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Starting to Feel Normal-ish

It’s amazing what just a few nights out on your own without the little one or a nice dinner in while she is asleep can do to make you feel some sense of normalcy again.  After a hectic fall with getting our bearings straight being new parents, changes in work for the both of us, and lots of travel, we have finally been able to have a few nights to recharge as a couple and team again.  It’s uber important for us for sure and something we hope to continue to do as Reese gets older…and hopefully becomes easier as we have more options for babysitters and work transitions start to smooth out.

We have been lucky enough to have one date night the past three weeks…tis the season!  We spent  another night for our second of our five-play package at the Seattle Rep for the first one.  We had tickets to the sold out show of In the Heights, written and directed by the same guy who did Hamilton.  We really dug the Latin beat to the songs and I had a strong urge to go salsa dancing right after seeing it.  No hosted event for 20s/30s this time so we picked up burgers from Lil’ Woody’s beforehand and had a drink in the Rotunda Bar pre-show and one waiting for us at intermission.  It was a great night out thanks to our friends Nikki and Alex.

Our second night came for Monday Night Football, courtesy of my friend Marika.  It was a bit stressful getting to the game and trading Reese off in vehicles but we made it to our seats just after kick-off.  I think Reese had a tough night (didn’t want to drink for Marika and is in a very clingy mood as of late) but Bryan and I still enjoyed ourselves at the game and the Seahawks came out victorious against the Vikings, which should secure our spot in the playoffs.  We grabbed a quick dinner at the Halal Guys after the game before picking  up the little girl and relieving Marika of babysitting duties.

And the last, and quite possibly best, night out for us was this past Saturday for my company’s annual Christmas Party.  These are always a ton of fun with great food and an open bar and the opportunity to get dressed up for once and we took full advantage  of it this year.  Plus, I was finally able to talk my company in to having the party at the FareStart-catered Pacific Tower and because the price point was far below what it has been in the past we also were able to get a photo booth and an Improv group to entertain us.  Our company marveled at the stunning  270 degree views of the city all lit up and FareStart’s catered food was delicious as usual.  I had to actually give a few words about FareStart in front of the whole company, and was notified of this just moments before having to do this.  The planning committee received a lot of positive feedback about the venue and the event so I feel relieved and happy about the success of the night.  There were still plenty of people on the dance floor when we left.  A big thanks to Polly for letting us have a fantastic night out to enjoy this event.  

After a night out drinking, Sunday was a sobering day and one spent mostly watching football and soothing baby girl during her times of teething.   However, my wonderful husband stepped up to the plate to watch her for a few hours to allow me to get away for girls night.  I had a blast and was very relaxed this time around for girls night as we made homemade pizzas, drank wine and then did our now-annual chocolate dipping extravaganza.  I came home with a bag of goodies and my stomach full of sugar.

And our pre-baby selves haven’t solely been revealed outside the house but there have been a few nights at home that have felt a bit normal.  After Bryan’s first day on the new job we put baby girl down for the night before cooking up a surf and turf dinner for us along with a bottle of wine and actually spent a few hours talking at the table together.  We both thoroughly enjoyed that night.  I was also able to get into the kitchen for a bit to do something I like to do…host.  We were hosts for our PEPS group this past week so on Wednesday night I put together a BBQ spread for the group of super slow roasted pulled pork (the 8 lb roast took 20 hours to cook in the oven), cornbread muffins, salad with homemade buttermilk herb dressing, baked beans and banana pudding for dessert.  The food was a hit and I think the parents appreciated the home cooking and although I was pretty tired after pulling it off, it felt so good to do!

There have been many other things we have participated in (successfully or not) with baby in the past few weeks.  We went on a walk around Green Lake and to get coffee with Philipp and Sara, we got brunch at Portage Bay Cafe with Billy, Valerie and Ainsley, we enjoyed Philipp’s birthday party and Polly and Ryuhei’s housewarming party, we enjoyed Lori’s visit immensely and got to play tourists in our own town for a few days visiting the Market, walking around Seward Park, doing a wine tasting in Woodinville, taking the ferry to Bainbridge Island and doing some shopping and getting a Bavarian dinner at Tizley’s in Poulsbo, and visiting the Starbucks Roastery. 

