august john :: growing up

Oiy. Be still my heart. It is bursting into a tiny million pieces at the moment.

We went to Kindergarten orientation with this dude yesterday.

IMG_4383

He’s ready, nervous and excited. I’m nervous, excited and sad. All the feelings exploding at once. Me and all the other first time Kindergarten moms. I know I’m not the first to feel all these things.

I’ve been struggling with and exploring the idea of Homeschooling for a few years. I know many families that do Homeschool and I’m completely fascinated with the idea. It’s an exploding trend and I see and understand 100% the appeal to Homeschooling. I’ve seen some really successful adults emerge from a Homeschool education.

So many reasons hold me back from jumping in.

1) Is the social stigma around Homeschooling that intimidates me. I’m a sucker for what people think and how they judge.

2) Would I be helping or hurting my children in the process. This summer with all four on my own everyday was NOT easy. This mama needs a break sometimes.

3) Gus is a social creature. He’s shy but he loves his group of dudes he’s grown close to in preschool and sports. It would kill me to not send him to school with his best buds every day.

4) I’m not seeking it for religious reasons. I’m not a conservative religious person and I’m not seeking that kind of environment for my children. The reason the Catholic school in Delano wasn’t the choice for us. I’ve searched many Homeschooling Co-ops in the area and I haven’t found one that isn’t a strong conservative religion based group. I can’t even pretend I would fit in with something like that. And I can’t think we can jump into Homeschooling without a co-op. We need a community.

Anyway. After spending the morning at Kindergarten orientation my interest in Homeschooling peeked again. As they went through the curriculum they use and then jumped into their school lock down drills I thought “wait a minute”. I so don’t want my kids having to worry about lock downs during their reading lessons. I can teach that same curriculum at home myself with out all the distractions that school brings. School lock down drills are just one of the many reasons on my list why I would choose Homeschooling. But that one jumped out and hit hard yesterday.

I’m going to continue to struggle with my choice to Homeschool or not to Homeschool. A choice I’ll probably never actually make so I’m not even sure why I’m spilling all my thoughts out right now. I know most people cringe at the idea of Homeschooling. I don’t need a list of reasons why not to Homeschool. I already know all those reasons. Mitch reminds me daily, Ha!

I digress. Gus is going to Kindergarten in 10 days. He’s going to love it. And my heart is bursting with all the feelings.

Posted in August John | 1 Comment

a becker summer :: 2015 :: part one

Catching up on some good ol’ summer fun photos between my real camera and mostly my iPhone camera. I know, I know, I’ve left you all hanging on what the Becker’s have been up to for the last three months – besides Amelia getting a month older every four weeks or so. So let me make it this easy for y’all and break this into a few posts while I completely overload your eyeballs with adorable pictures of my precious children (or children that made the last three months incredibly long. School starts in 12 days, right?)

IMG_3724

Dancing in the rain … and the mud …IMG_3756

Anyone notice Greta’s wardrobe change in the middle of so called rain dance. Completely and totally necessary. Of course.IMG_3761IMG_3767

It was large city vehicle day in Buffalo. You better believe we were some of the first in line for this. It was all fun and games until Greta fell out of a large machine. Then it was time to go, mostly because of her blood piercing screams.

Gus the bus driverIMG_3785

And Lucas the bus rider who was completely fine and excited about that roleIMG_3788

That was until he got in the driver’s seat…IMG_3793 IMG_3796

Fanciest tractor driver you ever did see. For real. The fanciest. IMG_3799

Gus reminds everyone the importance of safety on a parked vehicle with no keys in sight. Buckle up!IMG_3802 IMG_3805

Greta more than enjoyed her role as a police officer with her brother in the back seat for a mere 60 seconds of bliss.IMG_3808

And Guster more than enjoyed his role as the dump truck driver. About right for those two I would say. IMG_3812

Sideways picture. annoying. sorry. But had to post … just because they are my babies.IMG_3813 IMG_3815

Ugh. Greta! What are you teaching him? Nothing is safe from destruction with this one. Nothing! But it’s a little funny. I mean why else did I snap a photo, right?IMG_3820

