Keeping you posted on our big adventure into parenthood

New Year. New Look.

Welcome to the newly re-styled blog! Thanks to WordPress’s recent release of several new themes and my coworker’s mention of a new CSS program, we’re up and running with a new look this year. I’m also looking to rename it, so if you have any suggestions let me know by posting a comment. Unfortunately for anyone who is reading, I’m still the writer. So you still have to deal with my mindless rants, Cleveland and Chicago sports references and various other sundries. Speaking of which, can you buy sundries? Any of you Texans might recognize sundries as one of the items that Rudy’s BBQ advertises on their storefront signs. I’ve never seen a sundries section there. I don’t recall being able to buy toothpaste, sewing kits, or nail clippers. Maybe I’m just missing these items as I head straight to the counter to order delicious brisket. See… mindless rants.

The past year taught us a lot and brought us even more. In some ways I think we both feel fortunate to have survived. Hopefully now it’s time to flourish. In an effort to recap I have 10 things I learned in 2010:

1- A date can cost a lot more than the dinner, drinks and comedy show you pay for.
2- Choosing a name is really important. This goes for kids and software products.
3- There is nothing more amazing than a hug from your kid. Or if you don’t have kids then your dog’s head in your lap will do. If you don’t have either, get a dog- much cheaper.
4- You never stop being a parent. And your kids will never stop appreciating it. Thank you mom and dad (all four of you).
5- Sleep is the most precious resource on this earth.
7- Being proud of your work makes a huge difference.
8- Mustaches never should have gone out of style.
9- Good friends are just family and good family is just awesome.
10- The only thing that is predictable is that everything is unpredictable.



We’ve had a lot going on since Ben arrived. Kathy returned for a week to help out right after he was born. Danielle joined us for about 10 days around Christmas and spent some time with her nephews. The Bears secured the #2 seed in the NFC and their first playoff appearance since 2006 when they went to the superbowl. Ohio State won its second consecutive BCS bowl game and 6th in the last 10 years. The Cavs are not good without he who will not be named. The Browns tried hard this year. And all the while, Ben has been growing rapidly. We don’t know his exact weight right now but his face is starting to fill out and he’s already moved on to the next size of clothing. He’s still sleeping most of the day away but is letting us know when he’s not happy. The kid has quite a voice on him. People have remarked that he is a very chill baby and we’re certainly happy for that. He seems to have a similar demeanor to Mason so far, in that he doesn’t mind being held by new people and is content to be wrapped in something fuzzy and held closely.

Mason continues to show great interest in his brother and ‘is moving along with his development as well. He’s currently transitioning into the 18 month to 3 year old classroom at his school. He’s jumped right in with their outdoor activities on the playground but has been a bit more tentative when it comes to their indoor routine. I think he’s really attached to the teachers in his current class, not to mention he’s the oldest in the class, so he runs the show as far as baby hierarchies go. Considering he’s the same size as a couple of the 3 year old kids in his new class I don’t think he’ll have a problem when he’s in that room full time.

Over the holidays we had Mason at home for 10 days straight. Danielle was here for part of that time but the bulk of it we spent with just the four of us. Let me just say that I’m working on my patience. Let me also say that having a toddler out of his routine for 10 days straight is too much for the child to handle. It really becomes a test to find new activities to keep your child occupied, especially when the weather isn’t cooperating. I failed the test this time around. By day 7 I think I had run out of ideas and patience and Mason was feeding off of that. So next time around I’ll be more prepared… with plane tickets to go see grandma and grandpa 😉

The rest of our recent activities are better explained with pictures so I’ll keep the writing brief. My goal this year (not resolution) is two posts per month at minimum. I think I did 20 last year so this will be quite an effort with two kids, but I’ve seen your angry stares and received your emails wondering when the next post will be. I hear ya. And I realize it’s all about the pictures and this time around there are a lot, so here we go…

Two weeks after Ben arrived Kelly was ready to get out of the house and we had conveniently been invited to Marc and Sarah’s housewarming party. Their home is amazing and Kelly and I agreed that when we buy again we are stealing their style… or hiring Sarah as our interior designer. Mason got to enjoy several wagon rides while we were there, including this one where he hung tight in the back.

Skinny Ben made the trip too. Taking your 2 week old to a house full of semi-sick toddlers is something we never would have done with Mason, but we’re both a little more relaxed this time around. I really think Kelly just wanted to show off his new hat.

Auntie Dani visited for 10 days and helped out with the boys. I think her and Ben napped well together 🙂 It was great to have her here and be able to spend that long of a period of time with my sister. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to do that but I’m sure it will be more frequent in the years to come. I just hope I don’t have to have more kids to get her to come back.

Jeff and Amy came by for a day of football watching and Jeff brought good luck. The Bears beat up on the Jets that day and locked up the #2 seed in the playoffs. Bella showed us her new look too. They also came back over for our lame-o New Years which was actually pretty fun. We played some games and the girls had a few mimosas while Jeff and I watched them act silly.

Ben was surprisingly chill and exceptionally cute for this bath. And as always, Kelly was ready with the camera.

Tickle time for Mason!

Grandpa Mac sent down one of his many train sets and Mason helped me put it together. This was far more legit than I was expecting and the three-car set has a working smoke stack for the engine. Next year we’ll steal an idea from the Smith family and get a larger area set up and build more.

Best Christmas gift ever!

Our first Christmas as a family of four. It’s still crazy to me to think of myself as a father of two but I’ll guess I’ll get used to it eventually.

Goofy faces!

Mason enjoyed opening his presents and tearing into the various packages. He was particularly interested in his new “sit and scoot” at first.

Then we realized he was really just after the bow. Honestly, thank you all for the gifts but I want you to know that next year you should just buy wrapping paper, bubble wrap, and plastic. That’s all he wanted to play with anyway. He actually cried when I threw a box away.

Good shot, Mom.

The dogs got into the Christmas spirit also.

Mr. Ben and his auntie

This is proudly displayed on my desk at work now.

Happy toddler and mommy

Mason got his first baseball mitt courtesy of Aunt Katie and Uncle Yemi. He’s still working on the theory of catching the ball but he’s got the throwing part down.

The sleeping elf

Mason looked pretty adorable on Christmas morning with his “Santa’s little helper” pajamas and red fuzzy boots.

While Danielle was in town she spent a morning at Mason’s school decorating cookies and playing with him on the playground. He came home with green frosting in his hair and a whole lot of energy.

Last Christmas he was in my hoodie. This year… well…

We took a lot of trips to the park while Mason was on his break from school. On this occasion he was pointing to where he sometimes sees deer in the woods. Every time we pull up to the park now he starts saying “deer” over and over. He has high expectations for those deer.

Action shot on the bouncy bridge

When grandma was here Mason decided to show her and little bro some love with a big hug.

Ben is very squeezable.

The boys. I think Kelly has realized that she’ll be surrounded by men for the rest of her life. We’ll watch too much sports, burp and fart in front of her, wrestle, and eat all the left-overs, but we’ll also love her more than any other woman on earth.

See. Lots of love from the duders.

Bella and Ben took a snoozer together. She’s a very cozy pillow.

Mason decided to feed himself some applesauce after polishing off his main dish. The result was predictably messy.

We have a very sweet toddler 90% of the time. He loves giving his brother kisses and hugs and really can’t wait to say hi to him in the mornings before he leaves for school. Keep it going, Mason.

Ben took his first nap in the swing that Mason used to sleep in all the time. He’s spent most of his nights in bed with us at some point but I know Kelly and I don’t mind a little extra snuggle time, especially if it means we can sleep a little more soundly.

Alright- I think 30 something pictures is enough for one post. See yall next time!

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2 responses

  1. Kate M

    Hey, love these photos and you’re so right about most
    things except the MUSTACHE thing. Ew!!

    January 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    • Kate- How can you not love a good mustache? It’s like a warm cup of soup for your upper lip.

      January 11, 2011 at 11:46 pm

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