It’s been a very full past couple of weeks and it will be good to slow down a bit for the holidays and get in some good family time with Reese.

Chelsea

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18 for 2018 Moving Forward

With how different this year has been, the fact that I have accomplished any of my 18 for 2018 I am proud of.  However, now that we have just a few weeks left in the year I wanted to take a look at any left I can accomplish before year end or which I won’t be able to finish but want to carry forward into 2019.  

  1. De-clutter the house and organize the garage.
    • I feel good about where we stand with this but I do want to get rid of things we don’t use ever and “baby-proof” our house by getting rid of some items.
  2. Cook 20 meals at home every month.
  3. Revamp my wardrobe, making it easier to pick out outfits by getting rid of what I don’t like and storing away seasonal stuff. Focus on buying quality pieces in the store versus cheap items online.
  4. Visit my granddaddy.
  5. Buy a family car.
  6. Prepare with organization and structure for the SE exam. Prioritize this for the first three and a half months of the year.
    • Probably pushing this out to Spring 2020.  Still on the radar but doubt it will be this year.
  7. Have fun learning guitar.
    • I want to do this in the new year.  It is still going to happen.
  8. Make at least six girls nights happen.
  9. Maintain a healthy skin routine.
  10. Re-learn our lindy hop choreographed dance from the wedding.
    • I would like to pick up dancing again.  Might be a good date night in the future.
  11. Pack five picnics somewhere.
    • Not the season but that is okay…we did a few.
  12. Work through my devotional book and pray nightly with Bryan.
    • I want to pick this up in the new year.
  13. Read ten books for fun or learning.
    • I would like to pick this up in the new year by maybe replacing some TV time at night with book time….especially if Bryan and Reese are going to bed early for work I could read in bed and would LOVE that.
  14. Swap reading/music/puzzles for TV one night a week.
    • Will do in the new year.
  15. Cross stitch something.
    • I vow to finish my project by the new year…I’m so close! 
  16. Make at least two recipes from three different cookbooks.
  17. Travel to visit a friend.
    • Visiting Amy in April and possibly Mark and Kim in the winter to ski.  Also traveling for Amy’s bachelorette in Mexico.
  18. Dine at five new-to-me restaurants.

I’m honestly surprised that I have accomplished 10 of 18 of the items on my list.  The items remaining on the list I am truly excited to accomplish in the next year ahead.  I’m eager to start reading again at night, maybe learning guitar, and all of my friends upcoming weddings that we will most likely be attending.  2018 was a great year but I am already excited for 2019!!!

Chelsea

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18 for 2018 – Third Quarter Update

So completely missed the three quarter mark for very logical reasons.  With only three months remaining I doubt I have made much progress during this last quarter.  This quarter has been an eventful one for sure with Baby Millers arrival.  There have been many priority adjustments, schedule adjustments, and all together life adjustments.  Despite these adjustments here is where I stand.