I kind of love this picture. So I post it on multiple sights. IMG_3825

Greta’s version of her flying balloon photo. Oh ho ho. No way was she going to use mom’s balloon drawing. No. Way. She drew her own and much better version I admit. And by the amount of foot prints, how many times do you think Lucas ran through while we were attempting this professional grade photo shoot which resulted in much not so pleasant yelling from older siblings that he was ruining it all. Beautiful memories we are making I tell you.
IMG_3845

Grainy iPhone t-ball photo. This kid’s obsession with baseball grows stronger by the day. And holy cow, is that a mini Mitch or what? The looks and the baseball obsession. And the camouflage knee-high socks with his baseball uniform. Mini Mitch, right? And can I mention that his team name was the Blue Wahoo’s. I mean has there ever been a better team name than the Blue Wahoo’s. I think not. IMG_0001

IMG_3903 IMG_3842

Sleep over party in the top bunk. I’m a mom so I need to snap and share photos of my sleeping kids. Especially when they are sleeping together and seemingly liking each other. It’s basically cheesy mom protocol.  So totally  justified. 
IMG_3847

Aaaaand the first tooth is lost! There was a lengthily conversation on how much money the tooth fairy leaves these days. Let’s just say Mitch lost.IMG_3848

Because sometimes I’m a desperate stay at home mom and I will try just about anything with my four kids to keep us entertained. So yes, I took all four kids to a movie … by myself … to the free Wednesday morning movies in Delano. Let’s just say we ONLY did this once. I’m not even sure they’d let us come back again. Greta had to wear her fancy plastic princess shoes to the movie – which she received multiple comments on. You’re only fueling her fire people!IMG_3882

Totally news worthy! One of my children is in the water. Of their own free will. And smiling. This was a rare occasion with my brood. We don’t do water.  IMG_3907

And even more news worthy … one of my children (the brave one obviously) is touching. a. dog!! Even more of a rare occasion in our family.

IMG_3916

Can you find the Target Store in their city lay out. I mean it was one of the first things they added. Can’t build a city with out a Target. Oh wait, except we live in a city without a Target. My kids are way smarter than the Delano city planners. IMG_3922

Another successful summer of Sports Camp completed for this one. 3 hours a day for five days. He loved it just as much as last year. He’s so grown up now that he didn’t even cry on the last day because it was over like last year. More than necessary sadness, yes. But no tears for this big boy. IMG_3935

At the beach! But not in the water because as mentioned before we don’t do water. But we do snacks near the water! So good thing we went to the beach for that. IMG_3936

Ah man, that was a long hard walk. Wasn’t it guys?IMG_3940

One of many summer library days. I think one of my most favorite things in life is seeing my kids looking at books. IMG_3945 IMG_3950

And this summer the Becker’s totally got their inner nerd on and we got crazy about puzzles. IMG_3958

IMG_4134

All right, all right. I realize that if I post one more picture of my kids building puzzles you’ll never read my blog again. Sorry, no Disneyland or Tropical Beach vacation to post about. Just puzzles on my dining room table. Because we are that exciting.

So with that … stay tuned for part two!!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

amelia mary :: 6 months

6 months old is my most favorite age of babies. And here is our Millie. 6 months old and growing and blooming at an ultra fast speed.

DSC_0177

She has gone from being one of our hardest, fussiest infants to being the easiest, happiest and sweetest little 6 month old a person could ask for.

DSC_0181She brings so much joy and is so easy to love. It’s hard not to overload those smushy cheeks with kisses all day long.

DSC_0163She is rocking on her hands and knees almost all the time meaning crawling is in the near future for this one.

She’s at 78% for height, 88% for weight and 92% head circumference. About right on track for one of our babies.

Posted in amelia Mary | 4 Comments

amelia mary :: 5 (and a half) months

I’m late again getting her monthly post up. Sorry Amelia, this may be a reoccuring theme for the rest of your first year. Don’t hold it against me.

I didn’t even take one of my “official” monthly photos this time. So I’m writing this blog update with iPhotos from my phone. Best mom of four ever she’ll say someday. Maybe. Hopefully.

I try to rock her to sleep most afternoons for her nap. And just when I think she’s asleep and I move to get up from the rocker she pops her head up and gives me a big ol’ grin as if to say “just kidding”. Every. single. time.       Lucas is all get out of my swing Millie. And she’s all too bad mom put me in here and I love it.     And all the signs of moving on from the newborn stage are here: Sitting up  Feeding herself  Attempting spoon feeding  wrestling with siblings       And parents    And a budding personality providing lots of entertainment      But the life of a five month old is exhausting especially when they don’t nap. So she catches a snooze whenever and where ever she can.  Millie, you are cruising along, holding your own in this family and growing so fast. It’s so fun.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

father’s day :: 2015

Happy Father’s Day to the guy who smiled politely when we were dating and I told him I wanted four kids some day and didn’t hit the ground running instead. Happy Father’s Day to the guy who finds a way to make almost all of my crazy ideas come to life. 

DSC_0116

Happy Father’s Day to this guy. The guy who happily does everything and anything for his four kids. The most patient person I know. 

DSC_0109

I think they know already how lucky they are as he is usually always the preferred parent. Happy Father’s Day, Mitchell. We are the luckiest!

DSC_0122

Our quick “wait we haven’t taken a Father’s Day picture” picture after baths and before bed. Meaning jammies, blankies, and wet hair in picture. We got it done. #reallife

#ifoneneedssunglassestheyallneedsunglasses

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

amelia mary :: 4 months

DSC_0074 DSC_0121 DSC_0138My sweet, sensitive, shy little one. (well, she’s not very little but you know what I mean)

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

last day of school 2015 :: exit interview

first day of school

first day of school

last day of school

last day of school

  • This is how I write my name:

DSC_0063

  • I loved learning about: watching our tadpoles grow
  • My favorite part of school was: playing outside
  • My best friends are: Chase, Ryan and Jack
  • My favorite book is: “The Ocean Is”
  • My favorite colors are: Red, Orange and Black
  • When I grow up I want to be: Batman
  • This summer I want to: go swimming and on boat rides

first day of school

first day of school

last day of school

last day of school

  • This is how I write my name

DSC_0060

  • This year I loved learning about: …nothing…
  • My favorite part of school was: playing outside
  • My best friends are: Sam and Hailey and Delainy and Lucy and Alyse and Cora and and and (I couldn’t keep up)
  • My favorite book is: “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”
  • My favorite colors are: Purple and pink and blue and orange and green and yellow
  • When I grow up I want to be: Elsa
  • This summer I want to: Swim in a rainbow pool

Annual last day of school celebratory ice cream treat at Linnie’s!  

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

august john :: pre-k graduation

DSC_0080Three years of preschool have come and gone and this guy is ready for kindergarten. When? How? What? Stop it!

DSC_0070

The future class of 2028 is headed to the big school. This mama is so not ready. But I guess I don’t get a say.

DSC_0077His teacher, Mrs. Stotts, tells me this boy has bloomed the most out of all her students. She may tell everyone that. But this guy started the school year not saying a word or only whispering when he had to answer a question. He wouldn’t make eye contact with anyone and tended to be the kid who stood off to the side while everyone else played. He ended the school year with so many friends, a talkative little guy who loves to talk about sports and science and superheros, and one who would die if he had to miss a day of school. He’s lucky he had such an awesome teacher who focused on building his self esteem every day. From day one she promised me she’d work on that. How awesome is that? I love good teachers!

DSC_0090

August thought she was awesome too.

DSC_0091Chase is August’s most very best friend that he met in his class this year. And Chase is a foot taller than August. Ha. They do everything together. Like really. Everything.

DSC_0098

Buddy, we are so proud of you. I may joke that I don’t want you to be in kindergarten. But I’m kind of sort of just kidding. I have too many kids at home. You have to go. And I am SO darn excited for you. You are going to love it. But I honestly will miss you being at home with us.

