‘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.

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.

Congratulations, it’s a…

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: