38 weeks (and one day)

We’re ready to meet her. The bags are packed. The bassinet is warm and cuddly. The rocking chair is clean and cozy. We’re ready for Sydney to arrive. I obsess over her arrival. I want everything to be comfortable for Kelci. I want to make sure Kylah is taken care of and knows that everything is OK.

I’ve been a nervous wreck as I know that any time my phone vibrates or lights up, it could be “the call.” I know that Kelci is ready for an end to the pain and nausea and discomfort. I know that Kylah is excited to meet her little sister (although she still lobbies for a little brother).

I mentioned in the last post that I wasn’t feeling very festive, but we’ve managed to find a bit of the holiday spirit. We all went and picked out a nice tree that Kylah helped decorate and loves seeing. We even welcomed George, the lady elf into our world as it keeps an eye on Kylah from wherever she lands after visiting Santa. The holiday excitement has been routinely trumped by the anticipation of Sydney’s arrival. I, personally, am afraid to venture out shopping or to plan events and gatherings because I would rather be with Kelci in the event that “now.” happens.

But, the reality is that Sydney might not arrive for another three weeks. But, we’ll be ready. We’ll have warm arms and cozy hugs waiting for her when she arrives. See you soon Sydney.

The longest and shortest eight weeks

Today marks the eight week mark until Kelci’s due date. Eight weeks until Baby Berto 2.0 is scheduled to join us and make her way into our lives.

I remember this time vividly from before Kylah was born. I remember thinking that it would be the longest, yet shortest eight weeks of my life (well, our lives really). There’s so much to do to finish preparing. We have rooms to decorate and clothes to wash and put away and we get to tell people what her name is.

Her arrival means the change of our world. Again.

Last night I laid next to Kelci and her army of pillows supporting her in various places in an attempt to find a couple hours of comfortable sleep. I laid there with my hand on top of (I almost typed her name here, but my mom would yell at me if she read it here first) Baby Berto 2.0 and felt her squirm, kick and wiggle. And then I felt her hiccup and smiled with the assurance that there was a strong and healthy little girl getting more and more ready to come say hello.

The experience in getting ready for baby number two has been wildly different than when we were getting ready for Kylah. The nursery was already decorated, we already know how to swaddle an infant and our stockpile of wipes is towering. But more importantly, we know how to parent. We know to not be intimidated by cries and how to put a Mickey Mouse Band-Aid on the smallest of bumps. I’m not quite ready for the task of having two. Having an active and growing and curious and patient and kind little girl while also having a fragile and cooing and needy pile of baby girl is going to be a challenge to say the least.

As we head into the final eight or so weeks, I have been working on my patience and my ability to be a more proactive part of the household. Simple tasks go a long way. As Kelci continues to battle “morning” sickness, crippling sciatica and various other aches and pains, I am able to spend time with Kylah and help make her feel special.

When she walked into her big girl room for the first time, she kept exclaiming “Daddy, this is so awesome!!!” Seeing that smile and hearing those words made the weekend of sweat, paint and frustrations so worth it. I’m ready for Baby Berto 2.0 and these are going to be the longest and shortest eight weeks of the rest of our lives.

Starting from scratch

About 19 months ago, I weighed 425 pounds or so. Twelve months ago I weighed about 370.

Today I weighed in at 401 lbs.

It looks like I am starting from scratch. I am not here to make excuses or explain away the fluctuations. I got out of a routine that worked and I reverted back to a diet that consists primarily of drive throughs.

But I am currently sitting in a sauna after waddling on the treadmill for 2.5 miles and then lifting weights. I am going to make an effort now to restart the routine before Baby Berto 2.0 arrives.

I have a pile of my old clothes on my closet floor. Kelci asked me the other day to get rid of them and I hesitated. Not out of nostalgia for the size 54 slacks. But out of fear that they now fit again.

Getting started again will be good for me on a number of levels, but I need to wear all those clothes I bought last year.

On to the next phase.

On the day you turn three


Today you turn three. I have been told I have to come to terms that you are no longer a toddler. No, today you become my little (big) girl. Today you wake up and go to preschool, where you are capable of learning valuable lessons like the color of a rainbow or what a frog is.

Sometimes you've got to let it all hang out to make good food.

The truth is I’ve struggled to write this. Every time I start to write, I get emotional as I realize how much of an impact you have made on my life. You have brought me tremendous joys from your wrestler-strong headlocks you call a hug to the deep breaths you force me to take when you refuse to eat even the smallest speck of carrot. You have brought me closer to Kelci and you have begun to accept the fact you are going to have a little sister.

You are a beautiful soul, you are fast to smile and fast to offer a please or thank you for even the smallest thing. You are smart beyond what I thought capable. Your ability to suddenly count backward shocked us all. Your ability to remember asking auntie for a squirt gun for your birthday months after the conversation helped her remember.

You have made an impact on others with multiple people posting how much you mean to them. You’re only three, but you have changed my life forever and I love you for that.

Happy birthday baby bear.

Pathway to new adventures

For the second night in a row, I have just put my two-year-old daughter (OK, she’ll be three in two weeks, but still) to bed without a pullup on. This means two things: I’m crazy and my little girl is growing up.

It’s amazing to think that not only are we nearly three years into the first part of this journey. But we’re also half way to the beginning of the next chapter of our new journey. Baby Berto 2.0 is growing along quite nicely. Kelci still fights through morning sickness, but it’s been a bit smoother than it was with Kylah.

Which is code for we haven’t yet had to take her to the ER.

Since we’re at half way in the journey, it also means it’s time to find out whether I get to build a little boy room or a little girl room!!! Kelci and I have been looking forward to this for, well, for 20 weeks now! Somebody asked me today what I was hoping for. Funny question, but the truth is, wanting a boy is what got us into this mess.

When Kelci and I were vacationing in Mazatlan last year, I saw a guy who was about 50 getting ready to head out fishing with his son. In that moment, I knew I wanted a boy to share that with. Don’t get me wrong, Kylah is always going to be my “little duder” and I will always share my passions for football, hunting, fishing and camping with her. In fact, she asked me tonight if girls with long hair can play football. Of course I said yes.

But the bond of father and son is one that is just… different. I remember all of those guy moments with my dad and want a little man to share them with. Tomorrow we get a look at the little guy or little girl we’ll be welcoming into our world next.

In the meantime, here’s some pictures of my little girl that I love and cherish and can’t wait to help her reel in her first fish.