He’s Definitely Not a Baby Anymore (Sigh)

Tyler last got a haircut in December, right after Salem was born.  His hair grows fast and furious, and while I don’t want him to be mistaken for a girl, I’m quite attached to his luscious locks.  I’m afraid if we cut them off, they won’t grow back.  He won’t be blonde anymore.  And worst of all, he’ll look so.much.older.

But when your toddler asks for a haircut, you know it’s time.



On the way home:


Even more handsome, but so grown up.  Tear.

Two Peas

It’s official.  Our kids look alike.  When Salem was fresh and red and wrinkled, it was hard to tell.  But now….

And there’s so many more.  We knew in the womb the baby looked just like Tyler.  One ultrasound photo in particular gave us the chills.

Ultrasound photos are always kind of creepy (don’t worry, I’ll spare you the 4D freakiness) but when this smashed face appeared we both couldn’t believe how much the baby looked like Tyler (big lips from Grandpa and big nostrils from Daddy).

We keep wondering…will her eyes stay blue (like Tyler’s were) or change to gray-green?  Will her hair grow in blond?  So far, she eats and sleeps just like him (lots of snacking and catnaps) and is long and skinny like he was.  It will be fun to find out, but I don’t want to rush it!




Tyler at Two (and a half)

This kid never stops amazing us.  He is kind, gentle, friendly, animated, silly, and loving. He chats with us about his friends at school (still don’t know if the kid is named Wylie or Riley), his baby “shishter Shalem”, and Jesus.  He wants to watch “Gwinch” and build Thomas tracks and read Llama Llama.  He remains obsessed with baseball.

And yet, he still really doesn’t want to pose for the gosh dang camera.  Tyler, pull it together for Mommy, will you please?  Here are a few shots of Tyler “in” the basket at age  2 1/2 as well as a look back at some other memorable basket photos.

He said he would sit in the duck bathtub, but not the basket.
My favorite toddler.
One foot in the basket because I let him hold the candy jar.
Age 2, tears.
18 months, tears. Is there a theme here?
My harmonica-playing toddler.
12 months (apparently the end of the Era of Happy Basket Photos)
I couldn’t resist.

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.





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.


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.

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!



Double the Stroller, Double the Fun

We’ll be giving thanks a few days late this year.  November 28, to be exact.

I know….can you believe it?!


Wait…maybe this isn’t such a good idea, Mommy & Daddy.


The baby is going to LIVE with us?!


I guess I can learn to deal with this and live up to the #1 Brother hype.


But for now, let’s just play and not think about the baby.  Here, take this onesie.



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!
Hurry up, guys! I wanna go skiing!
Our old friend Tyler spun Tyler his first skis!
Our old friend Tyler spun Tyler his first skis!
Family gondola ride.
Family gondola ride.
One happy kiddo.
One happy kiddo.
One last drink of water before it's time to mount up.
One last drink of water before it’s time to mount up.
Magic Carpet Ride...
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!
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.
Braving Chair 15.
Bye-bye ski!
Bye-bye ski!
What goes up must come down.
What goes up must come down.
Apres like a champ.
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!
Those tiny skis!
On the 6-pack lift.
On the 6-pack lift.

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!

Look what I found in my room, Mommy!
Look what I found in my room, Mommy!
Really trying to get out there, Mommy. C'mon.
Really trying to get out there, Mommy. C’mon.



Our Retro Easter Sunday

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.
Not sure about this.
Maybe the Easter basket will make this better!
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.
On Daddy’s shoulders watching and listening.
An old man face for an old man hat.
An old man face for an old man hat.
Stickers to stay quiet in church.
Stickers to stay quiet in church.
Happy Easter 2016!
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.
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!

He will NOT smile for a selfie.
Grapes are funny!