Because we are crazy, we started Tyler on skis this winter at the age of 1. Or 19 1/2 months, to be exact. We wouldn’t have done it if he hated the cold, or wouldn’t wear the clothes, or didn’t seem interested. But he LOVES it. Loves the snow, loves his snowsuit, goggles, helmet, mittens. The whole shebang. We bought a rad helmet at a big sale at REI–it has a blue mohawk! And he loves being outside.
Before Tyler skied on his own, he took a ride in the pack at age 18 months on Daddy’s back at Snowmass. We skied there with the Taylors on my birthday in February, and they had skied with Burke in the pack before, so we were on board. Of course, Tyler liked it. He was so funny to watch just looking around with the wind in his face while Daddy cruised!
To be fair, he’s not really skiing, not by himself, at all. His first official day was on Easter, at Vail. He willingly stands between Daddy or Mommy’s legs, and we’re working on him standing upright without being a wet noodle. But he loves going fast, riding the magic carpet, and even the lifts! In my ski school experience most kids hate wearing ski boots. Tyler even loved those despite his feet being so tiny he fell out of his boots a couple of times, which prompted him to hold out his tiny socked foot over the snow and say “shoe.”
At Vail, there’s not a beginner area at the base in Lionshead–it’s at the top of the gondola. Easter Sunday was GORGEOUS and we could not have asked for a better day for Tyler to hit the slopes!
Our day at Vail:
Hurry up, guys! I wanna go skiing!
Our old friend Tyler spun Tyler his first skis!
Family gondola ride.
One happy kiddo.
One last drink of water before it’s time to mount up.
Magic Carpet Ride…
Every time we got to the bottom of the run, Tyler said and signed “more!” No tears, no “all done.”
Perfect ski day!
We figured we could get an even longer run in if we took the chairlift instead of the magic carpet. Yes, Mom, we held onto him really, really, really tightly.
Braving Chair 15.
What goes up must come down.
Checking out the apres scene at Garfs.
The next time Tyler skied was at Breckenridge in April. Again, we scored another beautiful, warm, perfect, bluebird day. This time instead of the relatively tiny beginner area, we headed up a main lift. Employees didn’t bat an eye, but we sure had a number of guests stop to ask us what the heck we were doing with our baby up there. I think their exact words were “How old is he?!”
Those tiny skis!
On the 6-pack lift.
Just SO HAPPY!
Again, Tyler loved every minute, asking for “more” and never wanting to stop. He is still as a statue on the lift, and continues to be a wet noodle when “skiing.”
At home, whenever Tyler sees his helmet or snowsuit in his room, he says “ski!!!!” and his eyes light up. He knows. Unfortunately, he only got out there twice. But this peanut should fit in his getup next year, and the plan is to ski even more. We always told parents at ski school that they wouldn’t remember from one time to the next this young…but maybe he will!
Aunt Linda handed down to Tyler a navy blue coat and hat that my cousin Mark wore 40+ years ago. The items are adorable, and I promised I would have Tyler wear them, so Easter Sunday seemed like the perfect time. We spent Easter weekend in Vail, so we visited our old stomping grounds, The Vail Church, before hitting the slopes. There’s a little gathering room with a fireplace at the church, so we set up a mini photo shoot before the service!
Not sure about this.
Maybe the Easter basket will make this better!
Looking back, this must have been when Tyler started refusing to smile for photos.
On Daddy’s shoulders watching and listening.
An old man face for an old man hat.
Stickers to stay quiet in church.
Happy Easter 2016!
Thanks for the cute clothes, Aunt Linda! Be sure to show Mark the pictures!
Tyler has gotten very into helping lately. He likes to throw away “tash,” help unload the “poon” and “fah” from the dishwasher, Swiffer the heck out of the floors, and put his dirty clothes in his laundry basket. (And yes, he actually does all of those things.)
Tonight, Tyler wanted to help Daddy mulch the yard.
I don’t think this is helping.
When Daddy was done, Tyler came back inside to the kitchen where I was prepping all kinds of fruit. I wish we had a Kitchen Helper but since we don’t, I just pull up a chair to the island for Tyler to stand on. (The horror! He might fall!)
I was taking grapes off the bunch because I like them all to be free and washed–I think it encourages us to eat them when they’re ready in the fridge. (OMG Safety Police yes I still cut them for Tyler.) Tyler crawled up onto his chair, took a small bunch from the bag, and began plucking them off one by one into the colander. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t ask him to help or give him any direction–he just watched me and followed along.
He even noticed if there was a stem still attached to a grape in the bowl, and gently picked it off and set it aside. I think in the Helping Contest between me and Daddy, I win tonight!
Eric and I have always prayed before meals, just a quick little prayer of thanks. So when Tyler started joining us at the table (over a year ago now) we of course included him by holding his hands. He likes to smack his hands together for a big AAAA-MEN at the end.
Lately he’s been watching us close our eyes while we pray and he *tries* to do that, too. These photos are from Sunday afternoon–we weren’t even eating dinner. I think he was having a snack and maybe I was, too. But, he insisted we pray by holding out his hands and grabbing our fingers. Simply adorable.
Also a shout out to Patagonia for making baby clothes with ridiculous sizing. The green striped long underwear he’s sporting (snow on May 1!) is sized 6 Months. Tyler will be 21 months on Saturday!
I mean, who wouldn’t want to go to Nebraska on vacation, right?
Eric’s sister, Laura, and her family moved to Lincoln a couple of years ago, and although we visited once for Thanksgiving when Tyler was just a tiny baboo, we hadn’t been back to see the Stumpf’s new house. So we packed up the truck and headed out after work for the 7-hour drive. We stopped once, in Kearney, so Tyler could visit his 72nd brewery, Thunderhead Brewing. A brewery in the middle of rural Nebraska is exactly what you would expect: the pizza wasn’t bad and the girls were drinking some kind of purple cocktail instead of beer and there wasn’t a diaper changing station. We made it to Lincoln before midnight.
Saturday we woke up to much chillier weather than we had anticipated and headed to the Lincoln Zoo. Wow! We were amazed at how thoughtfully this tiny zoo was put together and marveled at all of the fun attractions for kids.
Tyler rode a pony like a pint-sized cowboy.
Side note: when did our child grow big enough to ride a horse?
Ethan showed off his tricks on the slide.
Tyler signing “bird” at the peacock. No fear–I had to hold him so he wouldn’t touch.
Ethan measuring his wingspan.
Eric measuring his wingspan which wasn’t even a little awkward.
We rode the train all the way around the zoo. Yes, I’m wearing Tyler’s hat because a. he had a hood, b. I was freezing, and c. my head is that tiny.
Tyler’s “I love this” face while riding the train.
Loving the public art.
Emma, Ethan, & Tyler
We ate some yummy sandwiches for lunch and headed home for naptime. We had a big afternoon planned at a local winery, James Arthur Vineyards.
The setting was beautiful. The wine was not.
If you can imagine a brewery in rural Nebraska, now picture a winery outside of Lincoln. Did you conjure images of bedazzled aprons sporting catchy sayings like “Wine not?” Can you just see the animal figurines made of wine corks? Have you ever tasted Carlo Rossi? Yep, that about sums it up. But the weather warmed up, the kids were having fun, and they gave us cheese, so we actually had a great time.
The grounds were lovely and we even went for a toddler “hike.”
Sunday morning we went to the church that Andy works for, Christ Lutheran. It was fun to see what a vibrant service they have, and Tyler loves going to church daycares. When we got home, Laura declared it was time for an Easter Egg Hunt! Even though Easter had been the week before, we wanted the kids to have fun together so we went out in the backyard and let them run wild in the sunshine.
Emma found one!
Ethan found most of them…
Three cute cousins!
Tyler hammed it up for awhile. Apparently wearing his plumber’s one-piece outfit makes him feel extra silly, but I think it’s so adorable I can’t stand it so I make him wear it for special occasions.
Then we hit the amazing playground in an attempt to get the kids tired. It didn’t work.
My only niece!
Our last stop was Ploughshare Brewing Co. in downtown Lincoln. Very cool place with excellent beer, and they even gave us a broom so we could clean up our giant child-mess.
I think we tried all the beers.
All in all we had a fantastic trip and can’t wait to see these characters again in June. Thanks, Stumpfs!
We had heard a storm was blowing in, but we had no idea what Mother Nature was doing out there. And then I got the only call you want to get at 5am–SNOW DAY!
This was 5:00am. Not too much accumulation, but the wind was fierce.
While Eric worked from home, I introduced a new obsession to Tyler: trains! He had a blast helping build the track and carries Thomas and Rusty around with him everywhere. (Thanks, Michelle, for passing on the train set!) And he’s not yet saying “train” but for weeks has said “WOOO WOOO” when he sees them in books.
The snow continued until later in the afternoon; then, it was still and not too cold. Perfect for playing outside! Daddy went to help Tim shovel out Boulder County, so he missed this fun. I laid out Tyler’s snowsuit on the couch with his hat, mittens, and boots. He climbed up and eagerly spread himself out trying to get it on, patiently waiting for the zipping and velcroing. He couldn’t wait to get out there (like his mommy) but wanted to be prepared (like his daddy).
What is all this?!
Postholing up to his armpits.
Catching (and eating) snowballs.
New favorite snack: snow.
We ended up with 21″ of snow. It was 72 degrees and sunny yesterday. So glad we had this blizzard and could spend the day together!
In January I had a long weekend, so Tyler and I flew to Cleveland to see Nana & Grandpa. When asked if he would like to go, Eric replied, “Cleveland in January? No thanks, I’m good.” So off we went, Baboo and I.
CLE from the air…stadium and downtown. Love this view and this city.
Tyler LOVED seeing Nana & Grandpa. He played constantly with them and relished the attention. He played pool and watched golf on TV with Grandpa and colored and investigated battery-operated candles with Nana. He read books with all of us. And he went to bed like a champ after all that activity.
Coloring in the highchair that was my cousin Mark’s…it’s over 40 years old!
We got to meet Annie & Andy’s baby boy, Oscar. They’re almost exactly a year apart, but Tyler only weighs 3 more pounds than Oscar! Seriously–what a cutie he is!
Future ski buddies.
We checked out a burger bar in Tremont. Tyler patiently colored at the bar while we waited for a table and had fun feeding Grandpa his burger.
On Sunday, we took Tyler to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. I knew he would like it because he’s into animals and a pretty mellow kid. And he’d been saying/signing “fish” for months. But WOW I had no idea he’d enjoy it as much as he did. At 17 months old he was entertained for TWO HOURS and we probably could have stayed even longer.
Already excited at the first tank. “Fish!”
He wasn’t shy at all about putting his hands in the water to touch the rays as they swam by.
It took us forever to get this shot…priceless!
On the way back to Westlake we stopped in Lakewood to visit our “old house”–the house I was born in. My parents planted that big tree out front on the treelawn thirtysomething years ago. And yes it’s snowing in Cleveland in January…no surprise there.
One last thing I wanted to do was take Tyler to Malley’s for ice cream. We grew up going there for good report cards and birthdays, in all its pink and green splendor. Nana had fun sharing her ice cream cone with Tyler!
All in all, a quick trip but an amazing trip. Tyler sure is loved.
One more thing–Nana & Grandpa when do I get to see you again?!
Tyler is at that stage where he will copy most anything you do, and wants you to copy what’s he’s doing, too. Here are some selfies from the other night when we were snuggling and reading books on the couch too close to bedtime.