Fun Times With The Beckers

All the fun, even if it's not always blogged…

Goodbye, THOR. — November 26, 2013
Merry Xmas from the Pups — December 23, 2010

Merry Xmas from the Pups

Oh, THOR and Lucy– how your lives have changed… as we anticipated they would.

but part of me always thought, “oh, no. they will always be my babies. the arrival of an actual baby won’t change things.”

well. i was wrong.

my poor, poor, neglected four-legged babes.

the other day i was showing off our 2010 Holiday Cards, when a co-worker so kindly pointed out that the pups weren’t mentioned… anywhere.

oh, what have i done?

so, in an effort to make things right, here are my loves wishing you all the squeaky toys and rawhide you can handle this holiday season!
Photobucket Photobucket

and yes, i ran out and bought them absurd amounts of chew toys and bones in an effort to make it up to them.

The Big Reveal – part 1 — June 7, 2010

The Big Reveal – part 1

Okay- no baby yet… but 11 days until the due date. (though, i swear i will go over… start placing your bets now, folks!)

and i apologize to my Reader, for keeping you on pins and needles, i am sure, awaiting the Big Reveal of how the nursery turned out.

it all started here with my panic regarding “To Bumper or Not To Bumper… that is the question”

well, i decided against the bumper, as explained here.

and then it was a matter of putting the big pieces in the room, as shown here, and then, in an oh-so-out-of-order fashion… i painted the room… no real pics to show, sorry.

and then the nursery sat for awhile. it became sort of a staging room for the other nesting projects that were going on in the house– such as the bathroom fix-up, as detailed here. (Oh, that AJ, he’s been nesting just about as much as me… it’s just that his projects seem to be bigger and dustier… but more on that, to come in a different post!)

and then, last week i was up before the birds, deciding to finally finish this puppy off, as posted here.

well, today, i am finally back with some photos to share… what’s that i hear? a “Hip Hip Horray”? Why, thank you very much!

I’ll start with the tiny bathroom that has since had a make-over. this is directly across the tiny hallway from the nursery
(okay, what you see here is mostly a new paint color on the walls.)

notice the fixed wall and though you can’t see it- the pocket door WORKS!!! Yippee Skippy!
(you can also spy the nursery in the background…)

this is a shot from the door way of the nursery… that nook is just the perfect fit for the crib!
and you can kind of see the bed skirt i created with the Amy Butler fabrics and the easy-peasy tutorial from Young House Love.

our changing and seating area… cozy.

taken from behind the rocker – here is the closet with the covering i made (thankyouverymuch) and the built-in dresser with the new hardware, thanks to AJ and his drill skillz.
(notice who snuck (sneaked?) into the pic!)

and there’s the pups, loving the new space. i sometimes catch them sniffing around in there. boy-oh-boy do they have a bunch of new smells soon heading our way!

and, a final picture of the crib area.

sweet dreams, little Bumpit!

a taste of spring, and more blood — March 19, 2010

a taste of spring, and more blood

yesterday was gorgeous.

mom and I took advantage of the awesome weather report to take all three dogs (THOR, Lucy and Uncle Neil) on a long walk! and of course, i attempted to take camera phone pictures while trying to hold two leashes.
Sprint PictureMail

Sprint PictureMail
this was the first meeting for THOR and Neil – and THOR was loving up on him in such a funny way. we noticed that he kept laying his chin on Neil’s neck as if he was saying, “Oh, how nice and fluffy your fur is, Uncle Neil”

THOR also had his Domesti-PUPS visit at the Legacy Estates, where he got to see his doggy buddies, Teddy, Colby, Jake & Paco. though, THOR was more interested in the Ice Cream than anything. i wouldn’t call it out most successful visit, but a visit all the same.

this morning, i woke up an hour early (OK, i didn’t really sleep well all night in anticipation) for my 3-hour glucose tolerance test – since i failed the first one…. you know, the more people i talked to, the more i heard that it’s pretty common that everyone fails on the first try… unless you are completely fasting, which i was not.

so i was already bent out of shape for giving up three hours of my friday morning… but then i decided to turn that frown upside down, and made the most of it.

I used my time between the four (FOUR) blood draws to:

  • Pre-Register at the hospital (Which, by the way, looks like a hotel lobby more than a hospital delivery room)
  • Submit The Becker’s in to the 2010 Census… yes folks, prepare yourselves for more Fun Times ahead!
  • i almost have the baby blanket all knit up for Baby Austin, which is just slightly late, since he was born on Monday!
  • Sprint PictureMail

and then i was out of there by 10:15am – just in time to run to my car and head to the nearest McDonald’s for a Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuit… because i’m worth it!

sad thing- their credit card machine wasn’t working, and i, as per usual, was completely out of cash.

so i quickly jaunted to the bank, deposited a check i forgot i needed to deposit anyway, and withdrew cash and got back in line. lucky for me, they still allowed me to order breakfast six minutes past the cutoff…

this here is one happy mama! 🙂

today’s weather feels more like December… with snow to boot… but that just means that a weekend of more baby prep is in the works- yea me!

I Love My Dog Expo — March 1, 2010

I Love My Dog Expo

Saturday, THOR and I woke up early for our shift at the I Love My Dog Expo here in Lincoln! this is the 3rd year for the event and it’s all hosted by Domesti-PUPS.. which, by now, i am sure you all know i LOVE this organization!

THOR and i were stationed at the Petting-PUPS booth… and boy doesTHOR love the petting!

here he is right before we started the day:

and then, of course, here he is after:

i think i may have created an ice cream-loving monster!

he did so well! and to think, i was originally planning on not bringing him along… i wasn’t sure how he would do, and if it would be more hassle than it would be worth, but again, he shined (shone?) and was the star that i know him to be!

later in the day, I packed up Miss Lucy, so she could experience the wonder of the Expo. poor girl, i feel so bad that she misses out on the fun when THOR and i go out to “work”. We met up with my parents and “Uncle Neil” (as i like to call him). and we had a great time!

while there, i fell in love with Adoorables. If you have a moment, please check out their way-cute stuff! i picked up an awesome teal and purple lab for our front door. love it!!


And then it was LOVE — January 29, 2010
One, Two, Free Thor! — October 29, 2009

One, Two, Free Thor!

So, back at this post i mentioned that there is a good story that goes along with THOR’s Halloween Costume for this year. Now is as good of a time as any to explain.

Note: THOR was AJ’s dog well before I came into the picture. And in his first three year of life, he lived in a nicely sized fenced outdoor kennel, or dog run, if you will. (i know, poor puppy!)…

well, i am sure you can’t blame him for wanting to be out of his cage to be with people and see what it out on the other side of the chain link.

so, apparently, as the story has been told to me, THOR found a way out. i am sure his first thought was, “I’m Free!” and maybe his second thought was, “Squirrel!”

well, for whatever reason along a series of events, THOR did not come home.

AJ was distraught (as i am told) and did all he could to find his precious outdoor-living pup. Various calls were made to the local shelter providing a great description of a “Copper Colored Vizsla-Lab Mix”… “nope, we don’t have anything that matches that description….” was the consistent answer.


then, coincidence of all coincidences, AJ’s sister had a whim to go look at the puppies and kitties at the shelter. as she walked down the dog aisle, she sees a copper-colored dog start bouncing vertically as if spring-loaded.

“Thor?” she asked, and he jumped higher, if that’s even possible.

he was there all along. uggh!

So, AJ propelled himself across town to rescue his pooch.

When he arrived, they kindly handed him the bill for boarding and feeding for four days, plus the cost of the requisite microchipping and …er… mandatory alteration, if you know what i mean.

Outraged at the cost to rescue a dog that they repeatedly said they didn’t have in residence, AJ was rightly miffed.

Then the volunteer at the counter flagged AJ over and said… “Yes, sir, this is the cost to reacquire the dog you lost, THOR. however, if you would like to adopt “Sparky” (the name the shelter had given him), he’s yours for $89. I am sure he would be happy in your new home, and he’s microchipped and neutered….”

AJ said, “Sold! Sparky, let’s go!”

so, that’s the story of how AJ had to readopt his own dog, and why it is so fitting for THOR to be dressed as an escapee for Halloween!!!

after i was told this story, I asked AJ if he picketed outside the shelter chanting, “One, Two, FREE THOR!”… and that’s where our beloved has gained the nickname Forty!

Theraputic THOR — September 4, 2009

Theraputic THOR

Last night, THOR and I did our first Domesti-PUPSPetting-PUPS” therapy session. We took a trip to the Windcrest Assisted Living Community, and had a GREAT time.

THOR really latched on to his new job. He was so excited when i got out his red “Training” bandana, and hopped right into the car:
Sprint PictureMail
i feel like it’s the First Day Of School!

We toured with Colby, a gorgeous Bernese Mountain Dog, and Daisy, the fluffiest little “pure-bred mutt” you’ve ever seen. Daisy was quite the flirt with the two boys and kept the evening fun!

the residents really loved having us stop by, and some even provided Beggin’ Strips!

