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Chelan Was Amazing!

We had such a great weekend away in Eastern Washington with friends and sunshine and it was really hard to come back to work. Especially knowing that we have only five work days before our next trip. A part of me just felt like we had entered summer break. But back to that magical weekend.

The girls were fantastic on our drive out east on Friday. We had an easy morning finishing getting ready and packing the car and hit the road around 10:30 am. It was drizzly and gray and although I think Bryan was wondering what the rush was I was just ready to hit the road and get out of dodge. We drove the first 1.5 hours without any fuss from the girls who each napped and arrived in Roslyn to get a bite to eat at the Red Dog Cafe. I got the pastrami hash, Bryan the monte cristo sandwich, and Reese the French toast and although I think we all second guessed our ordering decisions we all enjoyed our meal and the girls were great while we waited a good while for our food to come. We were back in the car with still gray skies and cool air and the next 1.5 hours went equally as smooth as both girls took another nap. We pulled into our Airbnb in Chelan just around 3 pm and were greeted by our host in person who gave us the lay of the land before we settled in. The rental was great with plenty of bedrooms and a wonderful fenced in and sunny wrap around yard with great grass, a grill and a fire pit. The other family arrived right around 4:15 pm and we all immediately settled into play time.

Friday night was spent at a place a short 2 miles down the road called Even Keel Roadhouse and it was the perfect place for our first night. Although they didn’t have the live music that was promised (due to a mix up with the restaurant and band) we got two ridiculously large delicious pizzas to share and the girls had a lawn to run around and get their wiggles out. Brooke did great as well and after we had our fill we headed back to the house (with tons of leftovers) to play some more before bed. Bedtime was epic each night with the two girls who are both night owls and keep each other’s energy up but we managed each night. I don’t think the girls went to bed on night one until 10 pm but they finally did. All of the adults crashed shortly after that (I actually fell asleep in Reese’s bed).

Saturday was a free day with nothing really planned out. We started the morning with Bryan’s waffles and bacon and then got dressed and set out across the street to the park, beach and playground that was only a short walk from our rental. The girls rode their balance bikes and each girl had their own agenda for the time spent at the park. Reese didn’t like the goose poop (Rosalie didn’t seem to notice) and was timid to get her feet wet as well. Reese spent some time at the playground, finally played some in the sand and the water throwing rocks, but mostly ate popcorn on the beach blanket (very unlike her). Reese finally made the executive decision to go back to the house so we all walked back and there the girls played with each other in the splash pad and with the bubble guns and water guns. I went for a short and hot run while Brooke took a quick nap and then came back to get wet myself. Bryan was playing a good monster with the girls. Anne and Phillip were on dinner duty and we decided to have a late lunch of grilled fajitas and do without a nap for the girls so that we could hit a winery before closing.

“Linner” was super delicious and we got ready and headed across the lake to Manson (10-15 minutes) to a winery called Succession Wines. We opted for a bottle of the red blend and rose instead of the rather pricy tasting fee and enjoyed playing on the grass with the views of the lake, mountains and vineyards. The girls played some corn hole and did some sidewalk chalk that the winery had out to play with and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves here. We could see some storms rolling in as we were finishing up so we headed back to the house to get a quick slice of pizza and then walked the three minutes over to another place called Sigillio Cellars that did have live music indoors (thankfully since now it was raining hard) and the two girls and their dads were just about the cutest thing every dancing at the front of the room. There was a bachelorette party there (that we had also run into at the previous winery) who were all so enthralled with the girls dancing as most of them were pediatric nurses away from their own young kids. We all headed back to the house as the music was finishing up at 9 pm and had another round of bedtime that tuckered us all out.

Sunday was Father’s Day as well as our water park day we had planned. We woke up and both of the boys went for a run into town and back and then we got an easy breakfast in before all getting ready for the water park and packing some snacks and sandwiches in our cooler. We got to Slidewaters just after 10 am when they opened and didn’t realize that dad’s got in free which was the first nice surprise. We got a nice shaded table off to the side of the park near the lazy river and Reese was extra eager to hit the water. We started off with the lazy river before moving to the little kids slide area to start. This is where we knew that we had struck gold because in this one area alone there were four slides that were all doable for Reese to do by herself and the smallest one was about the same size as the one in Hawaii and San Diego. Reese was surprisingly timid to start but soon got going and was going down all of these slides. Moving on…

There were two of the big slides that Reese could do from the very top of the park that she could sit in our lap for. Bryan and I each got to ride down these two with Reese multiple times and it was so fun. Bryan also took Reese down one of the tube slides that he said was wild and maybe not even allowed for Reese but the staff gave him permission to go and Reese later proclaimed this one her favorite slide. There were about five other slides that Reese cannot go on until she is over 48″ but there was more than enough for her to ride and she had a blast the whole day through. There was also an extra large hot tub at the bottom of the park that we frequented often throughout the day whenever we needed a warm up. We breaked for sandwiches and snacks at one point and took a few more trips on the lazy river. Bryan got about 30 minutes free to go ride all of the rides he couldn’t ride with Reese and reported back that the Purple Haze slide (an enclosed slide) was crazy and I will never be riding that one. We got scoops of ice cream around 4 pm after the other family had had enough of their fill for the day and left and finally got Reese (kicking and screaming) into the car around 5:30 pm to head back to the house. Reese was not happy to leave, although the park only would have been open for another hour, so it goes without saying that we will be back, maybe even making this an annual trip.

Once back to the house Bryan and I were on dinner duty and grilled up some burgers and brats along with corn on the cob and cole slaw. After dinner we played outside some more, got the girls their first bath of the trip, and then managed to get them down for the night by about 9 pm. Us adults finally got some time to ourselves and enjoyed conversation and drinks around the campfire until past 11 pm when we called it a night ourselves.

Monday morning was mostly spent packing up and cleaning the house although the girls got one last morning to play together. We used up the leftovers making breakfast tacos and hit the road just before 11 am. We decided to detour and stop in Leavenworth for some time and arrived there around noon. We immediately stopped into a candy store advertising salt water taffy (which I love) and picked out a good selection, got an iced coffee next door, and then walked through the waterfront park to a cute little hidden playground that we spend some time at. We headed back into town to get a smoothie and sandwich to share in the shade before getting the girls back in the car for another two hours back to Seattle. Reese never napped during this stretch and Brooke did for the first hour and then was done with the car for the last hour making that super fun. We arrived at home just before 5 pm and unloaded the car, got the girls out and happy, and made a quick dinner for the night.

It was such a wonderful weekend and truly felt like the start to summer. I think Bryan had a great Father’s Day, having so much fun with his oldest girl and also getting to share some time and drinks with friends. We have just five workdays before our next trip and some hot weather in store this weekend so I think our flight on Tuesday will get here quicker than we even know it.

Chelsea

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Headed East

We are headed to Eastern Washington this weekend to leave the city behind and spend some time with friends in the sun and with a drink in hand around the BBQ. Can’t wait for it but here is a recap of the past week in our lives.

Last weekend was productive in ways, busy in ways, and relaxing in ways, which is all around good! Reese had early dismissal at school on Friday so we took the opportunity to head down to Beacon Hill to a well renowned Filipino restaurant that I have been wanting to try and finally got reservations for. I had hoped to visit the playground next door before dining in but as we started making our way south it started sprinkling, and then full out raining, so we detoured to the Beacon Hill library instead to pick out some new books to read. Our dinner was delicious though and the girls were well behaved on their adorable heated and enclosed patio. We tried their lumpiang (like an egg roll or crispy dumpling we told Reese) and Reese loved these, then had their hangar steak with mushroom and shishito pepper relish and the short rib that came in a rich and luscious spicy peanut butter sauce and a side of their garlic rice. I’d love to try the rest of their menu easily. Midway through the meal Reese requested fries so we hit the one and only Wendy’s on our way home to get fries and two frostys to take home.

On Saturday we had two of Reese’s friends over to bounce and have some coffee and snacks and that was enjoyable although chaotic at times. The three girls played well mostly, inside and outside, and by the time they had left Reese was thoroughly exhausted, or so I thought. Reese said she was going to nap by herself and Brooke went down right away so I went on a run in the glorious weather but came home to Brooke who had just woken up and Reese who asked if “it was wake up time” but by the looks of her eyes she didn’t sleep a wink. I had two girls who still needed to nap but that wasn’t going to happen so when Sarah messaged to meet up at the park we opted in. Reese walked/scootered the whole way there, played with Lottie on the playground for some time, and scootered the whole way back home. Meanwhile, Bryan also went for a run in the hot afternoon sun and continued to make great progress power washing the driveway with his new power washer which was an early Father’s Day gift in a way. We had a nice dinner at home and all slept wonderfully Saturday night after such a busy day.

Sunday was misty and overcast and cold to start so I was looking forward to taking both girls to Reese’s gymnastics class and just enjoying sitting on the bleachers for 45 minutes. However, Brooke decided that the 10 minute ride over was enough nap for her so instead she watched her sister for the duration of the class. Reese loved class and then we headed home with a quick stop at the Amazon Fresh for a slice of pizza for Reese and Raised Doughnuts for a few donuts as well to share at home. Bryan continued working on the driveway and sidewalk and we played a while before nap time. I could have taken a nap myself but instead I geared myself up and went to a soccer game. I seriously questioned this decision when I got there and we had six players to form a team. We borrowed two players from the other team but still played down some members and the other team was outstanding. I all but keeled over dead by the end of the game and knew that I would be feeling sore for days after, which I did but probably Sunday night’s pure fatigue was worse than the soreness. Back home we had dinner and spent the evening watching movies since the weather turned to more rain.

We’ve had a pretty normal week this week. We did get to go over to Lottie’s house on Monday night for takeout dinner of Rocket Tacos, Bryan’s margaritas, and Sarah and Lottie’s banana chocolate chip cake for dessert. I also got to spend a few hours at a UM Alumni Networking event in South Lake Union while Bryan watched the two girls for me on Wednesday night. I have another networking event next Wednesday that I hope to make as well but this was a very enjoyable night to myself.

And I’ve spent all my spare moments today, working from home, packing for our weekend away before going to pick up Reese and having another playdate at Volunteer Park with her classmates from school. We don’t have a flight to make for this trip so we can leave whenever tomorrow morning but I’m hoping we don’t delay too long since tomorrow is supposed to be the nicest day of the whole weekend. Across the state we have had truly cool temperatures this whole spring and now summer and I just want some heat, briefly!

Chelsea

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Energy Stores

Reese is full of energy. That is actually a quote that Reese told me this morning and nothing could be more true. She has so much energy and so much zest all of the time and this weekend really showcased that. Even though that beautiful weather forecast ended up treating us with some surprise showers and called into question a few of our activities, most of the fun was still had.

Thursday was really the day that the rain hit, and hit hard, unexpectedly so and enough so that it deterred our plans for the evening. We were supposed to have our first organized play date at Volunteer Park after school with Reese’s classmates but pretty much about 10 minutes into our walk to get Reese it started raining and we had to take cover when we could. Not having a change of clothes for Reese or her scooter, and Bryan getting hammered on in the car further north, we decided to forgo the park playdate (although about 10 families still ended up attending) and instead rode the bus into Capitol Hill to find books and read in the bookstore before walking over to get a mystery shop dinner at Elysian’s. This plan ended up working well, Reese got a new Peppa Pig book and we got to read in a castle in the bookstore, and then we had a delicious dinner of beers, fish and chips, risotto, and Reese’s first corn of the season while we stayed dry inside.

Friday also had scattered showers but fortunately by the time we had to go get Reese it was dry and the Steven’s school carnival at her school’s campus was on. We picked her up at 4:30 pm, spent some time at the playground there with her friend Lily, and then when the carnival officially started at 5 pm we were the first in line to play many of the games. This carnival brought back so many memories for me. The games were much the same, including a cake walk, and Reese had just as much fun as I remember having. She collected several “dollars” in the beginning, opted for all of the sweets at the snack table (i.e. cotton candy, two different types of lollipops and bubble water), and played the cake walk all of one time before landing on the winning square and getting to pick out some brownies, which her parents ended up eating all. Bryan and I also opted for one of the hot dogs from the vendor that was there that was delicious and a fun summer treat. We headed home at about 6:30 pm as Reese was about to hit a sugar crash and more showers were expected. It was a wonderfully fun summer evening.

On Saturday we were planning on having three families over for a BBQ and the opening day of our bounce house. Unfortunately one family fell ill to Covid and another family bailed due to the forecasted light rain so we had a one-on-one dinner with the Vidal’s and it was great and more than enough. We cleaned up the yard and got the bounce house out in the morning, even before celebrating Brooke’s 6 month birthday with pancakes, so Reese got to test it all out first. Once the Vidal’s arrived, there was the lightest of mist but the girls still bounced and enjoyed themselves throughout the night, inside and out. We had a delicious dinner of Bryan’s ribs and homemade sauce, homemade mac n cheese, cornbread and slaw. Reese had a wonderful time with Eliana which is great that they are getting to know each other better and Lucas is only a few months older than Brooke.

Sunday was another scattered rainy day so another day that I was glad that Reese had gymnastics class. Bryan took both girls this time around so I got in a good quick workout and was able to tidy up the house with them gone. I was fueled for this by breakfast in bed delivered by Bryan and Brooke! We spent more of the morning bouncing while the skies cleared. Sunday night was a much needed date night for Bryan and I. Our play was cancelled so we held onto our dinner reservation at Harvest Vine but chose to sit at the counter instead and enjoyed a wonderful dinner and glass of wine before heading out on our scooter to the Garage to play a few games of bowling. We played three games, were tied 1-1 going into the third game, but Bryan ended up beating me by quite a bit in the third. We left there and went for a walk since we could see that Reese was still awake for the sitter. Even after our walk, getting some candy from the store, and heading back after 10 pm, the girl was still awake so I finished putting her to bed. Her energy!

It was a great weekend and both Bryan and I felt accomplished and like we got in what we needed to. We have a pretty normal week this week and weekend before we then have our trip to Chelan. I’m still waiting for hot weather but we are at least solidly in the upper 60s and have had sunshine most days (although not today!). I have been biking Reese to school everyday and that has been great (and great exercise). We had Lottie and Sarah over for a grill out and to bounce last night and a late bedtime and Brooke up at 5:30 am this morning (and the rain today) has me S.L.E.E.P.Y. I just can’t believe how quickly time is going and that we are already into June!

Chelsea

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Brooke’s Half Birthday!!

Six months is a big landmark in my opinion. I remember this being the case with Reese too. It’s the age where that little baby is starting to seem a lot more fun, a lot more interesting, and doing a lot more things themselves. Brooke is doing just that. She is still our go-with-the-flow, watch-Reese-at-all-times little girl but she is also sitting on her own, wanting to stand a lot with some assistance and playing more with toys. Oh, and eating!

  • The biggest news is that Brooke is sitting without our help these days. There are still some instances where she might topple over but it’s very rare and usually only when she is tired. I love this stage because she can play better in a seated position but she is not quite mobile enough that you need to baby proof. Although, as I write this I feel like she has gone a few days where she is protesting sitting and would rather just stand (assisted) and that is rather annoying.
  • She can keep herself entertained with toys that make noise or just by picking up things. Lately she has liked her activity cube, the rocking horse, and watching Reese build Legos, towers, and do puzzles.
  • Brooke loves food still. She gets baby cereal with peanut butter pretty much every morning and gobbles it up and continues to try more and more foods at dinner time. That being rice, pasta, pouches, tomato sauce, tater tots, turnip cake and dumplings, berries and pretty much anything else you want to give her (but hold the spice). Unfortunately it also seems to be stopping her up these days.
  • She swam in the pool with us for a full hour and loved it. She will stay in the water so long as it is warm enough.
  • She has been on the swing now a few times and seems to enjoy it. She still loves to watch her sister on the playground too.
  • She’s pushing herself up much better during tummy time these days.
  • She likes being outside. Now when we go to the park I can sit with her in the grass and she will be content for long stretches feeling the grass.
  • We have yet to move her to her own room and own crib but anticipate doing that after our two trips this month. We are not anticipating this to go smoothly though because she seems pretty content in our bed. She is also still nursing a time or two during the night. She’s been waking up most days around 6 am which is too early for me but occasionally she will wake up a little bit later in the morning.
  • She’s gone through some periods of being extremely chatting. Making lots of noise continuously for periods of time is quite funny.
  • She laughs at the funniest things. She is starting to get ticklish so we are starting to be able to cause her to laugh but at other times she won’t and then she will burst out in a fit of giggles over something I’m not even quite sure what she is laughing about (but it usually has to do with Reese).
  • She is so much better in car seat. Thank goodness!
  • Her grasp has gotten strong and she can hold on for dear life to your hair (or Reese’s hair). She has definitely taken some chunks out of each of our hair.
  • Still no teeth and still hair that is very very short.
  • She definitely does understand distances these days and that we can walk away and leave her and she isn’t too keen with that.

I’m still just so stunned that we have already hit the 6 month mark. How can it already be half a year?

Chelsea

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Memorial Day Memories

This past weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, was nice to have an extra day off, was chilly and rainy much of the weekend, again, didn’t feel anything like a kickoff to summer. Somehow though we managed to coax it in to feeling like summer. Taking a look at what we did; swimming, a music festival, grilling up some burgers, all point towards summer, they were just a bit different.

For instance, instead of swimming outside, we took the girls up to McMenamin’s indoor saltwater pool in Bothell on Saturday morning. Reese’s friend Mika was up for the adventure so we met them there and were able to snag an hour long swimming session in the very warm (thank goodness) pool. All four of us swam the whole time and the pool really does have a wonderful ambiance and was a lot of fun. Managed to get both girls showered and dressed before leaving and we headed home for lunch and the rest of the day spent playing inside thanks to the rainy weather.

Sunday was a busy morning. I walked the girls to Raised Doughnuts in the morning to get my hands on the last of the monthly May special of a french toast filled donut and the apple fritter, picked by Reese. We then drove Reese to gymnastics where she had a private lesson most likely thanks to it being a holiday weekend and no other kids there from her class. Fortunately she didn’t seem nervous or to shy away from this one on one session which meant she was go go go the full 45 minutes, no taking turns on the obstacle course, the rope swing or the trampoline. She actually worked up a sweat. From there we headed to the International District to put our name in for a party of 10 at Jade Garden for dim sum. After a wait we snagged a large table for our group (us plus Luis and Carina and family and Sarah and Lottie). We got a slew of dumplings during a rather chaotic meal with all of the girls. It was also pushing towards nap time and we headed home from there. The rest of the day was rainy and quiet indoors.

Monday was the only day without rain so we took advantage by heading out to the Seattle Center for some time at Folklife Fest. We met up with Reese’s friend Lily and her family and eventually also found Mika and her family. We spent the first hour or so at the playground for the massive climbing structure and slide that Reese has never been big enough for. She rocked it though and loved it but was able to convince to leave to find some snacks and music. We settled on a giant elephant ear to share and met up with our friends at the Fountain Lawn Stage for the band called “The Not Its” who are essentially a punk rock band for kids that play red light green light for dancing and wear bright pink socks and tutus. Perfect concert for Reese and her and her friend Mika were front and center at the stage dancing the whole time. I literally had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. Once the band was done Reese wanted to play in the fountain, which she did for awhile before then getting soaked. We got some cotton candy as we headed back to the car and Reese waited all of the way until we got home to try the cotton candy, but loved it.

I spent some time with Brooke outside cleaning up the backyard to get it summer ready and we grilled up some burgers with tater tots for a true summer dinner. This week is actually presenting the weather I would have loved over the weekend but all is well as we have a few outdoor events this week for Reese and for fun. I’m so excited for summer and feeling really excited that we booked tickets to the cottage for the 4th and will get to spend the next holiday weekend with family!

Chelsea

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Memorial Day Already

I think there is something about the spring weather in Seattle that really makes the fast approaching summer months sneak up on you. I mean, come on, it’s already Memorial Day weekend and we are getting so many highs still in the 50s. Warm up I say! Although our Memorial Day weekend weather is looking anything but summery, we did get treated with a warm weather weekend last week that was glorious and much needed! So let’s take a look back at what I missed to report in the past two weeks.

We reunited with Lottie on Friday night at Miller Park, after Reese’s pajama day at school. We played at the park for awhile before Lottie scootered and Reese rode her trike back to our house for an easy dinner off of the grill. We attempted another spontaneous sleepover with Lottie at our house but the minute the lights were out she requested her mama and I just didn’t have the patience or energy to calm her nor do I want sleepovers to be a traumatic experience for her so I dropped her back off at home. Saturday morning Lottie was back over for a few hours and the girls played in the backyard, walked up to the purple slide, and then went to the store to buy some flowers to plant because Lottie has been asking to do so.

Saturday night we had picnic plans with our friends Anne and Phillip and their two kids at Alki Beach. The girls played in the water, played in the sand, ran up and down the beach, each took spins on their balance bikes, and topped the night off with ice cream cones at sunset. We also had a great takeout Greek dinner on our beach blanket. It was a tad cool with the breeze off of the water but it was a great night out. Sunday night we had another picnic just ourselves after we walked to Amazon Fresh for pizza slices and poke bowls from Seattle Fish Guys thanks to a Yelp Elite event. I also played soccer on Sunday afternoon and the girls napped pretty much the entire time that Bryan was watching them! Reese made it back to gymnastics Sunday morning and I took the girls down the street to a park after gymnastics to give Bryan some time at home. It was all in all a wonderful weekend.

The previous weekend was also a great and social weekend with different friend’s events. We spent Saturday afternoon up at Polly’s house for her daughter Niko’s 1st birthday party outside. Gorgeous party and tasty food and we played at the park down the street from their house for some time afterwards to soak up the surprising sunshine. It was good to see many of our friends there. Sunday we headed to Ballard for drinks at Urban Family Brewing as Stephan and Ewelina were in town from Poland for a wedding and we got to catch up with them, enjoy some beers, and got some dinner at a place nearby. The girls did great letting us catch up with our friends for a few hours.

For the work week, Bryan is still settling into his new role and the new commute into the Everett office three days a week. I am pretty much settled into two days in the office myself. For drop off, Reese and I have taken the stroller, taken her scooter, taken the car (when Bryan is home), taken the bus once (on a rainy day) and just this week got my bike and the bike trailer up and working. We are still doing pickups by walking and heading to the park on more days than not. Brooke is getting along well with our nanny and is getting more vocal, sitting unassisted, and doing longer and longer stints on her tummy. She’s been enjoying books these days and likes to watch her sister color as well. Oh, and eat, she loves to eat.

Bryan has had a few more occasions out with friends. He got dinner and drinks with Billy last week and has gone to the driving range twice in the past week. I got my first night out this week with a delicious Ethiopian dinner and wine in Columbia City. It was glorious but I was still home to put both girls asleep (and proceeded to fall asleep in Reese’s bed while doing so). We had our first MJA Baking Competition last week with brownies (the easiest bake if you ask me) and Reese and my brownies placed in 2nd out of 8. And Bryan and I have started a weekly date night at home on Thursday nights. Once the girls are both asleep (i.e. 10 pm) we have a drink and catch up vs play on our phones or watch TV. This is very enjoyable and honestly necessary.

I’m looking forward to the long weekend. Although we don’t yet have set plans I have some ideas to keep us entertained so let’s see what we end up doing!

Chelsea

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Reese Lately

It has been a hot minute since I have written a post on Reese and her ever evolving developments and personality. But, I feel like just in the past month or two, Reese has matured quite a bit. She’s developed new interests and is having full on conversations with those around her. It’s really something to see…

  • The biggest change I have noticed in Reese is her interest and focus for more sit and play activities lately. Reese has really gotten into puzzles and coloring and I’m all for it. She started out not really sure how to work some fairly simple puzzles but just lately has finished some (with minimal help) that were like 50 pieces. We’ve colored with crayons which is fun but we’ve also been really big fans about the magic ink coloring books and paper since they are free of messes. Reese has gone from just freely coloring, to doing really well staying in the lines, and now is even helping coloring in the sky, grass and surroundings in pictures.
  • Reese is trying to strike up conversations with anyone around her. We first noticed this in Hawaii when we would ride elevators with strangers and Reese would start a conversation with “Hi. I am Reese. I am from Seattle. I am three years old.” She’s done this more at parks around here too and is a great story teller if she has caught someone’s attention, being able to talk for long stretches of time, and what always gets me is that she recounts and retells real life events in very great detail, even about events that have happened a long time ago. She’s not just making up stories.
  • Reese is learning the concept of time. She is starting to get the difference between a minute, five minutes and ten minutes, as well as the concept of later, tomorrow, yesterday, today, etc. Similarly, she is actually understanding that if we say two more times, that means two more times and if she goes one time then she has one time left. That’s a big step!
  • Reese has gotten excellent on her scooter. The scooter riding really clicked in February during our Covid times and has only gotten better. She’s learned to use her brake to feel more comfortable on gradual descents and we often bring it to school in the afternoon at pick up and she can ride it the whole way home (1.5 miles).
  • Reese can pull herself up a pole. This she has demonstrated to me a few times on her jumping gym in the backyard. She can also flip over a bar and is getting better at walking a balance beam by herself.
  • Reese has finally been sleeping through the night in her own bed. We have had a few wakeups just recently where she has gotten upset about something, whether it’s been a bad dream or not having one of us in the room with her is unclear, but we are finally there. She’s also been sleeping in and we are now having to wake her up sometimes around 7:30 in order to get ready for school (this weekend she woke up around 8 am each day although she wasn’t going to sleep until nearly 10 pm). Unfortunately, Brooke doesn’t sleep in that late.
  • Reese loves toast. Sugar toast or Nutella toast she is all about right now. She still loves pizza, mac n cheese, pasta, chicken nuggets, and French fries, and of course fruit and sweets and hummus with veggies. She also ate a coconut shrimp in Hawaii which really surprised me. Also while we were in Hawaii she got into potato chips and this is still a rather hot commodity these days.

Reese really is growing up and we both just love her so much. Brooke does too!

Chelsea

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Mother’s Day Memories

This past Mother’s Day was one to remember. It was certainly more enjoyable than last years which was mostly alone and with withdrawals of my parents heading back home and Bryan being in Charleston. Plus I have two girls to enjoy this year!

We actually had a social and busy day on Saturday which was nice and needed. We got together with Reese’s friend Mika’s mom and her two girls and they all burned their energy at the Inflatable Zone at Arena Sports for the full two hours. We got to catch up and the girls were hands off more or less the entire time. We came back home for a nap and then our friends Phillip and Anne and their two kids came over Saturday night for our belated Cinco de Mayo dinner and we enjoyed carnitas and spicy margaritas. We hadn’t seen them in ages and it was very enjoyable to spend some time with them and even agreed to a group trip to Chelan for Father’s Day weekend.

Sunday morning Bryan took Reese to gymnastics so Brooke and I had some quiet time around the house, taking a bath, singing songs, etc. When Bryan and Reese returned they came bearing gifts of a beautiful bouquet of flowers that Reese picked out (they had purple flowers) and some chocolate covered pretzels and cookies for me. We walked to the Arboretum for my first soccer game in at least 18 months. We had a 1 pm game and it was close so I decided this was as good a day as ever to get back on the field and I’m so happy that I did, and that Bryan watched the girls for me while I did. Reese got a slice of pizza at Pagliacci’s with daddy and spent most of the first half at the playground there but then wanted to watch my game the whole second half. She was wearing her shades and about every five minutes would call out my name and wave to me. It was soooo cute!

It was glorious sunny weather after my game so we sat in the grass for a while before heading back home. Reese took a super late nap and woke up a cranky monster. We had plans to go over to Sarah and Lotties to see them before they leave again and Bryan went to pick up middleeastern from Tanoor for us. Meanwhile, we were trying to keep the two girls from getting after each other, both were in moods. Dinner was delicious and fortunately the girls snapped out of attitudes shortly after dinner and Brooke lasted until after 8 pm before we headed home to put her to bed.

It was a wonderful weekend and I’m just so lucky to have my family, both my girls and Bryan and my mom and grandma who have always been such wonderful role models for me. I felt the love this past weekend and I’m just so ready for more sunny weather, more time with friends, and more soccer games!

Chelsea

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Brooke at Five Months

Brooke keeps getting cuter and more interesting by the day. The past month has been one where Brooke has really found her voice, took to daddy, then developed separation anxiety for mommy all over again. She took her first family vacation, touched sand for the first time, and took a few more dips in a pool. Let’s take a look.

  • Brooke has gotten so much better at pushing buttons, making things move or make noise, and entertaining herself.
  • She is food obsessed. The girl goes absolutely nuts when we are sitting down eating meals, to the point that we broke out foods for her weeks ago to appease her while we eat. So far I haven’t really found anything she doesn’t like. She has had applesauce, banana, strawberry, melon, potato, and her first actual baby puree that involved some weird combo of peas, kiwi and banana that she didn’t seem totally in love with but still ate.
  • She still loves bath time, especially with big sis.
  • We’ve gotten a few more giggles the past few days, usually from something her sister does.
  • She has been extremely clingy and already seems to have developed object permanence and does not like it when we walk away from her or disappear. She is also a bit dependent on mom these days.
  • She still loves walks and being on the move. That has not changed and she did a lot of baby wearing in Hawaii.
  • She’s gotten good at pulling Reese’s hair. She also seems to always want to have her feet on Reese whenever Reese is near.
  • We are officially in size 3-6M clothes now and she is finally fitting into them. She weighed 12 lbs 2 oz at this weeks doctors appointment so she’s right with her sister at 3% weight. She’s just over two feet tall so about 50% for height.
  • She seems to enjoy reading but truthfully we’ve done very little of that for her. Good thing the nanny is starting.
  • She loves being sung to. Our whole family really gets into the “wheels on the bus” but we need to learn some more songs too.
  • She’s really gotten into touching (and scratching) at my face when I am holding her or nursing her. I remember Reese doing this too at one point.

I was going through Reese’s updates at 5 months and though they are similar, I do think Reese was physically more advanced and Brooke seems to take more to the food, books, and music more than Reese did. Reese was just starting to sit unassisted at 5 months and already getting on all fours and rocking back and forth and Brooke has a little bit to go before she is sitting. Although she wants to be, she wants to do everything her big sis can. We need to work on her on tummy time a bit more. She’s no different than her sister though in terms of poor sleep; the girl has been waking up a lot early in the night before we are even in bed ourselves.

And this week was a tough one for all of us but especially Brooke. She came down with some kind of bug Sunday night and it was touch and go all week. She was not well on Monday when Reese had the day off of school (thank goodness Reese had a playdate already scheduled for this day) and I seriously was only able to set her down for about 30 minutes total throughout the day. She only slept on me, with me holding her, through the night Monday night and then her fever seemed to break at 5 am Tuesday morning but wanting to take her to the doctor’s just in case, we got her four month vaccines which I knew meant would be another sleepless night. And I was right. She only slept with me holding her again on Tuesday night and come Wednesday I was spent. Thankfully the nanny started for us on Wednesday (after calling her off for various reasons on Monday and Tuesday) and since then Brooke has been getting better and seems in the all clear now.

Of course then Reese got the bug and stayed home yesterday school sick. Both girls were tired and had fevers but no other noticeable symptoms. This was a rare sick day for Reese that she just wanted to watch movies all day, which was A-okay but also sad to see our spunky girl out of her character. This morning she was ready and eager to go back to school so I see that as a good sign and I truly hope we don’t have anymore sicknesses in the family for quite some time!

Chelsea

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Maui Wowie

We are back from our much anticipated and much needed family vacation to Maui and although we are still recovering from our vacation, we have many memories from the trip, suntans to prove we went, and many stories to share. All in all it was a good trip. It’s a lot to travel with a 4 month old and toddler, especially when it involves a nearly 6 hour flight to get there, and we learned a few things along the way, but it was a good first vacation as a family of four.

We had an early flight on Friday with an 8 am departure. We had to wake the girls to get them ready and in the car, but with little effort we were packed and out the door and at the airport with plenty of time. Our flight’s departure was delayed to 8:30 am and unfortunately we sat on the ground until nearly 9:30 am so we were a full 1.5 hours late. The girls did exceptional on the flight, both taking good naps and both being relatively easy to entertain. We were also in premium seats so we had extra leg room and free drinks to boot so that definitely helped. We landed in Maui and then had more issues getting to our gate so the delay was scaling up. Finally off of the plane, Reese and I had gone a bit delirious, we got our bags and then waited for our shuttle to the hotel, that was also late. After waiting nearly an hour after our flight landed our shuttle finally arrived and we had the 45 minute drive to our hotel. The shuttle ride was smooth with Reese being great for us and Brooke sleeping and we finally arrived to the Hyatt Regency at 3:30 PM local time and our room wasn’t yet ready. Ugh!

We were given leis and walked the grounds to scope things out while we waited for our room. Reese asked to go to the pool no less than 20 times during this wait for the room. We finally got access to our room around 4 PM and immediately changed into swimsuits to head to the pool. Reese set out right away for the kids slide and got as many slides in as she could before they closed the slide at 5 PM for the day. We were so exhausted from the flight that we got our first dinner at the Residence Club that we had access to and that ended up being a great use for us (and $$ savings) throughout our stay at the hotel. Each night they had heavy “appetizers” that was a pretty good spread, always with some delicious poke, fresh chips and dip, some sort of salad and then two hot entrees and a few desserts. Plus they offered beer and wine by the glass for only $4-$5 which is about a quarter of the price of drinks elsewhere on the resort grounds, or honestly in Maui in general. So after dinner we were all so tired on our first night that we went to bed pretty much right away.

…and were up around 5 AM. I’m not surprised, I thought it might be worse. We were almost always up before sunrise but then could see the sun coming up through our corner room with views of both the ocean and mountains. For our first full day in Maui we were all about the beach and pool. Every morning we got breakfast in the Residence Club, which was again a good spread of a variety of pastries, fresh fruit, and a few hot breakfast items plus the required coffee or espresso. Reese loves croissants so she pretty much had one every morning. Since we were up so early and the pool slide isn’t open until 10 AM for some unknown reason, we spent this morning chasing waves and shooting water through our water guns at the beach. We spent a few hours here before moving to the pool in time for the slide to open. Reese then proceeded to slide from 10 until about 1 every single day we were there. And I mean laps, nonstop. She made a lot of friends and got a lot of attention from the fellow parents for her determination and zest. She’d take occasional breaks for chips and cookies (that also came from the Residence Club during their snack hours) or to swim with one of us through the waterfall going through the grotto that was pretty cool.

