks her legs and wiggles her body, using any method of escape she can think of.  I let her out of the stroller and she takes off running, or walking as quickly as her little legs will carry her, straight to the slide.  It is always her first stop.  Without fail she will spend her first five minutes trying to climb the slide from the bottom up.  Take two tiny steps up the incline, sit on her bottom and pretend to slide while saying "whoa".

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What is it about slides that entice you to start from the bottom up? I remember when I was a kid and I would do the same thing.  Find the perfect position of my shoes on the plastic to get the grip I needed to maximize the force of my step. The thrill of the struggle to get to the top made the "whoa" totally worth it.  Five feet to the right of the slide is a set of stairs that would take her straight to the top.  But, apparently it is the effort put into the climb that makes the twelve inch glide to the bottom the thrill of her day.  Later I get tired of watching her climb for her thrills and put her straight to the top, she laughs the whole way down.

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I have showed her how to climb the stairs and get to the top on her own but she still chooses to start from the bottom.    So for now I will watch her struggle to climb knowing that it won't be long before she can make it to the top, breathless and ready for the two seconds of bliss she will get on the way down.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fingerpainting...

She loves it.   We stripped her down and went to town.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Movie Monday...

We are in the moving from one place to another stage...which means I find my keys in the toy chest, cell phone in the stroller basket, and magnets in the kitchen drawers.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

New camera...Im obsessed

The first day I got it Scarlett was the subject of my obsession ALL day long. I'm sure she was ready to bat the camera out of my hands by bed time.

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Friday, March 4, 2011

Ribbons and bows...

I'm not one of those girls that dreamed about their perfect wedding since the beginning of time...but I am one of those girls that dreamed about having their own little girl. A little one to put in fluffy dresses, patent leather shoes, and a matching over sized bow in her curly red hair.
Since day one, dressing Scarlett has been a blast. At first I made sure that she never wore the same thing twice and she never left this house without a headband or bow. Now, our mornings are more chaotic and I am happy if she doesn't scream the whole way through the clothing checklist, pants and shirt (hopefully matching), check, socks, check, shoes, check, bow...never going to happen. Sadly no matter how much I try to convince Scarlett that this sweet little bow is going to make her beautiful red hair that much more awesome, she never falls for it.  I chase her around the house at least once a week sticking a barrette in her hair, distracting her with something enticing and just when I think I won the battle, five minutes later she realizes that something just isn't right and it is coming from the top of her head.  My live dress up doll dreams are shattered.
And to make matters worse, last week I had the crazy idea that I could turn her toddler mullet into cute little pig tails, once we got past the wiggling and whining, I had created two of the most perfect pigtails ever...five minutes later Scarlett was laughing in my face and spitting on my dreams, one perfect pigtail at a time.
The battle for pigtails and bows will continue in the Becher household...for now I will settle for fluffy dresses and patent leather shoes.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Puppy love...

She loves herself some Sadie...

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Animals are not her thing...

Dear animal kingdom,
If you are not a dog or a duck, I'm not impressed.
Love, Scarlett


We took Scarlett to the Irvine Park and this park means serious business.  There is a 15 minute train ride that introduces you to the park grounds, a very tiny lake filled with people riding in over sized paddle boats, hiking trails and the Orange County Zoo.  The zoo has a $2 entry fee, but luckily I printed out a coupon online that was buy one ticket get the second free, and to be honest I felt a little bit lame using it.  Should I have just coughed up the extra $2 and considered it a donation to the goats, bears and peacocks we were about to see?  Hey, these days $2 is a bagel on my way to work...and they charged me $3.75 for two pieces of white bread and a slice of American cheese from the snack shack, I considered us even.

The Zoo was surprisingly fun.  The first thing that you see when entering is the "kids space".  It is an interactive petting zoo where they have buckets full of brushes so that the kids can chase goats and instead of pulling their tails, they can do the zookeepers job and groom them...win, win situation.  Happy interactive kids, and even happier shiny coated goats.  Although, in true Scarlett Zoo attendant fashion, she was way more interested in putting the brush on her hand and smiling than actually using the brush for it intended purpose, shining goat fur.


The rest of our zoo visit was rather uneventful, the cougar was sharpening his teeth on a tree branch, the bears were peacefully hibernating in the corner of their glass box, and Scarlett managed to keep her face in completely uninterested mode the entire time.

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Overall it was a beautiful day in the park with a stop by the zoo. Maybe one of these days Scarlett will actually smile while looking at animals that aren't over exaggerated, cartoon characters flashing on a screen while I am trying to shove one more bite of yogurt in her mouth.