Visit from CO Grandparents

Alright, working my way backward in time!

The week before Halloween, we enjoyed a nice visit from my parents.  In addition to the activities pictured, they got to go trick-or-treating through the courthouse with Cody, which was that week’s library story time group activity, attend “Zumbini”, a kids’ music and dance class we go to sometimes, and on the first day, my mom took Cody out on a long walk so I could finish his Halloween costume! 😀 After Cody’s bedtime, the adults had viewings of “Inside Out” (my recommendation), “Bridge of Spies” (everyone else’s pick, though I enjoyed it as well), and the older adults trounced the younger adults in an intense match of Trivial Pursuit.  Thanks for making the trek; we all enjoyed having you here!

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Halloween 2016

Hi!  I know I’m very behind with sharing pictures and anecdotes from our little lives, and I promise I have some things in store for upcoming posts, but real quick, wanted to talk about Halloween!

First: here is why we dressed our child as a UPS driver this year:

In case you can’t decipher from the video: the couch fort is Cody’s UPS truck, and the entry way rug is both the pick up and drop off spot for the UPS man to bring chocolate, an airplane, and pizza.  He also prompts us to say “thank you, UPS man.”  I’ll add that before I turned on the recording device, Cody just kept saying he was bringing boxes or other things that have come to our house in the past, so my surprised tone when he announced the pizza and chocolate is quite sincere!  Especially since we pretty much never have chocolate or pizza here! (Not trying to be nutritionally self-righteous: we definitely have other treats around, but never chocolate nor pizza!) I thought it was pretty cute, and I thought it would be easy to get brown clothes and make some little UPS logos to put on there.

Pictures:

 

We took Cody around while it was still light, as you can see, then sat on our porch–swatting mosquitoes, no less!  A far cry from my childhood Halloweens of sub freezing temps and snow blowing in the face–for about an hour handing out candy.  I think there were fewer trick or treaters this year than last, probably because it was a Monday, but still managed to clean us out of the candy we bought, and selections we didn’t really want from Cody’s collection.

More to come soon from September and October!  I think most of you follow me on FB or IG or both anyway, which have the highlights, but I’ll share a few more here.

Hope you all had a fun Halloween!

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2 Years

Well Cody had his second birthday over the weekend!  For the most part he will answer “Two!” if you ask how old he is.  I made some ice cream on Wednesday, I believe, and  this icebox cake on Thursday, so he spent several days saying “cake! want some!” so we had a lot of opportunities to say he’d be getting some for his birthday on Saturday.  Then when the big moment came, he didn’t seem to care for the bite we coaxed him to take (mom guilt for not making a cake he’d like) but then he’s been having a couple bites of the same piece in the days since.  You could say he takes after his father in this demonstration of self-moderation with dessert.  I also made a no-churn cookies and cream ice cream from Martha Stewart which I liked about ten times better than the cake.  It is incredibly simple, quick, delicious, and my new obsession.

Anyway, we let Cody open his presents at his own pace throughout the day: one with breakfast, one before we left for the Children’s Museum, a couple with lunch, one after nap, one with dinner.  After some initial coaching he got the hang of it and really dove in to the gift opening and said “Another present! Another present!” for a while even after the last one was opened.  As a lifelong gleeful gift-opener and giver, this was fun for me to see.  And a far cry from last birthday and Christmas, ha ha.

We took this day to finally go check out our local children’s museum, which underwent a major renovation last winter.  It did not fail to impress!  Cody loved the big train tables, this big peg board where you’d plug in these plastic colored pegs and they’d light up, and the animal room with turtles, lizards, snakes, a tarantula, fish, guinea pigs, a small hedgehog, a ferret, and several chinchillas.  I was really intrigued by this little play hospital, play kitchen and grocery store, dress-up area, Lego table, and art area.  They also had a little kind of tool shop where the kids can build little things.  It was really neat and I think something we’ll be doing more in the future, as Cody grows into some of the exhibits.

We had a little birthday dinner with some friends.  We did smoked and crock pot ribs, with roasted broccoli, watermelon, and the cake and ice cream.