Posted in August John | 1 Comment

greta ann :: 4 years old

How did we go from here

DSC_0114

To here

DSC_0052

In four short years. I mean really, you look so mature to me today.

I say this almost every year with every kid on every birthday. But it’s so true. So I’ll keep saying it every year with every kid on every birthday. I know I’m most likely the only parent who ever thought of this idea of kids growing up too fast and I’m super original here. But really I can’t believe my baby girl is bigger, older and that we’ve been responsible enough parents to get you to the next year. The parenting part being the most shocking part of this whole thing.

IMG_4936

This third year was one of fun, drama and adventure with this girl. Most likely to never slow down or change in those respects. If anyone was meant for the big sister role it was Greta. You love up Lucas and Amelia all day every day. Even though Lucas may not be open to receiving your love all day every day. But since you are persistent and determined and you never. back. down. even when he desperately wants you to. But he does admire you and watch your every move and loves to dance to your school song that you sing to us multiple times a day.

Amelia doesn’t seem to mind all the love … yet.

IMG_3467

You are always 100% a people person. Almost never shy. Quick to tell anyone every detail of your short life or every detail of your outfit for the day. You love school, your friends, jewelry and dance. Recently you told me you want to switch from ballet classes to hip hop dance classes. Why does this not surprise me?

DSC_0088

Some things never change in that you are still independent, persistent and a lover of all things fashion. Is four years old too young to wear make-up? Because she is. In other words you are a stubborn fiesty little one. You and I have worked (like really really worked) together to learn how to do this mother/daughter thing. And it’s gone from OMG how are we going to make it through our day together to this is really fun. And I am truly so very very grateful for that.

This year’s birthday date request was to ride a unicorn. Ummmm, I’m not sure I’m gonna come up with or find that unicorn.  Will a ride on a pony work?

DSC_0034

Thankfully yes! And the brothers thought it was a pretty cool idea too.

DSC_0013 DSC_0023

Happy fourth birthday peanut! We totally luva luva luv you! (the word totally has recently entered Greta’s vocabulary and is used in most of her sentences at the moment)

DSC_0042

Greta’s fourth birthday drawing of herself

DSC_0059

Posted in Greta | 4 Comments

lucas mitchell :: 18 months

Just because I was feeling like this dude needed a blog update and I realized that today he is exactly 18 months old. So brace yourself for the excitement coming your way.

DSC_0006

He is a first class, capital S, stinker! He is his older sister in a little boy body. Which you can imagine what kind of combination that is. Determined, persistent, talkative, active, loud, friendly. You get the idea. He may be only one and a half years old but he thinks he’s more like sixteen.

DSC_0015

But I mean, really. I can’t even. I could eat this boy up. Those giant blue eyes and the longest eye lashes you’ve ever seen.

DSC_0038

And most of the time when he’s being a stinker (except when he’s been awake for two hours and it’s 3am) we’re trying not to laugh. He thinks he, well he actually does, rule this house. And what he says, or attempts to say, is what is going to happen. Unless you’re geared up for a major wrestling match to get him to do things your way. He is a little tornado leaving a disaster in his wake where ever we go. It is getting difficult to actually take this dude out in public. Seriously. And I’m starting to re-think those two white sofas I purchased in my more naive days.

IMG_3662

He gets so frustrated with Millie that she’s not more interesting. He wants to play with her or push her around or wrestle or whatever. Which should make this parenting of four kids close in age even easier when Millie starts moving around. Or not. No. Not even close.

IMG_3609He is a boy who loves his trucks, cars, buses, anything with wheels. Maybe even more so than his big brother did at this age. He always carefully lines them up in a row. All day, everyday. It’s a very detailed process his little brain has.

IMG_3606

There are so many similar personality characteristics between Greta and this boy. And one of those is he loves to swing. He just wants to be in the swing all day long. And because he’s a big boy now no baby swing will do. He’s gotta do the real thing.

IMG_3434

Here’s some swinging love footage for your viewing pleasure.

Awe, little Woocas. How boring would our little suburban life be with out you to provide our chaos entertainment.

IMG_3584

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments