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19 for 2019 – One Third Through

More than one third through the year and that just flew by! I’m not so sure how I have done on my list so lets take a look…

  1. Run a 10k in an 8:30 pace.
    • Pssh…we’ve started running again so there is that. I have run 10k one time total and that was with a stop at the playground. My joints still feel loose and running is still pretty touch and go but at least we can now run with the jogging stroller.
  2. Break 140 watts in my 45-minute cycle class.
    • Haven’t been cycling lately, trying to do more strength activities instead.
  3. Read 10 books.
    • I’ve read one and started another. Need to get back on this bandwagon.
  4. Learn to play a song on the guitar.
    • Yikes!
  5. Make 6 girls events happen.
    • We’ve had one so far (counting Carina’s baby shower). I have another one that I am tentatively planning in the next month and I am going to count my mom’s PEPS happy hour as another…so that makes TWO.
  6. Be able to do 5 pull ups/chin ups (if not at once, at least in the same day).
    • Well, I used to not be able to do even one and now I can do one so that is some progress.
  7. Visit or spend time with Chad.
    • Chad came to visit us and although it was short it was sweet and I’ll take it.
  8. Do 10 hikes.
    • We’ve done two that I will count: one in Arizona over Christmas and one in Eagle with Mark and Kim.
  9. Go on a vacation just the three of us (at least a total of 5 nights throughout the year).
  10. Visit 5 new restaurants to try.
    • There have been four we have tried: Cantina Lena, Red Cow, Nue, and Junebaby.
  11. Baby proof and de-clutter the house.
    • We’ve certainly made progress but still have some work to go.
  12. Go to a concert.
    • I have tickets for the Fitz and the Tantrums concert in August but we plan to attend another for a date night in the near future.
  13. Re-learn our lindy hop dance.
  14. Get in one self-care day/night per month.
    • I’ve done pretty good on this with a few massages and a few mani-pedis (all thanks to Groupon)
  15. Get in one date day/night per month.
    • I’d say we have done okay with this too. We have attended all of our Seattle Rep plays, have had a dinner out just the two of us, and got some time just the two of us for both Claire and Amy’s weddings.
  16. Limit social media and cell phone usage to 30 minutes every night after 5 pm.
    • Most days I have done well with this. There have only been a handful of days where I have spent too much time on my phone.
  17. Become more involved with our church beyond attendance
  18. Get Reese a passport
  19. Eat dinner at the table at least once a week.
    • I’m pleased with how we have done with this so far. It helps that baby girl is now eating real foods in her high chair along with us.

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A Mother’s First

My first Mother’s Day Weekend was a sunny one, a joyful one, a relaxing one and a social one. I was surprised by how many messages I received wishing me a good Mother’s Day and I was amazed by how much reflection I had on the past year entering into motherhood. I do feel like I have been added to a private club; one that is extensive and impressive. I feel truly blessed that I have such a fun-loving and wonderful little girl and I hope that she will continue to find me to be someone to look up to for a while longer, if not forever, like I have with my own mom.

So on to the details of the weekend…

It was a hot one for the majority of it and when I left work on Friday it was already around 80. Bryan had a celebratory happy hour at work so baby girl and I took a walk to the park to do some swinging and some crawling around in the grass. She mostly likes to just watch the other kids playing around her. We came back home and waited for Bryan to put the little girl down before we rented and watched a movie and decompressed from the week.

I got flowers of my own but I also had fun picking out some flowers for fellow mama Sarah to give to her when picking up Reese on Friday.

For Saturday, we had contemplated going hiking but both of us were a little spent from the week, it was going to be hot, most areas are still snow covered up high, and we knew that the trails would be packed, so we decided against it and did some local exploring instead. We drove to West Seattle, to Lincoln Park, to walk around this lush park and down to the waterfront to take in the views and get some fresh air.

We headed back home late afternoon to get ready for our second to last Game of Thrones night. We had eight plus the two babies for this week’s party and a spread of picnic favorites; pulled pork, cornbread, salads and banana pudding. It was a ho-hum episode but still enjoyable to see our friends again.

New TV and two little girls

Sunday morning we were scheduled for the Toddlers Room at church. Cue: exhaustion. We did not have an easy go at it with a few kids having some separation anxiety and triggering an outfall among the other kiddos. Reese loved it though and watched the kids play for an hour and a half. This apparently wore her out so much that she slept all through our brunch after church at Nue in Capitol Hill. This was our first time checking out this place and we had their shakshuka (Israeli style baked eggs) and their sunny bunny (which was a delicious Indian chicken and potato curry in a bread bowl of sorts and topped with a fried egg. We were stuffed and baby girl woke up at the end so we decided to walk to the Capitol Hill farmer’s market where Bryan bought me flowers, we ran into friends, we sampled some items, and then walked to Cal Anderson Park to let baby girl crawl around and play on the swings.

Sunday afternoon was like last week; there were afternoon naps, movies, and a soccer game for me. The soccer game was again at a park nearby so we all walked to the field. Bryan and Reese stayed for the first half but Reese was a bit antsy and they left at halftime to start on dinner. Our team lost but we played a good team which meant I got in a good bit of exercise. I came home to help put baby girl to bed and Bryan made us a wonderful dinner of steaks, salad and asparagus. We enjoyed some wine and conversation before I picked us up some Menchie’s to share, something we haven’t had in forever but tasted so darn good.

My Mother’s Day Weekend ended up being a great weekend that went by way too fast. Now the week ahead is showing temperatures falling back to normal May temperatures and some rain. Lottie is leaving for two weeks after today and Reese is going to be so lonely without her buddy to play with.

Chelsea

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Spring is Here the Sky is Clear

We have been enjoying some beautiful weather here in Seattle, and for the near future, it is here to stay. Thursday through this weekend we are expecting temps up to 80! Holy cow! I already feel like it is hot. Thanks, in part, to great weather, we had one amazing weekend last weekend. It was a social one at times and a relaxing one at other times…a win, win combo in my book!

After enjoying dinner (amazing too with a beet salad, steak, and passionfruit tapioca and chocolate mousse) the three of us last week at the newly renovated and reopened FareStart restaurant we hit the weekend running.

Reese and Daddy and the new FareStart restaurant.

Bryan had a work meeting that went successfully at a Mexican restaurant before ending the week and I had my PEPS mom and baby happy hour hosted at our house Friday evening with four other moms and babies in attendance. Meanwhile, Bryan drove nearly an hour on the scooter to Kirkland to grill out with Mark and Jeff. I think we all enjoyed our Friday night social activities.

Saturday we officially celebrated the 8 month mark with 8-month pancakes with baby girl. We spent time relaxing and prepping for the night’s party and then took a 5-mile run/walk through the absolutely gorgeous Arboretum, stopped at the point to catch the tail end of the boat parade for the beginning of boat season, and headed home.

We had nine in total for our second Game of Thrones watch party. We played up the Cinco De Mayo theme with margaritas, beef barbacoa taco fixings, rice and beans. Reese had an active playmate, the first one her age that was at her level physically, and that was entertaining but oh so distracting to watch. As one friend correctly titled the party; White Walkers vs Pink Crawlers.

On Sunday we enjoyed a slow morning and forwent church since we weren’t scheduled in the toddler’s room. Instead, we walked to the newest-opened Macrina, in Capitol Hill, for a brunch thanks to mystery shopping. It was a delicious and filling brunch and fueled us for the rest of the afternoon; playing in Miller Park, taking a nap watching daddy’s movie selections, picking up the scooter from Kirkland, and then playing soccer in the Arboretum. Baby girl was even showing off her early soccer skills. We had three nights in a row with Reese going to bed well past her bedtime (after 8 pm) so not surprising that her and I didn’t wake up until 8 am Monday morning!! We just didn’t want the weekend to end!

But it did…

It’s also been a little atypical. First, yo mama has a sinus infection. At times I seem to feel okay and at other times I am tired and winded. Fortunately, I finally got some antibiotics to give this infection a kick in the pants. Second, our fellow mama in our nanny share got in a car accident on Monday, totaling her car. Fortunately, it was on the way to our house to pick up Lottie at the end of the day so Lottie was not in the car with her and Sarah is okay. But in the meantime, the share has moved to her apartment considering the circumstances, so baby girl and I have enjoyed our walks to her apartment in the morning and Bryan has been an A+ dad picking her up in the afternoon.

Reese continues to be a whole lot of fun and very playful. She has also been fantastic with playing independently, that is, after she gets her Lottie time in. We have had a few nights at home this week as well as Bryan and I got out for a date night for our last play at the Seattle Rep Tuesday night. We rode the scooter in the warm weather to Shaker + Spear for an excellent seafood-filled dinner (thanks to mystery shopping) of octopus, salt cod beignets, whole grilled branzino, and seafood paella, before hitting the play titled Nina Simone: Four Women. I loved the play, filled with soulful music, and we enjoyed our night out.

We have another weekend filled with dinner at FareStart, another Game of Thrones night, another soccer game, and filling the position in the Toddler Room at church. We will see what other trouble we can get ourselves into…

Chelsea

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8 Month Baby Girl

Two thirds of the year done, oh my! In the past month our girl has gone from taking her first crawl to zooming around the house, even climbing her first stair or two, has gotten her third cold, prefers snuggles to actual sleep, yields a cheesy smile more often than she should, pulls herself up to standing anytime she can, has gotten way more into eating solids (minus the dreaded peas), currently hates getting her diaper or clothing changed, finds the vacuum and washing machine fascinating, is delighted when she hears Raphi music, shrieks when excited, still loves her walks, adores her friend Lottie (and all babies young and old in general), loves to swim, would play with a soda can all day long, loves swing sets, enjoys real silverware in the form of spoons, has begun giving great big hugs and sometimes will rest her head on my shoulder (love!), enjoys going for a run with her parents but only when they are moving fast enough, thinks its now funny to remove her bow, also enjoys removing her own and other’s socks, prefers a plastic bag to most toys, likes live music, has been saying “mama” even though we don’t think she knows what that means, and has now been on 14 different planes and in 6 states.

She keeps getting more and more fun as the days and months progress. She has so much personality that as the days come and go the more her personality comes out exposed. She’s definitely got a mischievous side but still is fun-loving and kind-hearted. There are some things that haven’t changed though; she still cries every single morning when I head out the door until I am out of sight, she still likes to be in the kitchen, she still likes to be on the move, particularly outside and on a walk, and she still loves her bath time. We are pretty officially now done with 6M sizes and moving on up to the 9M sizes. I feel like each transition into sizing in clothes is a huge milestone. She definitely hit a growth spurt last week and was drinking with a vengeance but slowed down again this week. Regardless, of the day or week though she still somehow manages to get so many compliments and reactions from so many strangers that still baffles me.

We love our little 8-month old…

Chelsea

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While Dad is Away the Girls Will Play

And that we did this past weekend while Bryan was spending time with his dad in Arizona. Reese was in a pretty fine mood most all of the weekend, making job a whole lot easier, and we had a good time. That doesn’t mean we aren’t thrilled to have Bryan back! The weather certainly made having fun more conducive and we spent a good deal of time outside in various forms and fashions.

I got home Friday afternoon with the sun out and some energy to burn. After saying goodbye to her friend Lottie and the nanny we got our running gear on and set out from our house for some fresh air. The Arboretum was pretty quiet (which is a good thing for me but boring for Reese, she’s a people person) and I managed to do the 4 mile loop and the hills! We came home, made dinner, played and then it was bed time.

Super into the run!

Saturday, we had plans to rev up girl time with a visit to Polly’s. We picked up coffees on our way over and spent from about 10 am – 4 pm making candles, watching TV, catching up and eating lunch. It was a good time spent with Polly. We came home and set out for a walk. We stopped for some snacks at Grocery Outlet on our way to the park, we swung on the swings, we picked up some ready made dinner at Safeway and ate it in the little “park” before coming back home, talking to Daddy and going to bed. It was a full day and Reese was into it!

Sunday was a beautiful day from start to finish. We had a lazy morning at home before hitting up the stroller for another run; this time at Seward Park. I decided to push myself and start at the row house like we used to. The first three miles went really well for me and then baby girl decided she wanted to be carried and not along for the ride. I carried her and pushed the stroller for another mile before we hit the playground and she let loose in the park for a bit watching the other kids. She was ready to finish the last two miles strong and fell asleep where she remained asleep during the ride home, at home while I quickly showered and got ready, and back in the car to drive to Seapine Brewing Company for our birth class reunion outing, and then proceeded to sleep for another 30 minutes while there. I enjoyed their Milk Stout and getting to catch up with two of the other babies and couples that came out. We had a good time trading stories and seeing the babies play together (once Reese was finally up that is…she was in an unusual mood though). We left right as the Mariners were getting out so traffic was no fun and we picked up an easy dinner at Veggie Grill to enjoy at home. Reese was in a great mood for the rest of the night at home and we played for awhile before doing our last solo bedtime routine.

Back at work today so Reese is back with her friend Lottie and the nanny and we have plans to go to dinner before picking Bryan up at the airport late tonight. The house will no longer be female only with daddy home and our friend Jeff bunking with us for a few nights during while his own rental unit saga is ongoing.

Chelsea

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Date Nights – Us Three

Since being back from New Orleans, all three of us have had to rest and recover. Baby girl got sick and didn’t really start feeling herself until the beginning of this week. I got something of whatever she got in terms of sinus and congestion and that is still lingering for me this week but at least the aches and any fatigue has gone away. And Bryan came back to stress and tension at work that took a toll on him and fortunately this week has been more positive and less stressful. All three of us were a pretty fair bunch this past weekend but with new and renewed spirits we have quite enjoyed our week I’d say.

I think it all really started on Sunday. See, Friday and Saturday, baby girl was still not sleeping well due to the congestion and cough waking her up and her need to be held and cuddled pretty much required me to go to bed when she did, in bed with her. Now, I leave me some Reese cuddles, but having to go to bed with her and not get any R&R in the evening was cramping my style and making it a little more stressful in the morning for what I didn’t get done the night before. Saturday night we did have a fun time at our old stomping grounds of Eastlake before all this went down.

Sick Reese but still smiling.

Sunday we were scheduled in the Toddlers Room at church for the second service (they had two services this year for Easter). We both were less than enthused about it but we lucked out and got the much, MUCH less attended service and really just played with Reese and another older girl. Our Easter afternoon was spent spring cleaning to prepare for our friends coming over for a combined Easter dinner and Game of Thrones watching party. We had 10 over, with us that made 12 adults, and somehow we all fit around our table. It was a sight and I wish I had a picture of it but bless our friends for smushing in and taking a seat at our table for Easter. I made a porchetta roast, roasted carrots, potato gratin, and roasted asparagus and we also had friends bring over a salad, Easter bread, and brownies for dessert. After dinner, we settled into the first two episodes of GoT, which Reese thought she was being watching and gave everyone quite the show.

So our friends and overcoming baby girl’s sickness did rejuvenate us to kick off a rare full work week. It wasn’t all work, work, work though. We took a walk the three of us downtown on Tuesday and finished the night picking up a pizza from Pagliacci’s. We went to a happy hour at Maslow’s for our favorite FareStart staff member’s departure. After some snacks and drinks we walked with baby girl to Din Tai Fung in Pacific Place to have an awesome dumpling-filled dinner thanks to mystery shopping. Baby girl SO enjoyed her walk to and from the restaurant with us and was giggling the whole way. And instead of FareStart this week, we once again took the week off and had a nice dinner at home instead. We’ll be back on the FareStart calendar starting next week…as should the regular restaurant be back in business after their face lift.

Now Bryan is off to Arizona to surprise his dad for his 70th birthday and us girls have to find some things to do…I’m sure we will.

Chelsea

Chelsea

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NOLA

What a trip down to New Orleans. We enjoyed a wedding, enjoyed the sun, took in a museum, had some good food to eat, listened to some music, and spent a few hours at the children’s doctors office. It was an adventure and very grateful we had some help while we were there.

The three of us arrived in the New Orleans airport around midnight, Central Time, with my parents already there with the rental car. We had booked a hotel near the airport for the first night because of our late arrival. That all worked out pretty well and we got some good sleep to fuel us for the next several days.

She loves flying!!!

Our first full day in New Orleans was a very much enjoyable day that we were able to take at our leisure and without any other to dos. We kicked off the New Orleans food scene with my best meal of the trip with brunch at Brennan’s in the French Quarter. Eggs benedicts a bunch of different ways, amazing chicory coffee (we found the coffee in New Orleans surprisingly delicious and unique), and rounded out the coined bananas foster flambeed at the table. We left on foot to explore the very first day of the French Quarter Festival’s live music along the riverfront before heading out to check into our Airbnb for the next several nights. Our Airbnb was located in the Garden District, a very walkable neighborhood with some cute shops, cafes, and eateries. We also had a shared pool and a full kitchen. We were visited by Amy and her soon-to-be husband, Eric, at our place for a visit before we set out on foot for dinner at the casual eatery Joey K’s.

