Baby Berto Eric & Kelci's little adventure Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:05:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Nine years of awesome Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:05:07 +0000 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 Sun, 09 Mar 2014 18:27:07 +0000 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 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.

Welcome Baby Berto 2.0 Mon, 13 Jan 2014 20:25:02 +0000 So, I started writing this on Dec. 24. Then I tried again on Dec. 30. And now it’s January 13. We welcomed our second daughter nearly a month ago and the days (and long nights) since then have been full of smiles tears (happy and sad) and a blur of doctors visits, friends, family, errands, holiday preparations and other assorted tasks related to a newborn. We’re settling into a routine of feedings and staring at each other through all hours of the day and night.

I have been trying to convince Kelci to write her birth story. But every time I catch her nodding off while Sydney feeds on her, I come to realize just a little bit more that my job here is to assist her wherever she needs it. And so here I am, trying to put words down for her.

The fast and the furious

I had just fallen asleep a bit before she entered the room. Her presence immediately caused me to wake up; I must have sensed something was up. When she said the words “I think my water just broke” my heart and instincts kicked into overdrive. See, we weren’t ready. Sure, the crib was built and even the  bag was packed. But ready was more than just having the house put together. I had a bit of mental preparation to do, but those words helped move it along. A well-timed sneeze erased any doubt of if the action was about to begin.

By the time I was up and dressed, it was 12:15 am. Our first phone call was to our amazing care taker to pick Kylah up. Then I scrambled to toss the suitcase, car seat and a few other things into the car and we were off. By now the contractions had started and Kelci was being a champ about breathing and focusing through the pain. But we were just getting started.

Triage and admitting

It all seemed surreal. The phone call to Kelci’s mom. The phone call to my mom. The helping Kelci into the car. The helping her walk to the hospital room. It was all happening so fast.

As the labor pains intensified and the attempts at breathing through the contractions became more futile, we were quickly escorted back to Kelci’s room. The room where we would meet Sydney.

As we made our way from the triage room to the birth room, we had to pause about four times for Kelci to breathe through the intense contractions that kept washing over her in waves of pain. Seeing her doubled over and holding her hands gave me a renewed appreciation for what she was going through.

Here she comes

The contractions had moved to Kelci’s back by this point. So, we tried to have the tub alleviate some of the pain. After some time in the jetted tub, we tried to get her out of the water. But by now the contractions were essentially stacked on top of each other. We helped her get back into the bed as the continuous contractions engulfed her.

I was sitting next to Kelci on the bed with one arm holding her hand and my right arm around her. I felt every muscle from her shoulders to her knee caps tense up. As Kelci moaned through each wave of pain, she demanded the epidural that would bring her some relief. As the anesthesiologist was literally running to her room, the midwife insisted on checking her dilation. See, at about 2:30 am, after she exited the tub, Kelci had dilated to 4cm and epidurals can slow labor down.

As Kelci swung one leg over the bed, I moved out of the way for the midwife to examine Kelci. As the midwife sat down and began, she looked at me and said “I feel the head, it’s time.” I pushed the sleeves up on my shirt and went t be next to Kelci. As she managed to get the second leg up on the bed, I held her hand. The midwife told her to push and despite Kelci’s insistence on the epidural, it was time. One major push and Sydney was out and immediately made her presence known with a hearty cry.

She was perfect.

Sydney Hazel just a bit after she was born

Sydney Hazel just a bit after she was born

Mommy gets to meet Sydney.

Mommy gets to meet Sydney.

Happy and healthy

Sydney had a few bruises from where the midwife literally caught her. We’ve spent the last few weeks staring into her eyes and admiring her round cheeks. She’s an amazing sleeper and isn’t shy about letting us know when she needs to be changed. Our family gained a member that night. Our older daughter gained a little sister and she has been beyond amazing. Offering to help and being gentle and taking care of all of us. Kylah has matured so much over the last few weeks since Sydney arrived and Kelci and I are lucky to have them both in our lives.

We have many adventures ahead of us. We have some parenting challenges on the immediate horizon and we have a lot of learning and smiles and hugs and tears ahead of us.

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It has begun Sat, 14 Dec 2013 09:39:24 +0000 The time has come for us to welcome Sydney Hazel Berto into our family.

It seems Kelci has gone into labor and we are off to the hospital for what we hope is an easy, painless birth process. We’ve been spending a lot of time together as a family these last few days and we can’t wait to have the newest member of our tribe in our arms.

We are beyond appreciative for the support and thoughts throughout these last few months. It has made everything go by super quickly and make the experience a positive one for us.

I will do my best to update along the way, but Kelci is my focus and after that Sydney is my focus. But, you can check with us on Facebook or Twitter for any updates.

38 weeks (and one day) Thu, 12 Dec 2013 00:17:21 +0000 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.

‘Tis the season to prep for baby Mon, 02 Dec 2013 16:12:16 +0000 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.

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The longest and shortest eight weeks Wed, 30 Oct 2013 18:04:20 +0000 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.

DSC_8882 DSC_8873 Pumpkin Patching DSC_9040

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 Tue, 01 Oct 2013 13:11:00 +0000 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.

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On the day you turn three Wed, 21 Aug 2013 20:21:44 +0000 Kylah,

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.

Congratulations, it’s a… Thu, 08 Aug 2013 04:55:11 +0000 Twenty weeks ago, we found out we were facing a new adventure. Twenty weeks ago, we found out we were facing the challenge and the opportunity of bringing a new life into this world.

And today we got to find out about the names we get to argue about and the clothes we get to pick out and the sports we get to learn how to coach. Although I’ve made it pretty well known that I want and it’s pretty well known what Kylah wants.

Tonight I got to tell Kylah what we’re having:

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