Happy 2nd Birthday, Tyler!

Today Tyler is 29 months old, so in honor of this momentous occasion I will share about Tyler’s 2nd birthday, 5 months ago.  We held his party in late August because we had a variety of things going on earlier in the month, like a trip up to the mountains to hike, fish, and hang out at the pool at the Ritz.  Don’t worry, we celebrated on his actual birthday, August 7th, with a donut in the minivan in the carpool lot waiting for some friends.

At the end of August my parents came to town to be here for Tyler’s birthday party.  Tyler was SO excited for his Baseball Party!

Eric turned our backyard into Wrigley Field.

Tyler helped Nana bake cupcakes.

I frosted them into baseballs!

His tshirt was made especially for him by my old friend Laura, who runs the delightful Etsy shop RubyRedHandmade.  My mom had the brilliant idea to blow up a bunch of balloons for the kids to hit around, which they loved.

We ate ballgame food including peanuts, nachos, soft pretzels, and hot dogs with Stadium Mustard, naturally.

We asked our guests to dress in baseball gear.  It was fun to see different teams represented.

Tyler was elated to blow out his candle.  The “2” candle is from when Eric took me on a surprise getaway for my birthday when I turned 28.  He had somehow managed to sneak an entire cake into the desert on our camping trip, with “2” and “8” candles.  That may have been when I knew I should marry this guy.

Tyler is a frosting-licker.  I don’t know if he’s ever eaten the cake part.  (Or “sponge” as they call it on Food Network!)

Of course we played lots of baseball in our backyard!

Family photo. At this point my Indians shirts didn’t quite fit, so I had to go Cubs.

Nana & Grandpa

I had only taken one basket photo since Tyler turned one, when he was 18 months old.  I thought it would be fun to take them yearly from here on out–I can just see him at age 16, with one foot in and one foot out!  He wasn’t too keen on the idea but as you can see, he still technically fits in the basket.

The Baseball Party was a hit and Tyler asked to have another one many, many times afterwards.  His love of baseball continues to grow.  He received a t-ball set as a gift and can literally hit balls over the fence.  He always wants to play catch in the house.  And we noticed this fall that he pitches the ball with a windup and a leg kick–we can only figure that he learned this from watching so much baseball on TV.  It’s awesome and adorable.

I can’t believe he’s two.  The year went by so quickly.  And I still haven’t even made him a photo book to remember it by.

 

 

 

 

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Salem: One Month

As Salem’s birthday is November 25th, she turned one month old on Christmas Day.

Yes, we’re doing the basket photos again, like we did with Tyler.  They are just too darn cute.

 

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Salem, Day Nine

We had a photographer come to our house the weekend after Salem was born for some newborn and family photos.  Eric spent the night before teaching Tyler the difference between his “cheese face” and “smile.”  Tyler (mostly) figured it out.  Salem was very awake for a 9-day-old baby.  We love them (the photos, and our kids)!

       

Salem peed on me. Again.

         

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Baboo #2…A Girl!?

We did it.  We brought home Baboo #2.  She’s amazing.  We absolutely cannot believe we have a girl.  We thought we’d have another boy.  I put Tyler’s newborn clothes in the dresser, awaiting baby boy’s arrival.  I was going to be a #boymom.  I was ready for a life of baseball and bugs and stinky socks and (gladly) without Shopkins, princesses, and Justice. Yes, I know that boys can play with Shopkins and girls can have stinky socks…but still. Boys and girls ARE different.

We hardly thought about whether Tyler would be a boy or a girl.  With him, I had initially really wanted a girl, but early on we kind of just felt like the baby was a boy.  This was probably because I was huge and every person we met said it was a boy.  And he was.  And it never mattered one bit, because we would eventually/hopefully have another baby, so we just didn’t think too much about it.

But this baby, our second and most, most likely final baby–I thought about whether our baby would be a boy or a girl often.  Not constantly, but often.  I didn’t have a preference, really, but felt like our family dynamics would be different whether the baby was a boy or a girl.  Both good, of course, but different.  And we thought we’d have another boy.

Except for a couple of dreams I had.  I had dreams–intense, vivid dreams that I only had while trying or being pregnant…I never remember my dreams otherwise–after each round of IUI.  Three predicted I wasn’t pregnant (I wasn’t) and one predicted I was (I was!).  And then somewhere in the middle of this pregnancy I had two incredibly vivid dreams that the baby was a girl.  In both dreams, I was actively giving birth and the baby came out–a girl! And in both dreams, I asked the doctor to put the baby back in!  I don’t know why I became subconsciously averse to having a girl.  When people asked what I thought the baby would be, I said boy and said sorry to the baby if she was, in fact, a girl.  I think we both just got so comfortable in raising Tyler that we wanted another one of him and were scared of anybody different–girl or boy.

But here she is.  Beautiful, lovely, strong, amazing, perfect Salem Elizabeth.  We can’t imagine life without her.  Her brother adores her and she will grow up with a family who loves her no matter what.  Even if she insists on shopping at Justice.

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Waiting for Baboo #2

Baboo #2 was due November 28th.  I was blissfully confident I would make it to my due date–after all, Tyler was three days late.  Salem arrived three days early, which was more than excellent after a somewhat interesting third trimester.

Back in September, my fundal measurement–the superscientific measurement of your pregnant belly from pubic bone to top of the uterus using a tape measure–was small. Normally, your centimeters match your weeks pregnant.  But all of a sudden I was measuring almost four centimeters smaller than I should have.  I wasn’t alarmed–after all, the way they do it seems kind of ridiculous, I felt fine, and our 20 week ultrasound showed baby growing on track.  But the OB wanted another ultrasound, so we happily obliged.  We learned that our baby was pretty small, particularly the baby’s head–it was in the 3rd percentile.  The OB sent us to see a specialist for a more in-depth ultrasound.  She wanted to confirm the baby was growing and it wasn’t a case of IUGR, intrauterine growth restriction. Or Zika.  What was happening?!  We stayed positive and tried not to think too much about it.  There was nothing we could do about it.  But the OB told us if they did suspect IUGR the baby would be delivered at 34 weeks.  Which was a week after we received this news.  It was a tad unsettling to say the least.

Fortunately, the next ultrasound both confirmed our baby had a tiny head and also that there was no growth concern, and it was overwhelmingly likely that we would just have a proportionally smallish baby with a dainty noggin.  Tyler’s head has always measured below the 10th percentile, and I can fit a child’s XS ski helmet on my cranium, so it follows that our baby had a genetically small head.  Because of my “advanced maternal age” (I don’t remember getting old, BTW) I would receive weekly ultrasounds for the remainder of my pregnancy.  Baby’s head continued to be small–at the very end, we were down in the 1st percentile.  But still, we were told not to worry, so we didn’t.

We enjoyed a wedding weekend in Cincinnati.

We stayed with dear old college friends Jen & Mark, and their son Ryan.

It was so fun to see these two shaggy blondes play together!

Playing in the fountains at Washington Park.

It was SO HOT and SO HUMID, especially for September. Thanks, Ohio, for always showing Eric your finest weather qualities.

We had beers at MadTree and the boys played cornhole.  We visited more breweries and hiked in the park.  We played wiffleball and Eric hit Jen in the neck with a ball.

The Moses came out to play, too!

My tiny taster as I was still pregnant.

Graeter’s ice cream, of course. We also had Skyline!

OU girls: Jen, Mandy, Rebecca, and me.  At this time, six kids between us all but only two made the photo.

And Nick & Lauren’s wedding reception at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Museum was gorgeous.

Last flight as a family of three.

We enjoyed a beautiful weekend in Aspen.

The Maroon Bells and bright yellow aspens. SUCH a perfect fall day!

Family hike. The previous day it had been snowing so we really lucked out.

Lilly is still going strong.

Throwing rocks in bodies of water is always a winner for Tyler.

We had our 9th(?) Annual Fall Fest with our friends in Winter Park.

We stayed in a wonderful house with the Floods, Taylors, and Smiths.  Tyler approved.

The three pregnant hikers!

Once again we lucked out on weather (late October in Fraser could mean snow) and went for an easy hike. There was a small stream that we crossed by tossing the kids over.  Literally, in the air. Nobody got wet.

Tyler showing Burke the way at the park.  There was a also a skatepark where Tyler was obsessed with watching kids skateboard.

Girls talking, probably about babies.  A really nice, relaxing weekend with excellent food overall.  Even though the hot tub was broken!

We hosted a kid-friendly Holleween Party in lieu of our traditional Happy Holledays ugly sweater party.  I came across an adorable dragon costume for Tyler, so naturally Eric and I went as Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen.  Because I’m the Mother of Dragons, obviously.

My sun-and-stars.

During the World Series, my blood pressure went up.  A couple of nights I thought I might deliver right there on our couch.  But that passed and I was still pregnant and we were still banking on November 28th, the Monday after Thanksgiving.  I had the week of Thanksgiving off from school, and I really wanted to enjoy it with Tyler and getting ready for the holidays.  And for the most part, I did.  Salem’s birth story, coming soon!

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Salem’s Story

Our sweet little second-born arrived on November 25th, 2016.  Here is the long (and not-too-graphic) story of her birth.

We started off Thanksgiving day with the Louisville Turkey Trot–a wonderful, free 5k that is all about collecting food and clothing and spending time as a community.  It was a gorgeous, sunny morning albeit quite windy.

We planned to walk the 5k, and I felt great.  But I was also feeling some internal pressure, for lack of a better word, so we actually took a shortcut and walked a tad more slowly back to town.  I didn’t think anything of it and was ready to enjoy our big turkey dinner over at Matt and Molly’s house.  We went, we ate, we conquered, we didn’t take any photos.  We went home full and were glad to have the next three days off to spend with Tyler.

The next morning, Friday, I woke up feeling…something.  But nothing alarming.  My favorite yoga teacher instructs the 9:15 Friday morning class at the rec center, and I was determined to go because I knew it would be the last time I could for a few weeks.  All three of us went to the rec and we dropped Tyler off at the daycare there.  I went and placed my mat in class, but came back to find Eric and tell him, “I think we’re going to have a baby today!”  He was taken aback (obviously!) but I assured him I’d be fine for awhile.

I actually felt painless contractions during yoga, but know that these things supposedly take awhile. (And also that we were warned to get to the hospital sooner rather than later because Tyler came quite quickly.)  I finished the class, and we got home about 10:30am.  I told Eric he needed to make the calls to get Tyler taken care of, and that I would call the hospital.  I had a few more contractions with a pain level of zero.  And then, as I was putting the final items in my bag and Eric was waiting with Tyler in the driveway for his ride, I had a BIG contraction.  Pain level of 7.  And then 8.  We almost took Tyler to the hospital with us because it was happening too fast.  I called my parents to let them know I was in labor. Our friends came for Tyler (and I was crying about leaving him).  And then we drove to the hospital, and didn’t get pulled over this time.

Mommy! What the heck is going on?!

Last photo as a family of three!

We parked and I walked in, and we were up in our room in just a few minutes.  I was doubled over with pain.  It was 11:25am.  The nurse tossed me a gown and Eric must have helped me change because I don’t remember that.  All of that stuff we brushed up on in Labor Lab to ease the pain and pass the time went out the window.  I was 6 cm.  I demanded an epidural.  Fortunately, the anaesthesiologist was there almost right away. But something happened, we’re not sure what, we heard them talking about an equipment failure.  The anaesthesiologist said it didn’t work because I moved.  Anyhow, I didn’t get an epidural. But thankfully, oh so thankfully, they gave me a spinal.  My contractions were so much more than a 10.  Through the roof.  I calmed down with the spinal, maybe a little too much, because Eric said my eyes were rolling back in my head and they gave me oxygen. Somewhere in there my water broke.

And then they said I had to push.  Now.  What?!  I just got here.  It was tough, mentally and physically.  I was terrified because I didn’t have an epidural and was also totally out of it.  I couldn’t wrap my brain around what I needed to do.  But Eric is the World’s Best Cheerleader and got me to push.  It all just happened so fast.  Completely unromantic and totally undignified.  But all of a sudden–at 12:37pm–there she was.  SHE.  She.  A girl!

I think I was laughing.  I know I didn’t cry like I did with Tyler.  We were thrilled and in disbelief.  Among my first thoughts was What are we going to name her? Because that had been contentious for our whole pregnancy.  We had finally agreed upon a name for a boy who we suddenly didn’t have, but for a girl we wanted different names.  Elizabeth for a middle name was a given as it’s also mine.  Eric was flexible; there were several names he was rooting for.  But for me there was only one name. I had seen it on the screen at church months ago, before we were even pregnant, but I knew if I ever had a daughter that I would love for that word to be her name.

She didn’t have a name for an hour or so.  The nurses came and went doing their checking and measuring and administering, and we called her Baby Girl.  Eventually we were alone with our daughter.  Eric looked at me and said, “Mama, what’s her name?”  I was nervous and happy and sad and I said, “For me, there’s only one name.  Salem Elizabeth.”  And Eric said, “OK. She’s Salem Elizabeth.”  And then I cried, because I was so, so happy to have our healthy daughter here with us, and her name would be Salem Elizabeth.  Salem means “peace” in Hebrew and I think it’s perfect.  Her arrival brings us peace after a difficult time of not knowing whether we would ever have another baby.

Of course, Eric pointed out before she was born that Salem also refers to glamorous things like cigarettes and witch trials.  I just figured we could tell people the origin of her name if they asked, and assumed that they wouldn’t think we actually named our daughter after a tobacco product or a terrible time in American history.

“Pensive.” “I was going for thoughtful.”          Name that movie.

Salem was born 11/25/16, the day after Thanksgiving, on Black Friday.  She weighed 7 lbs 5 oz and measured 20″ long.  She was born one hour and twelve minutes after we checked into the hospital; two hours and seven minutes after I left yoga.

Tyler wasn’t so sure about her in the hospital.

His tshirt says One Cool Bro but he refused to take his jacket off.

We took her home when she was 27 hours old, beating Tyler’s record by five hours.

Going home in the gender-neutral duck outfit that was Tyler’s.

I remember taking Tyler home and Eric driving about 10 mph and me sitting in the backseat trying not to freak out.  This time, when we clicked the carseat into the van, we realized I couldn’t sit next to her because Tyler’s carseat was in the other captain’s seat.  So I sat up front like a grown-up and Eric drove the speed limit, and then we were home.  Just like that. And Tyler came around!

I hold baby?

 

 

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The Story of Baboo #2

You may or may not recall, or may have never known, that we did fertility with Tyler, our firstborn Baboo Monkey.  You can read about his story here and here.  Many people, friends and friends-of-friends alike, contacted us with questions about the whole crazy process, and we welcomed it.  I felt like being able to somehow help others made our difficulties getting pregnant all worth it.  And in the end, doing one round of IUI to conceive Tyler was NOT that big of a deal.

Fast forward to wanting another baby.  We always knew we wanted two, or three, but definitely more than one.  Eric is only 18 months apart from his brother AND his sister, and I’m 26 months older than my brother.  Did you know to have kids 18 months apart you’re actually pregnant when your baby is about EIGHT MONTHS old?  Reality check!

We went to the fertility clinic in April of 2015, when Tyler was about 8 months old.  We were told we couldn’t proceed with any treatment until I was finished breastfeeding because of the drugs involved.  I was slightly crushed, being anxious to grow our family, but also resolute to continue nursing Tyler for a much, much longer time than 8 months (we had a good thing going–lucky us).  In retrospect, I’m very glad we couldn’t begin trying again, yet, at that time.  I ended up switching teaching jobs that summer, and things would have been complicated if not impossible had I been pregnant.  So, phew.

I began weaning Tyler when I went back to work that fall, nursing him only morning and night.  It seemed as if we could have managed that forever, but the desire for another baby was growing and I really didn’t want to be a Boulder Mom nursing a kindergartner.  So, I picked a busy week at work and nursed Tyler for the last time at the end of October.  He was 14 1/2 months old.  It was much harder for me than for him.  But I felt better knowing we were headed back to Conceptions as soon as my cycle allowed.

As it turned out, we got the green light for IUI on Eric’s birthday, November 10th…which was the same day we conceived Tyler two years earlier!  How could this not work out?  Our kids could have the same birthday!  Well, it didn’t.  We took a pregnancy test an hour before we flew to Chicago for Thanksgiving, it was negative, and that was that.

Repeat scenario in December.  IUI Round #2.  We took a pregnancy test the day before we flew to Tucson for Christmas.  It was negative, and that was that.  Both of these rounds, I just had a feeling I wasn’t pregnant.  I felt crampy and different and had dreams about not being pregnant.  But since we were only allowed/recommended to do three rounds of IUI before moving on to IVF, I just figured it would HAVE to work out by the third round in January. I cried in church one Sunday before Christmas and a stranger came up to me and said that whatever was wrong, it would all be fine next year.  I believed her, because I had to.

Except Southwest Airlines cancelled our flight home from Tucson and we had to stay an extra two days in Arizona.  Which meant I missed a blood test back at the clinic, and therefore we couldn’t do IUI in January.  Which was partially devastating but also partly a relief to not have to think about it for a month.  And, the situation allowed me to drink on New Year’s Eve and make the clouded decision to sign up for a marathon in May.  I was betting that if I spent the money on a race, I’d definitely get pregnant and not be able to run it.

We did Round #3 in February, a week before my birthday.  It HAD to work because it was our last chance.  I even had an extra trigger shot to increase our chances.  But I had a terrible dream about a strange fertility clinic filled with ex-boyfriends and strangers yelling and pointing at me that I wasn’t pregnant.  It was awful.  And again, I wasn’t pregnant.  I had to work that day and it was terrible because I could barely hold it together.  That weekend we didn’t know what else to do so we did a 16 mile training run pushing Tyler in the BOB.  That kid is a champ and had no idea what it was like for us that day.  Eric was trying to be positive but I felt like somebody died.  Were we really not ever going to have another child?  I had changed jobs, and therefore insurance, and it covered nothing.  Three rounds of IUI ended up costing us practically what IVF would have.  There was no way we could think about that at the time, though.

When I had to call the clinic to tell them I wasn’t pregnant, again, I had a moment of desperation when I asked them if we could do another round of IUI.  My reasoning was that I wasn’t on Clomid for three consecutive months because we’d taken January off, and that we knew it could work because we already had Tyler.  Much to my surprise, the nurse agreed we could give it one last try.  They would change up my meds and see what happened.

I was good to go on March 7th.  I was so panicked it was hardly even joyful.  Even with the best husband in the world (that’s you, Eric) there is nothing romantic about IUI.  It’s sterile and silent and kind of sad.  But I didn’t have any cramps this time and was hopeful. I had a dream I gave birth, which was encouraging.  I diligently waited until Test Day and there wasn’t really a line.  Not really.  I took another test.  Barely visible.  Eric wasn’t sure, either. I was hardly convinced.  But I had to call the clinic line or no line, so they told me to come in for a blood test.

I left school to go into the clinic.  There’s a song they play on KLOVE called “Sweetly Broken” by Jeremy Riddle.  This song is a decade old at least and they hardly ever play it anymore.  But it plays every time I need to hear it.

