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A Splashing Good Time in Arizona

We were fortunate enough this past weekend to get to spend a long weekend visiting Grandma and Papa Miller in Arizona, and it is safe to say that Reese thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The weather was hot, allowing her to swim every single day, she had tons of new terrain to run around, there were lots of balls to play with, toy towers to knock down, and two new audience members that clapped and cocked their head at her every wish. It was also a nice time for Bryan and I to kind of kick back and relax as well as get in a rare date night out just the two of us.

We had our usual very, very early morning wake up call to get to the airport in time for our 5:55 AM flight to Phoenix. We were at the airport just after 4 AM, found our gate, boarded the plane, and thought everything was going smoothly enough until we sat on the plane for nearly two hours on the tarmac before being told to deplane as there was a malfunctioning piece of equipment. We were sent to a different gate, to a different plane, and our new departure time was 9:15 AM. So much for waking up so early. Fortunately, once in the air, Reese slept for about 2 hours of the flight time. Hoorah! We were greeted by Lon and Trish at baggage claim, got our bags and headed home to change into much cooler clothes. We set out for Mexican lunch at Si Senor before heading back to play around the house. Trish made us a wonderful meal of Turkish food for dinner, after Reese went to bed, and we stayed at the table talking for a long while.

Saturday through Monday was a lot of playing around the house, it was still over 100 degrees outside so unless you were in water, you didn’t really want to be outside. Aside from the kiddie pool out back for Reese, we visited the Hamilton aquatic center pool on Saturday, which was a ton of fun with a lazy river, fountains and lots of kids. Bryan and I even enjoyed a quick lap in the pool. On Sunday and Monday, we were lucky enough to be able to walk across the street to the neighbor’s relaxing backyard pool to have all to ourselves. It was a lot of fun swimming with Reese. Reese enjoyed playing with both Papa and Grandma during our stay. She mainly ran around in circles, rode in laundry baskets, and talked, talked, talked. She loved Grandma’s banana bread and pancakes and, in general, was a very good girl while there.

We got some delicious BBQ from Rudy’s Saturday night and spent much of the day doing what we normally do on Saturday’s; watch football. Same goes with Sunday as we didn’t make it to church because Reese slept straight through it. Bryan and I enjoyed a date night out for dinner in Scottsdale at Blanco Tacos and Tequila, thanks to the grandparents for watching Reese and for mystery shopping for providing us with a free dinner and drinks. We left Reese in good spirits and apparently she was very good for them while we were gone and got some good bonding time with them while we were out. Bryan and I, meanwhile, stuffed ourselves to the gills. We started with drinks at the bar watching Sunday Night Football before sitting on the patio for burritos, queso, tacos and Mexican chocolate cake. We were so stuffed that we decided a walk around Old Town Scottsdale was in order and spent a little time before heading back home. It was an excellent night out just the two of us.

Monday came much too quick and before we knew it we were having to pack up our bags to head back to the airport. Fortunately, there were no delays on our return home but unfortunately, Reese was not at all keen on sleeping during any portion of this flight. We had to wrangle her and entertain her in our seat. There were so many times that it looked like she was going to fall asleep and then nope. She finally fell asleep as the wheels hit the pavement at Seatac. I carried Sleeping Beauty all the way through the airport where she finally woke up in baggage claim, ran all over there while waiting for our car, fell back asleep on the way home, and then woke up and needed to be put back down once home. Bryan and I were both exhausted by the time we had managed to unpack and get ourselves to bed.

It was a wonderful trip and it is always so good to see and spend time with family, especially now with Reese. Looking ahead though, I think we are both a little uneasy booking many more flights, at least certainly none close to, but not during bedtime…Our Vitamin D is in check (even through windows) to maybe persist through what is already seeming to be an early onset of fall here in Seattle.

Chelsea

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The In Between

Sometimes I feel like life that exists between events is kind of this gray area, this in between area, yet probably much of life is lived in the “in between”. What I mean is, we had Labor Day weekend with Polly’s wedding, and are now gearing up for a long weekend in Phoenix to see Grandma and Papa Miller, and right now is that time in between the two. However, this time around, the time in between events has gone anything but normally…

First, I worked on a holiday. Our nanny has been in New York with our second family of the share and our backup nanny was not able to watch Reese Tuesday or Wednesday last week. I couldn’t find anyone I trusted to watch her Tuesday so I decided to work on Monday, while Bryan was home with her, so that I could treat Tuesday as my holiday and spend a day with Reese. Monday night we ended with a dinner at Cactus in West Seattle and a walk along Alki Beach. On Tuesday, Reese and I had a good time, playing around the house, walking to Sarah’s to take care of “Kitty Kitty”, walking to Volunteer Park to play in the wading pool (to find out that they had drained it the day before), returning home to swim in our own kiddy pool, and have a family dinner. A perfect day midweek with my girl in glorious weather. But not normal.

Labor Day walk on Alki

Enter Wednesday. I wake up at 4 am with tummy troubles. First thought (that persisted for days) was that I was pregnant (I’m not). I tolerate it enough while getting myself ready, then Reese ready, then walking our neighbor-babysitter around to fill her in on how Reese’s day should go. I manage to drive myself amidst the traffic to Redmond, to get to work to put my things down and then head straight to the bathroom. I ended up working nearly a full day until I lost my stomach again around 3 pm and decided to head home. Feeling better, I decide to walk Reese to Sarah’s to watch “Kitty Kitty”. I get sick again. Daddy comes to the rescue to pick us up in the car where I headed home to lay down for the rest of the night. I tried to eat, a small amount, put Reese to bed and then immediately lost my stomach one more time.

Thursday morning I felt much the same but a little better. I still went to work and worked a very unproductive day more or less staring at the screen. Never lost my stomach though so I decide to take Baby Girl to FareStart and eat an actual meal. Bad idea! Felt fine while I was there but as soon as I got home and put her to bed I regretted every bite of that meal. It took awhile to get myself asleep with tummy pain. Friday through the weekend was a gradual progression of feeling better. I laid off of the coffee and sweets completely and tried to eat bland, solid food. I tried to keep hydrated as well. Little by little I started to feel better.

Saturday morning was Bryan’s weekend to be on call so he had to head down to Auburn in the morning. Reese and I visited “Kitty Kitty” again and went to the park. Feeling much better, I was able to make dinner. We watched football and the US Open. Unfortunately, Michigan looked awful and Texas looked good but lost to a good team. We then spent the night watching and listening to the thunderstorm that Seattle never gets. Especially a storm of this magnitude has never happened in our eight years of living in Seattle. It was magnificent and Reese wasn’t scared at all. She shouldn’t be as the storms here, even the bad ones, are very tame in comparison to both Michigan and Arizona.

Sunday morning I played soccer in the mist in Capitol Hill. We lost horribly but I was relieved I was well enough to finally get out and exercise. Bryan and Reese had bacon and pancakes ready for me when I got home! We spent another day watching football and visiting “Kitty Kitty”. Otherwise, it was a difficult day to get Reese outside to play thanks to the on and off showers. As it has been ever since. We have had some rain and dreary weather and makes me anxious and nervous about how we are going to handle the gloomy months in Seattle with a toddler.

As soon as I was back to business, Bryan got under the weather with my stomach bug. I feel bad, especially knowing what he was going through. Lottie has returned, as of today., reunited with her friend again. Bryan is feeling mostly normal by this point. He should be good to go by the time we head out to Phoenix tomorrow morning. It’s been an interesting past couple of weeks that have had moments of joyfulness and definite moments of wanting it to be over! So looking forward to heading to hot Phoenix for some days to spend time with the grandparents and maybe even do some swimming!

Chelsea

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Polly Got Married

This past weekend, the three of us took our first road trip together to witness and partake in the marriage of Polly and Ryuhei. It was a whirlwind of a weekend and a weekend full of events but it was a blast and a beautiful thing to be apart of. I love her family and her friends and that is always something that becomes so apparent to me during weddings.

We somehow got the CR-V and our bags packed Wednesday night so that we could take off right after work on Thursday. Bryan drove straight to the ferry and baby girl and I caught the bus to walk on the ferry. We both got lucky and Bryan was one of the last few cars on. With everything going our way so far, we had the 30 minute drive to Maureen’s yurt, where we quickly unloaded the car and checked out the space, before heading to the bridal party party at Polly’s rental cabin. They treated us to champagne punch and pork belly sliders and we got to know the other bridal party members a little better, as well as get to see the bride and groom for the first time that weekend. Polly even asked everyone to sing happy birthday to our birthday girl. We headed back to the yurt to have one night just the three of us before our friends showed up the next day.