For me, Friday and Saturday were exclusively wedding-filled event days and there was not much time that I could spend exploring New Orleans or hanging out with the family. Friday I spent the afternoon at a Bridal Luncheon, hosted by Amy’s godmother, at a very Seattle-like restaurant downtown called Josephine Estelle’s. I got to meet Amy’s female family members and maid of honor for the first time. After lunch I had a short break, getting to take Reese for a dip in the pool real quick (she loves swimming) before both Bryan and I headed out for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal was short enough and then we were off to dinner at Mandina’s for tons of food and all of the usual wedding speeches. This was an enjoyable dinner out without Reese and my parents were able to take Reese out to their own dinner, eaten al fresco at Gris Gris.

Saturday was wedding day and that was pretty much all. I was scheduled to start getting ready at Amy’s hotel room starting at 10 am and was there on time. I got my hair done and did my own makeup while we drank mimosas and had lunch. We finally got to see Amy’s dress on around 3 pm and then set out for pictures in a garden near the church. After pictures we waited for the ceremony to begin at 6:30 pm. I was the first bridesmaid to walk down the aisle but it was a very easy ceremony to take part in. The ceremony lasted all of 30 minutes and then the wedding party piled into the party limo to head to the reception at the Civic Theater in downtown. At this point my duties were over and I enjoyed the party with lots to drink, mingling, tastes of gumbo, roast, crawfish mac n cheese, BBQ shrimp and a few passed apps. Bryan and I danced and shared cake and had a good time listening the band and ended the night with the parade out of the venue and sending Amy and Eric off with sparklers.

Now that I was done with my bridesmaid duties I could do a little more exploring of New Orleans with the family. We were going to go to the WWII Museum on Sunday but got a late start and took awhile to find a good lunch place so we pushed that to Monday. We still got a nice walk in the glorious weather and got a good lunch outside on a place called Lula’s patio. We wanted to catch some of the New Orleans live music and decided to hit Frenchmen Street in the French Quarter after the Festival was over. We all headed down Sunday evening and popped into one place for about an hour to hear some jazz and blues before our reservation at the Three Muses was available for some more string jazz music along with small plates and excellent cocktails. Reese was loving it and made a few new friends at the end of the night, including some of the band members.

So Monday we did make it to the WWII Museum, as well as Reese woke up that morning not feeling well. We ended up spending about 5 hours in the museum and still didn’t catch all of the exhibits but of the ones we did catch, we thoroughly enjoyed. Bryan was right…this is an excellent museum and very worth going to. We walked to and from the museum and once we were back home Bryan and I got a thermometer to take Reese’s temperature and decided to take her to the New Orleans after hours children’s clinic to be safe and not sorry, especially with a long flight home the next day. We ended up spending four hours at the less than stellar clinic with a diagnosis of zilch, getting back to the Airbnb after 10 pm. Thankful my parents picked us up dinner of poboys and fried pickles, regardless if the poboys were any good (we all decided they were not the best).

Sick!

Tuesday was our departure day and it took us the entire morning to get our bags packed and ready to go. We checked out at noon and headed to City Park for a nice walk. Our end goal was to get beignets and cafe au laits at the classic Cafe Du Monde, which has a food truck right in City Park. This was perfection as the beignets were fresh and hot, coated in mounds of powdered sugar and the cafe au laits delivered more of that chicory flavor that I apparently love! Set in a garden setting this was one of the best New Orleans experiences we had on the trip. Sugared up we explored the park a little more; the sculpture park and some of the amazing moss growing on the oak trees. We made our way to the airport, getting lunch together first before my parents dropped us off before returning the car (thank you again parents for doing that for us!).

Fine in the park but still sick.

By Tuesday, I think everyone had enjoyed themselves in New Orleans but were ready to go home. I was anxious about the flight with a sick baby girl but she was so under the weather that she slept the entire time. I don’t even remember what I did to spend my time on the flight but for some reason the 4 hr and 40 minute flight went much quicker than I expected. Our last trip for a while was over and settling back into home life was now upon us….although a bit different with baby girl under the weather. Amy’s wedding was beautiful and well planned and I was grateful for being a part of her special day.

Chelsea