The nurse called me back later that day at work and asked for Amy in a distant, distracted voice.  My heart sank until all of a sudden she said, “Hey! Good news!”  I couldn’t even stand up.  I called Eric and made him leave a meeting so I could tell him.  He was thrilled, of course.

The clinic has you come back three days later to test again and make sure some numbers are going up.  It was a snow day from school.  Eric stayed home to drive me to the clinic. We were those people, out on the road in a horribly dangerous spring snowstorm with cars sliding all over the road and accidents and emergency vehicles everywhere.  We made it in time for my blood to get out to the lab, but the lab driver wrecked and it all got delayed a day anyway.

She called me again, at work.  The test showed my numbers were going up and everything looked great.  I was officially, finally, pregnant.  I felt great.  We had our first ultrasound on April 12; a blueberry with a heartbeat.  On April 21 tiny leg and arm buds waved at us. On April 29 we graduated from Conceptions, probably forever.

Due November 28!

Due November 28!

We didn’t find out if we were having a boy or a girl.  Life’s last great surprise, right?  I didn’t run the full marathon, but I did run the half at 10 weeks pregnant.  It was a freezing, snowy May day, and the first night I had ever spent away from Tyler, without Eric.  I was thrilled to be running less knowing a baby was growing.

Tyler, my beloved Baboo Monkey, will be a big brother in just a couple of weeks.  So much is about to change.  But we wouldn’t have it any other way…even though it was a heck of a ride to get where we are now.

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Holles Takeover Steamboat

Remember a long time ago I posted a picture of Tyler’s passport photo?  That was because we were supposed to go to Canada on a Holle Family Trip.  Here it is again because it’s THAT good.  We went ahead and ordered a passport, because you never know.

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Tyler, 16 1/2 mos.

As it turns out, we changed the trip to Steamboat Springs.  We had two condos booked in early June, and we were prepared for it to snow…you never know, in the mountains.  But with classic “Holle Timing,” we had a PERFECT week in Steamboat.  It was 80 and sunny every day and we had a blast.  It ended up being Grandma & Grandpa, Eric, Tyler (22 mos), and me, and Andy, Laura, Ethan (6) and Emma (26 mos).

Laura and I started the week off right with the Steamboat 10k.  I was 16 weeks pregnant and it was Laura’s first 10k.  We were overcome with the scenery of the race and managed to run the whole thing…GO LAURA!

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Just beautiful!

We loved the race so much we went out and ran parts of the route again later in the week.

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Tyler stealing my orange slices.

We enjoyed the area with hikes, walks, visiting breweries, checking out the local Botanic Gardens, playing mini-golf at our condo, burning ourselves at Strawberry Park Hot Springs, and of course, eating.

Fish Creek Falls

Fish Creek Falls.

Grandma and Tyler at Storm Peak Brewing.

Grandma and Tyler at Storm Peak Brewing.

Cousins at Butcherknife Brewing.

Cousins at Butcherknife Brewing.

Baseball in the park.

Baseball in the park with Grandpa.

Eric and Andy went fly fishing.

Eric and Andy went fly fishing.

Quality time with Grandpa on the porch swing.

Quality time with Grandpa on the porch swing.

Emma and Tyler could swing all day long.

Emma and Tyler could swing all day long.

Every day Emma & Tyler would snuggle in Grandma and Grandpa's bed.

Every day Emma & Tyler would snuggle in Grandma and Grandpa’s bed.

Cousin bath time!

Cousin bath time!

At the base of the ski area, there’s a manmade creek/beach that the kids just adored.  We played there for hours.

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Summertime and the livin’ is easy.

Playing with Grandma.

Playing with Grandma.

Sassy Emma.

Sassy Emma.

Golf...in the hole!

Golf…in the hole!

Night-night stories with Grandma.

Night-night stories with Grandma.