That’s about it!  A few pictures from the day are below.  Thanks to everyone who sent gifts, cards, and well-wishes for our little guy on his big day!

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Little Catch-Up

I’ve been meaning to do a little catch-up post for a while now!  I know people especially love seeing and hearing what Cody is up to these days, but every time I start to formulate a post in my head, it just sounds like parents bragging about their kid.  But it’s hard not to.  😀  It’s just an exciting time right now as Cody is becoming more and more verbal, more of a thinker, more imaginative.  Which is not to say our house is exempt from those terrible toddler fits, cause we definitely have at least a couple of those every. single. day.

Some of the more fun things: we frequently catch Cody playing with little stuffed animals or toy people saying, “Macy walks.  Macy is eating.  Macy sleeping,” and pantomiming those activities.  He also offers drinks from his sippy cup to stuffed animals.  It’s pretty adorable.

A week ago Friday, Caleb finished up one class of students, and simultaneously started another, whoo-hoo.  Cody and I went in for the festivities and spent some time walking around the squadron afterward where Cody loudly and excitedly pointed out each and every poster, picture, model, and mural with an airplane in it.

“Another! Airplane! T-6!”

“No…”

“38!”

“Yep”

“Another 38!”

“Yep”

“Another 38! T-1! Ohhh!”

And so on for about 20 minutes.  You’ve probably never noticed exactly how many depictions of aircraft there are in an established squadron.  But I have.  It was pretty cute.  Cody’s also been trying his hand at nodding his head lately.  He’s got the main concept down but does it in this kind of jerky, tilted way sometimes, and sometimes he does it to preemptively get an affirmation from you before you’ve given it, just like he sometimes says “yes, Cody!” at the end of a request such as “Cody have raisin? Yes, Cody!” *Cody nods* and I think, oh, he’s so cute right now and he’s going to be so mad when I tell him no…

What’s most fun and exciting is how we can see his memory and speech taking off.  Cody’s got several phrases and sentences from us and favorite books stored in his little mental bank and it still makes me smile when he repeats them, and he is starting to form his own little sentences, too.  Even though there are dozens of examples, the only one coming to mind right now and when we got some oranges at the grocery store and I said, “Daddy will love these!” and he’s been saying “Daddy will love these!” or “Daddy would love that!” about unrelated situations since then.  🙂

Here  are a couple pics from the past month or so, and at the very bottom, a couple videos from a while ago I’ve been meaning to share.

These are longer than our usual clips, but I thought they were funny.  🙂

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St. Louis Reunion

Just yesterday we returned from the annual reunion of Caleb’s side of the family!  We had a great time visiting with everyone, and had a handful of fun excursions.  My personal highlight, which is not pictured, was seeing the Cardinals beat the Dodgers with a 16th inning walk off home run.  In the future, I’d prefer for them to win in 2 or 3 hours instead of 5.5, but a win is a win and it was great to see them play in person and up close!  Also not pictured were a couple game sessions, which were lots of fun.  Other notable moments included:

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A Colorado 4th

This year we ended up going to Colorado on a spur of the moment trip for the long 4th of July weekend.  Well, I consider making the decision a only week or so in advance “spur of the moment”.

 

Hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend!

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Lake Trip!

Last week, we had our long-awaited Texas lake vacation with our long-time friends, Ben, Amber, and “Baby Isaac”! This was really the first trip we’ve taken with Cody, other than visiting family, so not quite as relaxing or lux as our all-inclusive tropical trip, but we so enjoyed catching up with our friends, and meeting their little guy, and Cody had lots of fun playing with his little friend and the lake.  Thanks for making it happen, guys!

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Long Weekend

We had a really fantastic and memorable Memorial Day weekend this year!  The Air Force usually graciously turns three day weekends into four day weekends, which is SO NICE!