  1. De-clutter the house and organize the garage.
    • Bryan and I really put in a lot of effort to organize our house and garage to prepare for all of the new baby gear that we have accumulated and make ourselves sane.  We completely reorganized the guest room/nursery.  We also tried to tidy up an de-clutter the workout room and I tried to overhaul the pantry just a bit.
  2. Cook 20 meals at home every month.
    • Our average for July – September was 22 meals/month.  I think this is really pretty good for having a new baby in the house but also is helped by friends and family helping us out with dinner and my freezer meals that I prepped before baby.
  3. Revamp my wardrobe, making it easier to pick out outfits by getting rid of what I don’t like and storing away seasonal stuff. Focus on buying quality pieces in the store versus cheap items online.
    • Wardrobe is literally only concerned with what fits and is flattering for these past three months.  For the last six weeks of pregnancy I had my very small selection of items to chose from to wear that sufficed and since baby I have continued to reach for the same clothes and any and all that are comfortable and lightweight.  I did, however, like every single item in my Stitch Fix box which has never happened before.
  4. Visit my grandaddy.
    • This was done in November…see how far behind I am!
  5. Buy a family car.
    • Bought a car…and we love it!
  6. Prepare with organization and structure for the SE exam. Prioritize this for the first three and a half months of the year.
    • Didn’t take it in October because that would have been impossible.  I just don’t think that my brain can truly focus on studying again right now.  This is a big bummer because I know the longer I go the less I will have retained from the spring but I can’t worry about that right now.
  7. Have fun learning guitar.
    • Might try to do this in the beginning of next year.  I will not forget about it!
  8. Make at least six girls nights happen.
    • We’ve had four girls nights so far.  We’ve had candle-making, yoga and brunch on the rooftop, fall baking and my baby shower (I’m going to count this one). There are a lot of ides for the fall and winter and in general, it is easier to get people to free up their schedule outside of the summer months, but the holidays sometimes fill up all that time too.
  9. Maintain a healthy skin routine.
    • Have been doing an okay job with this.  Still keeping regimented with face wash, toner, serum and lotion.  I think my skin has been looking pretty good.
  10. Re-learn our lindy hop choreographed dance from the wedding.
    • Need to work on that.
  11. Pack five picnics somewhere.
    • We’ve done two; the one early in the year at Discovery Park and then when we picked up cheesesteaks and ate on Lake Washington.
  12. Work through my devotional book and pray nightly with Bryan.
    • Definitely slipped on this.  It is something that I would like to get back into though.
  13. Read ten books for fun or learning.
    • I’ve successfully read two books for fun and three full books on baby.  Maybe I will have time to squeeze out some more before the end of the year (maybe?!?).
  14. Swap reading/music/puzzles for TV one night a week.
    • I continued to work on my cross stitch projects while watching TV and nearly finished them all.  Plus we have generally been busy on many nights.  Before baby we were trying to take advantage of our last few days without being parents and enjoying our friends or date nights out.  Now with baby we have a different routine at night.  
  15. Cross stitch something.
    • I have nearly finished them all now and it was quite the project but I also had a good time doing them. 
  16. Make at least two recipes from three different cookbooks.
    • I really haven’t opened a cookbook in a while.  But we have cooked.  Some kit meals from various delivery companies but I think that I am already transitioning to cooking more time-friendly meals (i.e. spaghetti, tacos, etc.).  I have branched out a bit for a few potlucks but definitely want to break open my cookbooks at some point.  Although I am proud of myself getting several freezer meals prepared during the dreary weather this past weekend.
  17. Travel to visit a friend.
    • We visited Grandaddy in November and will visit Amy in April.  Don’t know if those count, probably not, but maybe something else will come up.  I’m also going to count going to see friends in Michigan in October.
  18. Dine at five new-to-me restaurants.
    • Along with all of the restaurants that we tried at the beginning of the year we have managed to go to a few more.  We tried out Super Six in Columbia City, King Philly Cheesesteak in Rainier Beach, and Aglio E Olio in our own Madison Valley.

So far there has been progress for the first three quarters of the year.  The last quarter is almost over as well and probably not much more will be accomplished, although I already feel like we have accomplished a lot despite the circumstances.  One of our goals as parents was to still be ourselves and still do the things we love to do, just now introducing those things to baby.  We don’t want to go cold turkey on things we currently love…at least, not in the long term and so far we have done a pretty good job of that.