One day we ventured all the way out to Dinosaur National Monument.  It was a loooooong drive, but we got to see amazing fossils and check out Vernal Brewing Company.

Family Fossil shot.

Family Fossil shot.

Future paleontologists?

Future paleontologists?

Eric, watch out!

Daddy, watch out!

Three grandkids=never a good photo.

Three grandkids=never a good photo.

Ethan’s birthday is in June and we got him a Stomp Rocket.  This is probably the best toy ever for a six-year-old who likes to shoot things and for whom you may want to use as target practice yourself.  Although it’s fun to watch the foam rockets shoot as high up into the sky as possible, it’s also amusing to angle the device so that the rockets shoot out–at trees, or the grill, or children.  Ethan is quite fast and managed to escape most attempts of adults trying to get him.  But he did get hit once or twice…it’s a pretty hilarious game for your whole family.

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Ethan rocket-dodging.

Near the end of our trip I convinced the non-seafaring Holles to rent a pontoon on Stagecoach Reservoir.  It was a gorgeous day and we cooked out on the grill on the boat. The kids loved playing captain and I loved working on my tan!

Cruisin'.

Cruisin’.

Bye-bye, wa-wa!

Bye-bye, wa-wa!

We also had to wait until Friday for the gondola to open so we could ride to the top of the mountain and check it out.

Snow at the top!

Snow at the top!

Going back down.

Going back down.

We missed Paul & Colleen on this trip, but we are sure there will be more.  Thanks for the condos, Grandma and Grandpa, and thanks everyone for the memories!

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Becoming a Big Brother

Way back in the spring, we wanted to tell our families we were pregnant before we blogged about it.  Obviously.  But it got complicated, because I wanted to do it in person with my parents (we had to Skype the first time around).  My mom had knee surgery in April, and it didn’t go very well, making travel for my parents impossible in May.  I knew I had to fit a trip in, so Tyler (still free) and I flew to Ohio for Mother’s Day.

I dressed Tyler in his blue #1 Brother shirt, and being Cleveland in May, he had to wear a fleece over it.  I was so excited for my parents to see his shirt!  I wasn’t really showing yet at 12 weeks, so I knew they wouldn’t notice any belly on me.  I kept Tyler zipped up until Dad drove us home, and claimed it was hot in the house so I could take Tyler’s jacket off.

They didn’t notice.

We ate lunch and I purposely had Mom feed him and wipe dribbles off of his shirt.

They didn’t notice.

Mom claimed I was too thin and needed to put on weight.  We ate dinner together with Tyler, still in his shirt, laughing and playing in his high chair.  At bathtime, I made Mom take off Tyler’s clothes.

She noticed.  “Wait,” she said.  “This doesn’t mean anything, does it?”

“Um, yeah!” I said.  I scolded her for being so imperceptive and blamed it on the painkillers for her knee.  She was predictably ecstatic and defended herself by saying Dad didn’t notice, either.  After his bath, she put Tyler’s #1 Brother shirt back on him, took him downstairs to Dad, and told him to read the shirt again.  Dad STILL didn’t get it.  Mom basically had to just tell him there was another baby on the way, and he was very much in shock.  “I guess I never even offered you a beer, so I didn’t notice!” he said.

I know because it’d been hard for us, they didn’t have their hopes up, and they’d learned not to ask.  But that is definitely NOT the way I had pictured our “big reveal” going! Fortunately we got to spend two more days together.  Mom’s spirits were up, we took Grandma out to breakfast, and Dad got to take Tyler to the zoo.

piano

Playing piano with Grandpa.

Four generations including myself!

Four generations including myself!

My monkey watching the monkeys.

My monkey watching the monkeys.

Tyler loved the elephants. And we got to feed the giraffes!

Tyler loved the elephants.

Strolling with Grandpa.

Strolling with Grandpa.

We rode the carousel and the train!

We rode the carousel and the train!

Thanks for the grandkids' desk, Nana.

Thanks for the grandkids’ desk, Nana.