Friday started nice and slow, but rainy?!? We were not expecting rain this weekend. The three of us drove to the grocery store to get the rest of the items we needed for the cabin. Reese loved the car-style shopping carts they had for kids. We headed back to have breakfast and soaked in the hot tub while Reese napped and then I had to get ready to head out for the rehearsal at the church.

The rehearsal lasted about 90 minutes and I was back just after the other four adults and two babies arrived. This was my first time meeting Eliana and she is a doll. We ate some snacks, drank some beverages, and worked on a puzzle until we all headed out for the welcome party at Polly’s sister’s place in Poulsbo. They had over 100 RSVPed and I had no idea how they were going to accommodate that many people until I saw their place. They have a huge backyard, a large wrap around deck and a spacious house. They had enough pulled pork, sides, dessert and drinks to feed an army. They had frisbee golf, a swing set, slide, corn hole, and much, much more. Everyone had a good time and it was a very relaxed night getting to see a lot of people for the first time that weekend.

Saturday was wedding day and the one that Bryan and I knew would be a little chaotic. I was going to be preocupied most of the day with wedding events, so Bryan was flying solo with Reese without any bottles that we brought along. Bryan dropped me off at the girl’s cabin at 10 am to start getting ready and he and Reese went over to the other Seattle “party house” to hang out with their crew for a little while. We did our own hair and makeup for the wedding and actually were able to do a pretty snazzy job. We played some tunes and had some breakfast and shortly it was noon and Ryuhei was ready to see his bridge for their first look. The girls were able to witness this play out and the bride and groom were on their way to take some photos and head to the church where we were to meet them for photos.

Bryan and Reese showed up to the church early, while we were taking photos, but once I caught up with them it was evident that Reese was hungry and needing a nap. Poor Bryan. He tried to get her to sleep in the stroller before the ceremony but Reese was adament about not missing the ceremony. He spent the ceremony in the “cry room” with about another 15 babies…there were 30 kids under 5 at this wedding and probably 20 of those were under 2.

It was show time and the ceremony went beautifully and was thankfully not a long Catholic wedding. We were on our way to the reception venue in Port Gamble, which allowed Reese to fall asleep in the car on the 20 minute drive, but after lugging her booty in her car seat all of the way into the venue, she woke up as soon as she was set down. And she was awake for the rest of the night, with all of 40 minutes of napping in her system from the day. The venue was beautiful and perfect. They had a large tent for dinner and the cocktail hour was held on the lawn overlooking Port Gamble Bay. The indoor pavilion held the dance floor. We enjoyed some snacks and drinks while dinner was getting ready and then were called to dinner. We were at the head table and were able to eat first and the amazing wedding coordinator took Reese for a walk while Bryan and I enjoyed our dinner.

Toasts were had and speeches were made that were endearing and honest. We watched from the lawn with Reese who was not too keen on sitting or standing in any one place all night. Shortly after, the wedding party moved back to the lawn and to the dance floor for the cake cutting, the first dance and to get the party started. The cake was delicious and Reese loved the dancing. We managed to last just short of the end time of the venue, which was a short miracle considering Reese’s day. We headed back to the yurt to immediately put her to sleep.

Sunday started late for everyone in the house. We made a group brunch and were brought donuts from Sluy’s Bakery in Poulsbo by Deana and Ed who joined us. We got in some more hot tub time while Reese took her morning nap and then had to pack up and clean up. We stopped by the Seattle “party house” with Luis and Carina before heading back to Seattle. Bryan played some lawn games and Reese and I explored the house, yard and hammock. We said goodbye to everyone a little after 4 pm, barely missed the first ferry, but still made it back to Seattle to pick up one more Tutta Bella fig pizza for the night and were home before 7 pm.

We had so much fun celebrating Polly and Ryu and had a wonderful time at the yurt. It was so enjoyable to spend time with friends and be at ease around other parents in the house. It was good to see Luis and Carina and makes me so look forward to our group’s future ski trips and adventures.

Chelsea

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Reese’s First Birthday

Reese is one-year old. What?!? Time has flown by and our little baby doesn’t seem so little anymore…or that much like a baby. She’s got personality and energy aplenty, is funny, can be sweet, loves other people (big and small), and is walking. It’s hard for me to believe that she has changed and grown so much in a year. Likewise to her parents; we have changed and grown so much in a year as well. Looking back at us this time last year is kind of sweet but I also look at us now as being so much more experienced and confident as parents. We seem to have a pretty good thing going these days. So what’s going on at the one year mark?

  • Reese is walking and has been for about three weeks now but has drastically improved in those three weeks.
  • Tantrums.are.fun. Physically resisting her car seat and the smallest thing can upset her to the point of floor pounding and wriggling on the floor. Fortunately, the extreme of this seemed to have lasted about two days total.
  • She gets excited now when she gets in the high chair at home, and the excitement either continues or goes away depending on what food is placed in front of her.
  • She loves her dad’s old stuffed monkey.
  • Bath time is still super enjoyable. She has a thing for sponges though.
  • She LOVES to dance, either with her parents or on her own you will see her head-bopping.
  • She’s been putting herself to sleep for naps and at night more often which is a huge blessing.
  • She loves her toy car and still loves her activity table.
  • Her favorite thing in the kitchen is finding her teething ring in the freezer or pulling out items in the lazy susan or the beaded napkin rings that my mom and I made years ago.
  • She also loves to pull out the empty cans out of the recycling bin…
  • She’s learned to shut doors and loves it!
  • Her least favorite thing is coming indoors.
  • She is good at giving hugs.
  • Her hair is starting to get pretty long.
  • She still is fitting into 9M clothes.
  • She’s had shoes on for a total of about 5 minutes and that did not go over well.

We love her to death and can’t get enough of her. She has totally consumed our life in the past year but we forgive her.

Chelsea

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That First Birthday Party…

…was a llama fun! It was a whirlwind of a weekend, filled with preparations, dedications and ending with a celebration with so many friends. I honestly was not expecting so many people to be available and interested on a weekend in August but much to my surprise we had a great crowd at Reese’s birthday party and Reese had a lot of kids, her age and otherwise to play with. She is a social butterfly and a go-go bunny when around a lot of people. Her dependency on her parents goes out the window when she has a party to partake.

Preparations really began about a week ago, with us chipping away at work around the house, but then sped into high gear come the weekend. On Saturday morning Bryan actually was cleaning another kitchen, the FareStart kitchen, with some of his leadership team from Boeing for a few hours before coming home to work on our house, or cars. Bryan cleaned both cars until they were bright and shiny, sweeped around the porches and helped me around the house. While Bryan was at FareStart, I started prepping the food, picked up groceries with Reese, laid out the rest of the turf carpet, reorganized the patio furniture, and finished cleaning the deck and outdoor furniture cushions. My parent’s bus was supposed to arrive in Seattle around 3:30 pm but due to delays it was more like 6 pm. We were there to greet them and headed home for Reese to show them around the house and to have a simple dinner of salmon.

Sunday morning arrived and we all got ready for church and Reese’s dedication. Reese had a short nap at home, which wasn’t long enough, but dressed in her finest we headed to church ready for what lay ahead, or not. Reese, tired and antsy, was all over the place on stage, making the dedication a chaotic one and making the church congregation to laugh . Bryan and I left the stage sweating and flushed but we got through it in Reese fashion. After church, we picked up Homegrown to have at home before we all started the final preparations for the party. Mom and I started to work on preparing the salads, condiments and watermelon. Bryan and Dad went to go get ice, drinks, balloons and later the cake from the bakery. We set out the decorations and finished tidying up and then were ready. Reese had a great nap beforehand which was a blessing for what was about to come.

Friends started coming in and the grill got going. Reese started out obsessed with the balloons but then later got interested in first Max (her age), and later Ainsley (2 years older) who she so looks up to. Reese ate half of Ainsley’s chips, ran around the deck and yard, played with her toy car and musical instruments and then was ready to smash the cake. Getting her into the high chair was the struggle and I was leary if she was going to oblige us at all until we started singing happy birthday and she lit up. Presented now with her cake, she started with a few finger tastes before contemplating what was before her, and then digging in face first. It was hilarious! She went back for it a few times face first before finishing about 1/3 of her 6″ cake with her hands and then giving in. I was impressed! After being washed up she was ready to continue to party in all of her glory. She finished out the night surprisingly well, without a noticeable sugar rush, and conked out pretty easily. We cleaned up from the party, were tired but happy, and all ready for some sleep ourselves.

We had a blast on Sunday but couldn’t have done it without some help and of course our amazing friends that made it worthwhile! We missed having the Millers there but are very excited to see them in Arizona in just two weeks time!