Chelsea

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Already Over

I cannot believe that my maternity leave is already over.  How has three months gone by so quick?!?  It seems like just yesterday that I was bouncing on a ball and walking my feet off to get baby girl to come and now I am already back to work.  It is bittersweet for sure.  On one hand, I know that I will be a happier mom in the long run as a working mom.  On the other hand, Reese is starting to get more playful and fun to spend my days with and I am sad that we won’t  have as many together.  I’m very grateful that I am going back on a part time basis to start and really think that will help the transition and still give me a few sweet weekdays to spend with my baby girl.

I’m probably a bit biased right now because lately Reese has been the baby of my dreams (despite not always sleeping well at night)…but I have loved my days with her.  Sleep has regressed slightly in terms of length of sleeps at night but ease of putting her down at night has drastically improved and is a breeze now.  Her bedtime routine seems to really work for her.  And reminiscing about my maternity leave, here are some of my favorite things we’ve done or what I will remember best:

  • Slow wake ups in the morning.  Unfortunately, Bryan has had to wake up early but in the morning Reese and I spend about an hour or two together in bed.  Probably forming a bad habit but I really enjoy the cuddles.
  • Making coffee together in the morning.  She watches the whole process and I just love having my coffee sans guilt.
  • Bath time in the evenings is so fun.  She really enjoys it and stays so calm.  I particularly enjoy it when it is Bryan and I working as a team for her bath time routine, although I know we can’t both partake every night.
  • I’ve loved watching her progress on the activity mat, although, lately she has been extremely clingy and not always keen on getting put on her mat.
  • Reading books together and watching her eyes light up.
  • I have particularly enjoyed baby story time at the libraries.  We have gone solo to a few and have invited my PEPS peers along to others. 
  • We have had many walks in the Arboretum solo, with Daddy, and with my PEPS peers.  I enjoy the exercise, fresh air, fall colors and conversation.
  • I have really enjoyed my Monday morning PEPS meetings.  I look forward to them every week and we only have one left; a potluck social.
  • Meeting Bryan for lunch in Renton.  Unfortunately, this is going to be difficult to do in Auburn but we might be able to meet for an early dinner halfway on occasion.
  • I finally got the energy and bravery to try to workout at home with Reese.  I started a four week (which will probably take me at least six weeks) Fitness Blender program and have successfully done the first three days.  
  • I love dining in at FareStart with Reese.  It has always been fun to go to FareStart and be greeted by everyone just like you are family but especially so with a baby.  Plus, the food is delicious and my husband gets to wait on me.
  • Similarly, I have volunteered once since Reese was born and it was fun to be back in the action.  I couldn’t stay very late with the other volunteers because of an early flight the next morning but it was still a good time.
  • Singing “Twinkle, Twinkle” to her is the funniest thing ever.  She could be doing some serious crying but as soon as those two words are out of my mouth she gives me the biggest toothless grin.  It cracks me up.
  • In general, I just love showing her off to friends and around town.  I’m biased I’m sure but I think she is absolutely perfect and not afraid to let that show.
  • Our evening PEPS groups are fun and more relaxing with Bryan by my side and there to help.  It’s nice to have dinner provided and I really love our leader for that group and the group itself.
  • I’ve enjoyed chillin’ on the couch watching football with her.  It really is the only thing that she can remain perfectly calm watching for extended periods of time.  It’s pretty funny actually when she is in her baby laz-e-boy (boppy lounger) between Bryan and I on the couch with all of us watching.
  • And I love our games we play with her including:  Airplane Reese, bounce to Reese’s left and right, and rolling over off of our stomachs.

She is just really getting  so much more talkative and the noises are so cute.  Outbursts of crying for extended periods rarely happen these days and she is so much easier to take places now; either due to her demeanor or our own confidence in doing so.  We love her to death and that is not going to change with me back at work.  I have peace of mind that I can watch her on our new Nest cams throughout the day and so far I have found myself coming home with much more energy and enthusiasm to play after work than on days when I am home with her 100% of the time.  It gives my personal self a recharge and a reboot that I think will be better for all of us in the long run.  Plus, I am extremely grateful for the patience and understanding of my company and my coworkers.  I’ve already been told that I can work a day from home in January that I will certainly not pass up the offer of and that even came without my asking. 

