Nine years of awesome

This has been quite the year for Kelci and me. This time last year, Kelci was battling through morning sickness as we anxiously awaited Baby Berto 2.0. But today is different. today is a sunshine-filled day that welcomes in our ninth anniversary.

This year we wake up with two amazing kids, a life that we are both proud of and the ability to still make each other smile. We welcomed our second amazing daughter into our home. We witnessed Seattle history. We have learned the joys of being in the boat (and the costs). And we have continued to learn what being a spouse a partner and a teammate means.

The world was incredibly different for us in 2005. We didn’t have a house, our careers were kind of all over the map (I was still a reporter), kids were nowhere near our minds and spontaneity was still possible.

But I wouldn’t trade these last nine years, nor the five before that, for anything.

This has been a good year in the land of Eric and Kelci. I look forward to many more and the ability to experience the world with you as we continue down the path that we described more than a decade ago. I love you Kelci.

DSC_8882 Seahawks Super Bowl 48 winSeahawks training camp 2013 Bringing Sydney home. Tailgating fun Pumpkin patch 2013

First only happens once

On Feb. 2, 2014 the Seattle Seahawks won the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl.

And Kelci and I were there.

Seahawks Super Bowl 48 win

 

It’s been a month since we returned from New York and there were so many memories made during our five days in New York that each is as valid as the moment it happened. From the opportunity to visit the team hotel to the stroll through Central Park to the snow-filled sobering visit to the 9/11 memorial and Ground Zero. But the perpetual smile on our faces is what will stick with me forever.

Being able to share in a city’s history, and even getting to be a part of it by being able to actually write a weekly column for Seahawks.com has been one of the top moments of my life. I had no clue that I could get as passionate or emotionally invested in something as I have in the Seahawks. But here Kelci and I stood, 14 rows from the endzone as we watched history.

The game was surreal. The Seahawks defense dominated and the offense showed signs of a passing game we hadn’t really seen all year. I have been fortunate enough to meet a couple of the players. I got to spend time with WR Golden Tate. I’ve been around OL Max Unger and felt nothing but joy for those guys as they got to celebrate what they had done for the city. In the weeks that have passed, we’ve seen members of the team depart for other teams and we’ll soon see what the future of the team will be.

But now it’s a month later. I get to reflect daily as I enjoy the glow still from that weekend. The image of the Lombardi Trophy graces many of my thoughts. Kelci and I are planning our tattoo commitment and reflecting on the experience. I’ve shared a lot of my pictures from our trip on Facebook, but wanted to also share the game pictures I took.

‘Tis the season to prep for baby

I’m not being a scrooge, but I have zero interest in putting up Christmas lights or hanging stockings from the chimney with care. There’s no mistletoe hanging or a wreath on the door. Instead we have been getting ready for the arrival of Baby Berto 2.0.

But first, it’s time for a Christmas miracle, Kelci and I have decided on a name. She is no longer Baby Berto 2.0 to us.

She is Sydney Hazel Berto.

Sydney is a name that was on our original short list, but there was much debate of returning to a classic name as her first name. Hazel was in consideration as her first name as not only did we like it, there is also family history with it. My great grandmother, Hazel Berto, was an accomplished author and lead an amazing life.

So, in just a few days, Sydney Hazel Berto will be joining our family. So instead of chasing deals on loss-leader electronics, we have spent our time buying items from our baby registry and instead of hanging Christmas lights, I have been rearranging furniture to make room for a bassinet in our bedroom. The challenge this year is to make sure that Kylah knows it is still Christmas and that Santa is still coming to see her, regardless of when Sydney arrives.

I think that after this weekend’s preparations and watching as Kelci’s tummy quivers with Sydney’s near-constant movements, I am 100% ready for her to be here. I am ready for tiny fingers around my pinky and the warm snuggles with soft peach fuzz on the top of her head. And puke and 2am feedings as well. OK, maybe I’m not as ready for that.

See you soon Sydney. We are ready to meet you. I’m just sorry that there won’t be any Christmas lights greeting your arrival.

Baby Berto 2.0

If you had asked me two and a half months ago if I wanted another kid, my answer would have been somewhere between “Hell no” and “You’re absolutely crazy.”

But then something changed. I wanted a little boy. And, with any luck, our next one will be just that. That’s right, we’re announcing Baby Berto 2.0!!! According to our calculations, it will be due on Christmas Eve! Talk about a fun Christmas present.

Kylah is pretty excited to be a big sister.

A change of heart

It’s hard to explain what’s changed. I love Kylah beyond words. She’s become my (almost) everything. I love making her pancakes and helping her grow into a smart, confident child. But as Kelci has continued to drive home, two is better than one. I wavered and at times doubted that what I had agreed to was the right move.

But now that the reality of my upcoming Christmas present had set in, I am near tears writing this I am so excited.

I see the strong bonds that my cousin’s children have with each other and I want that for Kylah. I see how she has interacted with the newborns that some of our friends have recently had and I know she’s going to be an amazing big sister. I see the happiness on Kelci’s face when we talk about the room and all of the myriad details about Thing 2 as we’ve taken to calling it.

She tells us she wants a little brother.

Disclosing the news

Being in public relations, not telling people for a few weeks has been insanely difficult. I tell people news for a living and one of the biggest pieces of news in my life I haven’t been able to share yet. But here we are.

We even took a couple of weeks to tell Kylah what’s happening. We quite honestly didn’t want an episode of honest toddler happening when we weren’t ready to tell people! I told Kelci that I wanted her to surprise me with the confirmation as she had a “feeling” that she was pregnant.

So, when I came home from a work function just with enough time to read Kylah a bed time story, Kelci gave her a new book to read. I was talking to Kelci and didn’t notice the title:

“I’m going to be a big sister.”

I was surprised. And I cried asking her repeatedly “are you kidding me?” But this was no joke. Just the surprise I had asked for.

That’s the update for now. Kelci has her first appointment soon and the morning sickness that ravaged Kelci the first time has reappeared. We were hoping to avoid some of the challenges of last time. For now, she has been amazing. Kelci has been completely drained and the morning sickness is back with a vengeance.

We will of course share what we can when we can. Thank you all for following this family’s journey. It has been a lot of fun and I think that the stork will be riding on Santa’s sleigh this year.

I really do hope Santa brings me a boy!

School days

OK, so it’s only one-day-per-week preschool, but today Kelci and I faced the reality of having a toddler that is now in preschool. Today we drug Kylah out of bed and got her dressed and put on her brand-new owl backpack and took her to her first day of preschool.

We really wanted her to experience other people, other authority figures and other friends. Kelci and I are super proud of Kylah and all that she has learned and all of the skills she had (ask her to count in Spanish…) and we both felt that even though she’s only 2 1/2, preschool was a good next step. She’ll  get some great lessons in structure and following direction that we think she needs too. Her usual care situation is awesome, but she doesn’t get the benefit of large-group settings.

There were tears, although I am pretty sure it was just Kylah that shed them. We’re sure they only lasted about 2 minutes, but this type of new transition is hard. New routine, new people and such can be scary, but she’s brave and adapts well to new situations, which is part of why we felt she was ready for this.

And of course there’s pictures :)