Getting hopped up on hot fudge at Malley's before the trip home.

Getting hopped up on hot fudge at Malley’s before the flight home.

It was a quick trip home, but a memorable one.  Mom claims that “#1 Brother” doesn’t necessarily mean “Big Brother” and that she thought he was just wearing a hand-me-down.  Really, Mom?  You think I’d fly across the country with my kid in some random secondhand tee shirt?  You know me better than that.  Besides, it only took Eric’s parents about 6o seconds to break the “#1 Brother” code!

 

 

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It’s Really Happening

No, this is not about the baby that’s coming in five weeks from yesterday.  Although that’s a pretty big deal, too.  This is about two families who love baseball, who raised children who love baseball, who created a toddler whose favorite thing in his tiny little life is a “baseball party.”

Growing up in Cleveland with my sports-nut father was a blast.  I had a rabbit’s foot I took to Cleveland Municipal to cheer on the Indians (why did I like Cory Snyder?), and later, we had rituals about getting to our seats in section 554 at Jacobs Field.  I remember when the Cavs were royal blue & orange and Brad Daugherty was awesome.  And I thought it was normal that your dad moved an easy chair into the middle of the living room to yell at the Browns waving a Growl Towel while your mom tied dog bones into your pigtails.  I give my mom due credit for allowing and supporting all of this to happen–she’s a fan if not a native, but she might also be at TJ Maxx during a playoff game.

When I moved away twelve (!) years ago, it never occurred to me to root for any other teams.  The Nuggets are pretty bad, for obvious reasons the Broncos are off-limits, and the Rockies are National League, so what harm is it to cheer for them at a game or two? Which brings me to my next point.

I am NOT wearing Cubs. Just a maternity baseball shirt, because, obviously, every girl needs one of those.

I am NOT wearing Cubs. We are at a Rockies game. Just a maternity baseball shirt, because, obviously, every girl needs one of those.

I married a Cubs fan.  A real one.  Eric’s parents both grew up in rural Indiana and Illinois rooting for the Cubs.  Eric’s sister married a bona fide Cubs fan.  I wasn’t sure I’d be allowed in the family (well that and I’m not Lutheran) without pledging allegiance to the Cubs, but because my ties are with the American League, apparently it was OK.

I’ve been to games at Wrigley Field twice with Eric.  He’s been to Progressive Field.  We go to spring training games in Arizona with his parents.  And we’ve seen many Rockies games, including the Cubs in Colorado.  Eric bought tickets when the Cubs were in town in 2014 for the day after Tyler was due.

August 5, 2014

August 5, 2014

He was right–the baby was late and I spent my last night pregnant downtown, watching the Cubs.  Tyler has been to a game in Cleveland, and two in Denver plus a rain delay where we never even got to see a Cubbie throw a pitch. Tyler loves it.  He yells “home run,” “out,” “safe,” and sometimes just “baseball party!”

Tyler's 2nd Baseball Party

Tyler’s 2nd Baseball Party

We joked it would never matter until the Indians played the Cubs in the World Series.  It was 2010 when we got married and that scenario seemed really, really unlikely.  Hell-freezing-over-pigs-flying unlikely.

And yet–here we are.  It has been a wild ride.  Eric never roots against the Indians, and I openly cheer for the Cubs.  Until now.  Other than navigating bath time and bedtime for Tyler, we haven’t even looked at each other tonight since the first bite of chicken caesar salad, exactly 14 minutes before gametime.  Is it weird that two grown adults who love each other are mostly standing in front of the same TV avoiding eye contact?  We promised to cheer for our own team but avoid being nasty to the opposing team.  So far, it’s working.

I’m praying for speedy games because I don’t think my blood pressure is good for the baby. And what if Baboo #2 wants to make an appearance during a World Series game?  I honestly don’t know.  Although it’s been suggested, we are NOT naming our baby JB Holle for Javier Baez.  But Lindor Holle?  That has a nice ring to it…

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