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.
Side note: when did our child grow big enough to ride a horse?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
As with every family, the holidays were a blur for us this year. Here are a few photos of Tyler enjoying his second Christmas, at home in Colorado.
Tyler was being so stinkin’ cute this day. Our church celebrates Christmas Eve on the Sunday before, so we attended, saw Santa (around the corner from our house on a firetruck!), and opened presents from my side of the family.
Tyler was an angel around the Christmas tree–we didn’t have any broken ornaments or swimming-in-the-reservoir episodes. He had fun opening gifts, playing of course with the paper and ribbons. Thanks for the new toys, books, and clothes Aunt Heidi & Uncle David and Nana & Grandpa! The Wedgits and Richard Scarry books are some of my faves!
Eric and I are fortunate to have very flexible schedules with our jobs. My school district gives us the whole week at Thanksgiving and Eric can take days off/work from home as needed. So, we flew to Chicago on the redeye Monday night.
We enjoyed time with my brother and Heidi and our nephews, Everett and Judd. The adults imbibed, the children frolicked, and Nana & Grandpa were exhausted.
On Tuesday, we visited a local indoor play area. The boys LOVED it and it was so fun to see Tyler seem all grown up running around with older kids and showing no fear on slides and ladders.
Nighttime is a hoot with 3 wound-up boys.
Wednesday we celebrated an unorthodox Thanksgiving! Our flight was leaving Thursday afternoon (literally no cheaper time to fly–$59). So, we cooked our dinner on Wednesday! Heidi and I spent most of our time drinking wine in the kitchen slaving over side dishes while Nana & Grandpa and the daddies played with the boys.
We had so much fun chasing after Everett, Judd, and Tyler. Fortunately we didn’t get too tired, because we had a Turkey Trot to do on Thanksgiving morning!
So glad we were able to all be together for the holiday. Tyler is a mere 5 1/2 weeks older than Judd and we all look forward to them growing up together!
“How do I exchange my dollars for Vermont Money?”–Joey Tribbiani
Way back last year sometime, Eric decided he needed to take a class for work. A 3-day workshop kind of class, offered by a private vendor at a variety of locations around the country. When he told me that Vermont was on the list–in OCTOBER!–I knew all 3 of us would be going. I have ALWAYS wanted to go to the Northeast in the fall. I wanted to experience the whole deal: leaf-peeping, cider donuts, and maple syrup tapping. Ok, I was bummed to learn that the syrup thing doesn’t happen in the fall…but I still wanted Tyler and I to tag along on this trip. So, we went for four days of family vacation before Eric stayed to take his class.
In true Hollewood vacation style, we didn’t waste a minute. From the moment we landed in Burlington, we were on the go. Tyler was a superb traveler and slept all night long in our airbnb–the house had a nursery with a crib, a diaper genie, bath toys, and even a stroller for us to use. Amazing.
Many thanks to our friends who gave us recommendations and suggestions of all the things to see, do, eat, and drink in and around Burlington. We ate at Penny Cluse, American Flatbread, and Vergennes Laundry. We drank at Magic Hat, Fiddlehead, Switchback, Queen City, Zero Gravity, Crop, and Prohibition Pig. We saw Stowe, Ben & Jerry’s, Shelburne Farms, Shelburne Orchards, and rode the ferry to Essex, NY. We ate maple ice cream and bought Tyler a little dinosaur we call his Vermontasaurus.
It was so fun to have Tyler there and see him experience things for the first time. Thinking back now, although it was only 4 months ago, I can hardly believe how much he has changed since then. He was barely starting to walk–wobbly and holding our hands. At 14 months old, he was swimming in size 12 months clothes. And he was still nursing. I miss that baby!
Tyler crawled at 10 1/2 months, which depending on who you ask, is on the later side. So it was no surprise that he wasn’t yet on two feet on his 1st birthday. I didn’t realize what a long process it was until I looked back at videos of him learning to walk and noticed they spanned over three months.
Congratulations, Tyler! I particularly love the “WOW” in the 3rd video. He’s even more exhausted now at the end of the day than he was when he was a crawler. And he’s obsessed with shoes. He loves wearing them and pointing at them and saying “sh”…it’s adorable. Playing at the park is so much more fun for him now, too. He has no fear–running up slides and sliding down, crossing bridges, and scooting through tunnels.