My Memorial Day weekend checklist:

  1. Complete a project that’s been on the books for over a month–CHECK
  2. Spend time remembering all those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for our country–CHECK
  3. Have people from Caleb’s flight(unit) over for a BBQ–CHECK
  4. Host Caleb’s sister Julie and cousin Laura for a super fun weekend–CHECK
  5. Take pictures of aforementioned guests–CHECK
  6. Make Mojitos with the fresh mint from our yard–CHECK
  7. Get more mosquito bites than I can count–CHECK

The project was a fire pit.  When we moved in, there was this big pile of cinderblocks in the back yard, and for a while I was using them to mark off where we wanted to create a border back there, but once that was done, there they sat.  I do not like to throw away useful materials, and I do not like to have useful materials sitting around not being used.  We also have an abundance of firewood from all the trees and branches we were cutting down around here over the past year.  Like, more than we could probably use in our remaining winters here.  So I thought, how great would it be to build a cool square fire pit with these cinder blocks and burn firewood and roast marshmallows? So I slapped down those cinderblocks in a square pattern and said “BAM! Fire pit!”  But then Caleb thought the cinder blocks didn’t look very nice, so we ended up buying cinderblocks that look like stone, and using the original cinder blocks as the foundation.  He also used a shovel, gravel, a level, measuring tape, a wedge and sledgehammer, mortar, and drywall tape; all things I didn’t know were necessary but I agree created a nice finished product.  We had fires and roasted marshmallows three evenings last weekend (forgot to take pictures of that!! I was relaxing) and enjoyed ourselves immensely.  I said, “Hey, now there’s no need to go camping anymore; we can have a fire in our yard and then go sleep inside.”

I’ll be sharing the more structured pictures I took of the girls over on my Facebook page in the coming days if you want to see those 🙂

Cody had so much fun running to Aunt Julie (and eventually Laura and Daddy) before and after this video, but you can see in his eyes the moment he realizes the camera is on him and he doesn’t want to cooperate.  Ach!

 

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TBP

Hey Everyone!

Just wanted to share with everyone something I’ve been working on for a while, particularly the past couple weeks: Tara Becker Photography (TBP).  And I have a couple pictures of Cody to share.

Although I feel dreadfully lacking in confidence (I ought to play “I Have Confidence” from the Sound of Music to myself each morning), I have started sharing my photography on a broader level, and attempting to make some money.  I am still fine-tuning my style, honing my skills, and thinking about which niche or genre I want to work in: not weddings, but there’s your standard maternity, newborn, families, seniors, corporate headshots, and I’m looking into real estate photography, for which there is a high demand in our area. Or at least, I’ve looked at the local listings and I think there is a high demand; we’ll see if the realtors agree with me or not.  I’m also selling photos through a stock website called Lightstock(click here to see my page!) to raise capital for this expensive hobby-turned-profession.  Putting your work out there is absolutely terrifying, but gratifying when it receives some sort of recognition!  My next order of business is to start building a website, but until then, I have started a Facebook page to share my work and make connections, and I’d love it if you would give it a “like”! 🙂  Makes me feel a little more legit.  You don’t even have to follow it if you don’t want to; I’ll never know the difference.  😉 Click here to view/like my FB page. 

And a few pics:

Cody is changing so quickly these days; he’s talking a lot and starting to put words together, and will try to repeat nearly everything we say.  It’s pretty cute. 🙂

 

AND! (Almost forgot!) wanted to share this video of Cody’s animated performance of “Caps For Sale”(though the performance before the camera came out was a little more animated)

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Petit Update.

Mostly because we haven’t had much going on lately, or at least not much that’s as photogenic.  Caleb spent a week doing the training and test for ATP (Air Transport Pilot), which was basically a super expensive way for him to be sort of “pre-qualified” to fly any commercial aircraft.  Apparently the FAA is changing the program to where it’ll be even more lengthy and costly to get this certification in the future, so we decided to bite the bullet and have him do it now so if he wanted to fly for the airlines, Fedex, a corporation, etc. in the future, he’ll have that option open.  Other than that, we’ve been pulling a lot of weeds in our yard, planted some plants, flowers, herbs, and veggies…that’s about it!

So on to the cuteness:

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