We’d finally get Reese to admit fatigue and would head up to the room between 1 and 2 to take a nap. And she was taking some solid naps after that much water play. On Saturday night, after our only afternoon session at the pool slide, we took the stroller down the awesome windy beach path to Whalers Village, the one shopping complex in the resort area that has several restaurants. Unfortunately, Maui is so busy right now that you have to get reservations well in advance or be okay waiting for a table. We didn’t have a reservation on this night but knew of a great food truck in the Village called Da Nani Pirates that served a variety of fish tacos, sandwiches, salads and plates. Bryan and I shared their fried fish tacos and the fish of the day, ono on a salad with feta, macadamia nuts and the most amazing creamy green dressing. The food was so delicious and the fish was so good. Reese got a grilled cheese and curly fries and almost managed to eat the whole thing! Their curly fries were also amazing. It was already 7 PM so I headed back to put Brooke down while Bryan and Reese explored the village a little more and got some gelato before heading back to the room.

Our one excursion day was on Sunday. After breakfast we headed south along the waterfront to the main town in Maui called Lahaina. Ironically, the Maui Marathon was going on at the same time so we were walking in the opposite direction of all of the runners. And believe me, if we were hot walking I can only imagine how rough it was on the runners. It was just over 3 miles into town but we needed the walk and enjoyed the opportunity for the adults to catch up with one another. We walked through Banyan Tree Park and hit a tiny beach which was mostly an entrance for surfers but we needed to soak our feet and cool off a bit before Reese and Bryan boarded their 10 am submarine ride. Brooke and I said goodbye to those two when they went on the excursion we could not go on and we bummed around town a bit which basically meant Brooke taking a short nap for me, changing her extremely poopy diaper in some shaded grass and then dipping in a few stores to keep cool and shaded. We met back up with the crew when they departed their boat just shortly before noon. Reese did great and they thought it was a great experience, riding a ferry boat out about 15 minutes to board a true submarine and then going underwater to see a bunch of sea life, including a few sleeping sharks.

In town we bought Reese a Hawaiian dress (in purple) and a matching one for Brooke and then hit up Ulalani’s for the best shaved ice in Maui. We shared two of their most popular flavor combinations and it was delicious, although by this point Brooke was hot and tired and wanted in on the shaved ice action and was disappointed she couldn’t have any. We picked up the shuttle back to the resort area and were back at the hotel with plenty of time for Reese to get some slide time in. She did not nap on this day other than a quick catnap in the stroller while we were in town. After a few hours by the pool, and a few drinks for us, we picked up a pizza at the pizza oven at the resort to enjoy in one of the many abandoned cabanas to enjoy before getting a bit more dinner at the Club. Both girls passed out super quick on this night.

Monday and Tuesday were purely resort, pool, beach days and that was okay with us. They looked the same with breakfast at the club, then a walk along the beach path to catch some of the cooler air and wait for the slide to open up, slide/pool from 10 until 1 or so, nap time in the room with showers to clean ourselves up. After dinner on Monday we actually got professional photos taken of us at sunset on the beach. We didn’t buy the whole zip drive (although we still could) but we did purchase a few of the photos. It was actually a lot of fun getting the photos taken and Reese did great for the short amount of time that we were taking them. We chased waves and watched the sunset after. And Tuesday we were supposed to have reservations out at one of the restaurants in the Village but they called and left a message that they didn’t have running water (?!?) so we settled for another dinner and drinks in the Club and then chased waves and watched the sunset one last time.

I think Reese was so worn out from the previous days at the pool that on Wednesday morning, without the slide running, she didn’t even want to get one last swim in before we left the hotel. Really she didn’t want to do anything and didn’t eat anything at breakfast. I also actually got sick to my stomach our last night there, in the middle of the night, and felt horrible on travel day so I didn’t mind just trying to get some settling food for breakfast and taking our time packing up before catching our shuttle to the airport and our long flight back home. The girls did so well again. Reese seemed to have whatever I had because she was sleepy and lethargic the whole flight and napped for about 4 hours of the flight. Brooke slept quite a bit too and it wasn’t until we got home that Bryan started having a bit of an upset stomach too. I’m shocked I made it through the flight honestly, with how I felt, travel day sick with two girls is my worst form of torture, but we did it. We didn’t get back home until about 11 PM, which is remarkable since we landed at 10 PM.

It’s good to be back and we are still adjusting back to the Pacific Time Zone and school and work but fortunately the weekend is already here. Brooke starts her time with the nanny on Tuesday (Reese’s school is closed on Monday so I’m taking PTO to watch them both on Monday). We don’t have much planned for the weekend except for dinner at one of Reese’s classmates house tonight. This weekend will be some R&R I do believe. Super grateful for my amazing kids and husband and the opportunity to go to Hawaii!

Chelsea