It was really fun, and rewarding (though, you have to take a moment of pause when you realize that the brightest spot in some of these resident’s day is a two-minute visit from the dogs…)… we are excited for our next visits… six until we graduate! (five more, now!)

and, now AJ is excited to form a team with Lucy this winter!!!!


SUCCESS — August 10, 2009





THOR and I are now an Official Domesti-PUPS “Petting PUPS” Therapy Team In Training!

Saturday morning, we got up early, had a good breakfast, leashed up (with Lucy in tow… well, or… towing us!) and went for a good walk/jog/mini-training session.

It. Was. Hot… and the session didn’t go as well as i had hoped. but i kept telling myself that i can’t let my nerves flow from me all the way through the leash, or THOR will not do well at all.

we get home, i clean his ear (poor pooch has a chronic yeast infection in his left ear… i am open to suggestions on how to fix, if anyone has them), and then try a few impromptu commands in the kitchen.

he wasn’t having it.

at this point, i decided we were doomed.

instead of going ballistic in the kitchen, i walked away and decided to remain calm and consider today to be our FIRST test, and that would help us prepare for the second and maybe third (fourth?) test until we passed.

we headed out in the heat, to make our 10:30 test time, with a little padding to make sure he had plenty of ops to potty on every bush, tree, blade of grass in sight before the test.

i am attempting to remain calm…

we walk up to the testing area (amidst high heat and high winds… oh dear, this can’t be good), and meet up with Pam #1 – our awesome Class Trainer. From Day One she knew THOR would have a time at all of this… and kept reminding me throughout the class, “if he eliminates during the test, he will NOT pass!” (hence the pre-planned potty breaks!)… and she said to us, “don’t worry- we’ll hold another testing session in October.”

Great. event Pam thinks we will fail.

so i told myself to calm down (not an easy feat, if you know me), and take the test one task at a time, not to look at it as one whole mountain, just little hills to climb… we’ll figure out where we need improvement, and prepare for the test in October.

We were paired up with a test evaluator (she was awesome!) and proceeded to go through the following test objectives:

  1. Controlled Entry: we had to walk together through a door – THOR could not rush in front of me, or cower behind me = PASSED
  2. Greet a Stranger: “Hello, may I pet your dog?”, (THOR’s most favorite thing in the world: People loving on him) = PASSED
  3. Allow a Stranger to Pet: she brushed him, checked his paws and ears, being mindful of the tenderness of the left ear = PASSED
  4. Reaction to Loud Noises: dropping pans, moving wheel chairs, no problem = PASSED
  5. Controlled Heal with turns, & Sit Command: walk along an L-shaped course, right turn, U-turn & left turn, while leash is in loose Heal: PASSED (slightly shocked)
  6. Sit, Down, Stay, Come: Place dog in “Sit” (okay), Place dog in “Down” (still working on this, and didn’t complete), Place dog in “Stay” (90% on this, usually), Trainer to walk 15-feet from dog, turn around and then call dog to “Come” = PASSED (with the caveat to continue to work on “Down”)
  7. Greet a Stranger with a Strange Dog: we met up with Buster and Paco (i believe), “Double Trouble” as i told THOR, and of course, he thought this mean Play Time, and we had to go back and start over. the trainer was kind enough to give some ideas on how to work on this, we tried again= PASSED
  8. Supervised Separation: THOR got to stand in the shade with a very nice gentleman he had never met – i hid behind a tree for three (very long) minutes. Upon my return, i was told that THOR really didn’t know i was gone (he would go home with anyone) but that the kind gentleman might have some new bruises on his legs from THOR’s tail! = PASSED
  9. Loading & Unloading a vehicle: dog is to wait for the command to get in and out of the car – not just jump in and out at his own free will = PASSED

we walked back to the evaluation table, and our Evaluator and Pam #1 quietly discussed our scores, and Pam #1 grabbed a red scarf and placed it on THOR’s neck… um, what? We Passed? WE PASSED? i started jumping up and down… THOR, was kindly aloof, as per usual.
Sprint PictureMail

Then i chatted with Pam #2, or other awesome Leader, and one that gave us lots of great tips and allowed us to join her class, and she said, “Wow, THOR definitely gets the ‘Most Improved’ award!”

and very sweet, Kendra, took our picture- which made me realize, i should have gussied up after the morning’s run. oh well!
(taken at my parent’s afterward)


what’s next? three-to-six months of on-site training where we will go to approved nursing homes, hospitals and retirement homes and display our “Petting-PUPS” skills. eeeeee!!!!!!!!

nerves — August 7, 2009