Chelsea

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Party Prep and Summer Slipping By

The past two weeks I’ve been trying to get our house and yard in order, piece by piece. There is only so much you can do in a day with a little one. Your day starts fairly early, you are either at work or home wrangling and entertaining her, you put her to bed for the night and you have so little energy left to tackle the other things. But gradually I’ve been able to whittle away at some things that I have been wanting to do for some time; take another load to Goodwill, sell a few of the old baby things, clean out the garage, clean out the pantry, install cabinet locks in the bathroom and kitchen, clean the back deck and rugs, go through and organize our tupperware, etc, etc. I’m glad to have been able to get through what I have, even if it has taken some time. But at the end of the day/week, it is still summer and we still just want to have some fun!

We finally purchased Reese a bike trailer chariot. Leave it to Bryan to pick the top of the line one but it is a sweet ride and spending guilt can lead into good motivation to get as much use out of it as we can! JK! Reese was extremely excited as soon as we opened the box, seemingly knowing that it was for her use, and we went for her first ride in it on Sunday for the biweekly Bicycle Sunday along Lake Washington Boulevard and around Seward Park. Bryan lugged baby girl the full 16 miles, with the return to the house an unavoidable hilly one, but he kicked butt. Reese slept the first half, woke when we stopped at the point at Seward Park to play in the grass and water, and then made as much protesting noise as she could on the way home. But it’s a nice distance, beautiful scenery, and a good workout with that hill for us to do from home. Plus, having the road free of cars is much more relaxing and a load of fun with all the little kids playing free.

In addition to her maiden voyage, Bryan and I did another run on Friday afternoon to kick start our weekend. We ran from Seward Park and back before letting baby girl play at the park for a long time. We picked up our favorite seasonal Calabrese (fig and prosciutto) pizza from Tutta Bella on the way home. We had a birthday party to attend Saturday night and another Sunday afternoon and Reese was the life of both parties. And she enjoyed another week at FareStart and especially enjoyed a volunteer reception event at their empty restaurant on Tuesday, where she ran all over the restaurant in pure active bliss.

And Friday and Monday were a bit haphazard as our regular nanny was on vacation and our backup nanny was sick so Bryan came home early on Friday to stay at home with Reese and I dropped Reese off late for backup care at Sarah and Lottie’s place on Monday. We are getting ready for her party and are looking forward to a rather busy weekend celebrating little Miss Reese.

Chelsea

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Low Key Summer

It’s been pretty chill around our household lately and it’s honestly been kind of nice that way. The weather was hit or miss this weekend, which lended itself to a nice relaxing weekend spent not doing a ton but yet still feeling accomplished in life in general. Our only real events last week were a Tuesday date night out to our favorite restaurant in Seattle, Harvest Vine, for our third wedding anniversary and our usual Thursday night out at FareStart. We had a great meal at Harvest Vine, per usual, and we are so lucky that we can walk there on foot. Bryan dined in with Reese at FareStart while I got to volunteer.

Snacking and watching TV with her daddy

So, we have both been trying to kick some healthy habits into gear. I’ve been trying to regularly get to a fun and laid back, yet intense, strength training class on Wednesday afternoons (the one perk of being in Redmond because I like this class a lot). I’ve also been trying to scale back post-dinner snacks or to at least make them healthy ones. I’ve been doing pretty good but it helps to have Bryan in on it as well. Bryan decided on his own to kick start fitness with a new fitness app he discovered and has been doing some hardcore workouts at home! We each did two of our strength training videos at home this weekend (one on Saturday and one on Sunday) and Reese loves to watch/participate. We also went for a 4-mile run together in the Arboretum with Reese after work on Friday, something we are usually way too tired to do on Friday but this time I think it really set the mood for the weekend.

Reese loves swings

In addition to being a little bit more active, we have also been trying to eat balanced meals. We managed to cook dinner at home all three nights this weekend, had brunch at Macrina after church Sunday morning, and did our usual pancakes for Saturday brunch. We did celebrate Lottie turning one Saturday afternoon with a walk over to Sarah’s, some cake, snacks and sparkling wine. Watching the girls together is just so much fun.

I honestly don’t know where the weekend went though. It seemed to fly by, yet it didn’t seem like we were ever either bored or that busy doing anything. I do think I spent about 40% of the weekend watching Reese walk around. She is so excited to have learned a new trick and literally has been doing laps around the house. Oh, and we did do a lot of dancing!

Chelsea