Uncategorized

Mommy Care

Now that I am a mom my priorities have obviously shifted. Some of this can be good for my health and some not so much. Bryan has definitely experienced similar impacts as a dad. Now that we kind of have a flow of things in place and nicer weather ahead of us, I’m trying to prioritize what’s best for me and my family.

My beauty regime has definitely been simplified, not that it has ever been that time consuming. Especially with sleep deprivation, I’m trying to do the best for my skin and subsequently my health in as short amount of time as I can. I’m definitely trying to take care of the condition of my face. I bought a Clarisonic Mia facial cleanser months ago and love how clean it gets my face. I’ve been much better about washing my face before bed most nights. I am strict about using toner after every face wash. I have been trying out different facial serums and oils to see which I like best and can’t ever make up my mind on them. Hopefully these bags under my eyes will go away at some point! Another big change I am making this summer is employing the use of sunless tanner. I don’t want to damage my skin further but I love the glow of sun-kissed summer skin. I found a product that I bought and love so far and is so easy to apply without error. It’s called Fake Bake and I’ve been putting it on once a week and LOVE it and don’t feel the need to lay out in the sun. Anddddd, to successfully use the tanner I need to exfoliate first and I bought this awesome and cheap exfoliating mitt like the ones they use in Turkish baths that really does refresh my skin!

Mani-pedis and my hair are things I will still put a little time and money into when I can. I recently got highlights and told the girl to let me see them! I wanted to lighten up my hair for summer and was not afraid of making a statement and really like the look so far. I was also able to get in a mani-pedi session on the fly when we employed our nanny just for a few hours on Memorial Day (she offered since we were still paying her for the day). It felt good to get a little pampering session in.

A wardrobe I like is important. Not all of my clothes are fitting as they had previously, and that is okay. I am really trying to do more weights instead of cardio so I’m sure my body composition will change with that as well as the fact that Reese is still nursing. But I want to like my clothes and feel good in them. My latest Stitch Fix box was A++ and I bought it all (sorry not sorry Bryan). I’m trying to find more shoes that are cute but hurt my feet less. I bought some fresh summer clothes mainly for home life and date nights (not work). Baby girl looks cute everyday and so should I.

Motivation is key for anyone in a physical exercise rut I think. First it was hard to find time to exercise, then I have been under the weather for a few weeks, and sometimes I just feel plain lazy. That’s okay, but I would love something to set as a goal and work towards. As much as I want to focus more on strength training, it’s so much easier to set a cardio goal and meet that. Plus, I would love to have a set goal with Bryan. He has been looking at half marathons/marathons to do and although I don’t really want to train for a full marathon I might be talked into training for a half marathon; meaning I no doubt would be willing to train for a half marathon, so long as speed is not a big deal. I think something like that plus my goal of five chin ups/pull ups in a day would be a good combo goal by years end…at least my 10 k goal. I’m letting Bryan lead the development of this goal though. One thing is for sure, if we don’t take care of our physical health Reese is going to run us ragged as she gets older and we both want to keep up with her!

Me/We time is ultimately important for sanity purposes and ultimately pushed aside for baby girl. However, me/we are trying to prioritize more time for me/us and we will take what we can get. We actually had a fun date night planned on Friday night! I’ve been stealing away to play soccer once a week. And even at this past week’s dinner at FareStart, I enjoyed eating a dinner with baby girl sleeping next to me, a rare occurrence these days but one I enjoyed eating a meal in “silence”. It was also a darn good meal. And we have another night out this coming Friday, getting to get dressed up just for a few hours.

I don’t know if it is the better sleep or some exercise or what but I’m definitely feeling more like my old self lately. Hoorah!

Chelsea

Uncategorized

Our Nine Month Old!

Nine months, nine months! It’s hard to believe that Reese has been nine months in and nine months out at this point. Her personality reminds me more and more of a toddler. She’s so advanced. But anyways, this month has been full of advancements.

  • She has gone in and out of very clingy phases (I’ve read the most clingy stages are from 9-11 months), this doubled down after her flu booster shot
  • She pulls herself to standing easily and has stood without holding onto things for a few seconds here and there
  • She is a speed demon crawler, especially if mommy or daddy is “chasing” her or she is getting into trouble
  • Her very favorite game is being chased
  • She taunts us by going up the first step of the flight of stairs at least 10x per day
  • Her favorite food is by far hummus but she is more or less wanting to eat anything these days; surprising us by sucking on a lemon for a good 15 minutes on two separate occasions, eating blue cheese and blue cheese dressing and she also really likes Cheerios which her parents finally bought her
  • She has become impossible to get a diaper change or clothing change in; her capabilities to roll have certainly advanced
  • She has learned to clap and loves applause
  • She loves watching her daddy dance even during the middle of a cry she will stop at the first sign of dancing
  • She still loves her bath times
  • She may or may not like hiking, yet to be determined
  • She loves dirt and getting ultra dirty
  • She still seems to be teething but no teeth to show for it
  • She loves the outdoors…she is gravitated to the windows and doors and if a door to the outside is left open for a split second she will be out that door
  • She’s been falling asleep in her crib with me holding her hand…and miraculously sleep training seems to have worked in one day; she slept from 8:30-5:30 the past two days in a row in her own crib
  • She surprisingly still doesn’t mind headbands or bows
  • She loves drinking water out of her sippy cup
  • Laundry and emptying the dishwasher is another favorite activity; removing items is something she really enjoys
  • She has a knack for the remote control to the TV, and the laptop; her knack is to get static noise on the TV and the blue screen of death on the laptop
  • In a social setting with other babies she doesn’t care where her parents are, she is a social girl
  • She’s been kissed by two different boys her age now, not sure about that…

Chelsea

Uncategorized

Ugh Week

Why are some of the shortest weeks the worst weeks? Honestly, the week flew by but I’m not sure that was a good thing. Or maybe it was because it wasn’t an easy week…

  • Reese and I woke up late on Tuesday morning getting a late start and rushing to get ready. I was at least relieved that I had laid out her clothes for the week and had already prepped all of her food and bottles for the day.
  • We’ve still been at Sarah’s place for the nanny share this week, which is good because our landlord has had roofers at the house that have been SO loud, but also adds more preparation and coordination to our days.
  • Three days in a row I walked Reese to Sarah’s apartment. On each day, half way up the hill I realized I didn’t have her Wubbanubba pacifier and had to retrace my steps. On the third day, after retrieving said Wubba from the house, I proceeded back up the hill before realizing I left her milk bottles on the counter and got to do the hill a third time!
  • Thursday morning I was planning on driving her in the Jeep to Sarah’s so that I could also have the Jeep when leaving FareStart but I couldn’t find the Jeep key for the life of me. Thirty minutes of searching for it and I still came up short. Since it was almost 9 AM by this point and I was already sweaty and Reese was a crank I used an Uber to get to Sarah’s. Somehow I still got to work by 9:30 AM. Side note: Bryan found the key as soon as he got home that evening.
  • Reese slept horribly Wednesday night, I think she may be teething, but she literally woke up every hour I think, maybe more frequently if my foggy memory serves me right. Then she woke up cranky, as did I, go figure. We started her sleep training last night. Pray for us and her! So far so good but it is still stressful for me.
  • Did I mention we have roofers at our house. They have been there four days in a row and bang and bang, and board up the windows and don’t finish until just before baby girl has to go to bed. At least they finish by then.
  • And Reese and I went to moms and babies happy hour with our PEPS group which was a whole lot of fun but Reese was apparently on speed or something. She was doing laps and circles around the place and wore herself out completely, both her and I were exhausted upon leaving.
  • I haven’t been able to get in an iota of exercise in other than walking baby girl so that doesn’t help with stress minimization. This weekend will hopefully allow for some.

But I’m being optimistic and thinking its just a fluky week. The very beginning of sleep training looks to be promising and even though it is so hard for me emotionally, I did sleep well during the periods that Reese was asleep. The weather has been spectacular so that’s all good news too. And I did get to volunteer again at FareStart and I think this was really the first time I volunteered where not being with Reese didn’t pull on my heart strings. There has been progress for sure.

And it’s the weekend almost and that makes everything better!

Chelsea

Uncategorized

May: Beginnings and Endings

May has been something else! Its been sunny and beautiful at times and gray cold at others. We’ve been generally more social and its seeming more and more like the summer. It’s also been a month of beginnings and a month of endings. Let me explain:

Beginnings:

  • Our first hike of the season was a good one and a good first with baby girl. We headed north to hike along the shore of the Sound for a change. We pit-stopped in Edison, WA at an adorable cafe called Tweet’s Cafe that served delicious food and we got to eat on their cute little patio. After a filling brunch we drove the short 5-10 minute drive from there to the trailhead to Oyster Dome off of the picturesque Chuckanaut Drive that we have driven many times. Twenty minutes in and baby girl was crying in her pack and we were thinking that maybe this hike wasn’t going to happen. Several hours later we made it back to the car after successfully getting to the top with baby girl. It took us about 3.5 hours, with at least 30 minutes of that as a break at the top and Map My Hike tells me it was about 5.5 miles with 1,700 feet of gain but Bryan told me it was more. Reese needs a little breaking into her pack I think before she completely digs the hiking.
  • Our first time checking out a Seattle Parks n Rec Pool with baby girl this past Saturday and surprise, surprise…she LOVED it! We didn’t really know how it all worked until we got there but for $12 all three of us got to use the pool for an hour. The pool had a lap pool that we didn’t venture into but a tadpole pool, lazy river, water slide, hot tub and sauna for our disposal. There were also life jackets and noodles to use but the life jackets were too big for baby girl so we have her own floatie currently being shipped to us. We had a blast and Reese didn’t stop smiling the whole time. She especially likes to be thrown up into the air. The Rainier Beach pool facility was definitely one going back to, especially on a rainy day. Post swim dinner at Island Soul in Columbia City also ended up being a good decision where we got some delicious fried catfish, black beans, collards, and an amazing snapper and prawn curry, whereas Reese was enjoying her lemon slice?!?
  • Our first time attending Folk Life Festival at the Seattle Center in years for me and ever for Bryan. We decided to walk around and explore the different venues on Sunday with Reese and it was a winner in Reese’s book. The fact that the entire Seattle Center is open to the public, everything is free, and there is literally music and dance everywhere you look makes this the best festival at the Seattle Center in my opinion. You don’t have to wait in annoying lines, pay for tickets, and can literally just explore. The clientele for this festival is across the board and very interesting but there are a ton of dogs and babies. We ended up spending several hours there walking around and took in a Celtic string band, a Serbian dance group (where Reese made a buddy who was 2 1/2 years old and very interested in Reese), a Mexcian dance group, and little bands scattered across the complex.

Endings:

  • The only real ending to the month was the finale of Game of Thrones. We hosted the final episode at our house last weekend, marking the end to eight solid seasons, not all of which we hosted but all of which we participated in watching with others. It has definitely been a social occasion for the past several years and has been a good time. Although the finale did not live up to the expectations of pretty much all of its audience, I still enjoyed the final two episodes, enjoyed having people over, enjoyed trying new recipes (a meatball recipe to keep for sure), enjoyed having dinner with friends, and enjoyed seeing Reese play with her friend Rosalie. I am relieved to not have to plan for guests every weekend for the near future but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to continue to host…

We have had a few excellent weekends and it makes me so look forward to what this summer entails in terms of fun the three of us but also makes going back to work on Monday (or Tuesday) that much more difficult.   The weeks are also fun with FareStart, going to the parks after work, watching Portlandia, I got my hair highlighted last week and my nails done yesterday, and we have a bunch more social events on the near future calendar.  Here’s to the beginning of summer!

Chelsea

Uncategorized

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.

Uncategorized

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

Uncategorized

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