The next big transition will be at the end of next week when Bryan begins his new job!  I know he is going to kill it and I am fully there supporting him in his transition.

Chelsea

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To Texas and Back

Our second trip is in the books for little Reese and we survived, enjoyed it and have recovered from the traveling.  Reese was fantastic during all of the traveling and I really appreciated getting to see my Texas family after going too many years without seeing them.  It was a fast and furious trip but one well worth taking.

I got to volunteer at FareStart for my first time since just before my due date and enjoyed my time, although I couldn’t stay that late to get back and finish packing and get a nights sleep before our flight.  We had another 7 am flight and set out for the airport at 4 am.  We had two two-hour flights and a three hour layover in Vegas both on our way there and back and Reese was great for all of it.  We finally arrived in Lubbock at 5 pm and met Chad and my parents in the airport.  We packed into our rental mini van and set out for my Granddad’s house. We were greeted by the whole family and introduced Reese and caught up over barbecue.  After a minor hiccup with our hotel reservation, we settled in for the night in a very nice suite room a short 6-minute drive down the road.

Saturday morning we got ready and headed over to my Granddad’s house.  We spend the morning watching football before getting lunch of Chikfila and then heading out to walk campus for a bit.  We had tickets for the Texas vs. Texas Tech game that night and my dad, Chad, Bryan and I went, dressed warmly for the weather and cozied up with a blanket.  We had great seats.  The game started out with Tech looking strong but then Texas started to turn things around with a couple turnovers.  At the end of the game Tech made a great comeback and made things intense but Texas came out with the win.  Meanwhile at home, Reese was in good hands with my mom.  It was a fun night without the baby in tow and nice to come home and see Reese sound asleep, granted she wasn’t asleep the whole time!

Sunday morning we all met at church for service and all were in our Sunday best.  My granddaddy greeted us at the door and Reese did great throughout service.  After church we managed to get a picture of us all dolled up.  We went to get lunch at Abuelo’s after church and had a large and delicious Mexican lunch  with Reese sleeping again the entire time.  Sunday afternoon involved more play time with Reese, the Seahawks nailbiter lose to the Rams and a nice walk around Higinbotham Park with the family.  Mom and Dad made pita pizzas for an easy dinner and we had one last sleep in the hotel with Reese.

Monday was our long day of travel back to Seattle but not before saying our goodbyes to Granddaddy.  This was hard to do for me for sure and I’m really  glad that we got to visit with him and  introduce him to both Bryan and Reese.  My parents and Chad had a flight four hours before us so we dropped them off at the airport and then went to the mall to kill some time and retreat from the chilly and windy weather.  It worked out well because we got to walk around, got a coffee and bought Bryan some new shoes and slacks for his new position at work (and because prices are cheaper in Texas than in Seattle).  We had another two two-hour flights and one was delayed an hour making our layover in Vegas four hours long.  We got dinner in the airport and Reese was still an angel baby.  She slept the entire last flight as it was past her bedtime.  We got home safely just before midnight and got her to bed immediately.

Reese in a good mood on her way back to Seattle

There has been no slowing down this week until now.  Bryan enjoyed happy hour with Philipp on Tuesday and I enjoyed a walk with three other moms from our childbirth class in the Arboretum before getting a nice dinner with me at Duke’s via mystery shopping.  Wednesday afternoon we went for a walk around Green Lake and then that night was PEPS and we talked about sleep with the other couples.  Thursday night Bryan was back at FareStart volunteering and Reese and I were back in dining.  This was after going to baby story time at the library and then introducing Reese to my coworkers at the office and then visiting with Polly to kill some time at her office.  And Friday I went for another walk in the Arboretum with three other moms from our couples PEPS group and that night we went to our last winery party of the year at Novelty Hill Januik.

It’s good we have not much on the calendar this weekend.  Still working on our child care situation for my upcoming return to work.  Hopefully we will have something locked in soon.

Chelsea

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Reese’s First Fall

Upon our return to Seattle I was very much dreading what seemed to be a horrible weather forecast for being trapped inside.  However, we have been very fortunate to have milder temperatures and breaks in the day (or none at all) of the rain to get out and do stuff.  Thank you, thank you!  And all of us have really had quite a busy week and a half since being back to the daily norm.  

Reese and I have dined in twice to FareStart with Bryan finally back in the volunteer rotation.  Reese has done superb both times and I swear I am going to record the noise at the restaurant one of these times to create my own version of white noise for her because it works!  Both meals have also been exquisite; squash soup, a refreshing salad, pastrami brisket with amazing brussels and potatoes, lamb with a ragu and crispy onion straws, pear bread pudding and quite possibly the best little donuts of my life with a cream sauce.  Bryan has enjoyed the normalcy of being a volunteer again and enjoying a dinner to talk among adults.  Plus, Boeing was this past week’s volunteer group, from his group in Renton, so he got to show little Reese off and enjoy a very rare dinner with coworkers.

Reese and I have gone to the downtown library twice and she loves the library!  On the first visit we just happened to be there for baby story time and after awkwardly watching and debating to join in with the other 20+ mothers and their older babies, I decided to just do it.  And I am very glad I did.  Reese enjoyed taking everything in and since it was mostly songs and dancing, I got to expand my repertoire.  But Reese has taken to books and now gets very excited with colorful board books.  It’s pretty fun to see and just one more thing that I think she is way too advanced to be enjoying already.

I’ve been downtown twice this week for lunch or brunch.  I went back to get the baked eggs for a treat to myself on Friday, along with coffee, at the new Starbucks bakery.  We also met Bryan for lunch at Red Robin in Renton on Tuesday.  Reese slept through the entire meal but was wide awake walking daddy back to his office.  It was fun to be able to see him during the day again and hope to do it a few more times before going back to work full time.  

We had both of our PEPS meetings this week, after missing both from the previous week.  After being one of the few on Monday without a baby costume for Reese I picked up a costume last minute (for $5) for our couples meeting on Halloween night.  Glad I did because all the babies were dressed up again.  Our little football was so well behaved during our group meeting and we enjoyed getting to know the other families better and enjoying a chili dinner and views of the Sound from the hosting family’s apartment building in Belltown.  I also went on a walk with one of the moms from my group one afternoon and met another two moms for the free day at the Museum of History and Industry, where I took in none of the exhibits (which I didn’t care to see anyway) but got to spend a few hours talking with the other moms.

We had a busy day last Saturday, first with our birthing class reunion and then dressing up to celebrate Marika and Randy’s marriage.  Three of the other babies made it to the reunion, all girls, and we spent a few hours comparing notes on labor and our first few weeks (or months) with our little ones.  Marika’s celebration was a ton of fun.  It had been a while since we had dressed up and we really enjoyed seeing the newly married couple but also a lot of my coworkers and friends who got to meet Reese for the first time.  We also got to spend some good quality time with Polly at the party and enjoyed some drinks and heavy appetizers and a delicious cake.

And to round out all of our activities we had a great Sunday with church followed by a Seahawks watching party at our friend’s Tina and David’s house.  We enjoyed great game food and Reese got to hang out with everyone, including her BFF Rosalie.  Seahawks lost but oh well, we blew off steam afterwards with a walk around Green Lake.

This October has been a whirlwind and I can’t believe it is already over.

Chelsea

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Introduction to Michigan

Time is flying and there has been no down time to post.  Our time in Michigan came and went pretty quickly unfortunately.  This means that Reese’s first round-trip flight is in the books, my first solo flight with her is in the books, and the next time my family will see Reese she just might be walking around.  We had a great trip and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.

The week leading up to the trip, after a great couples PEPS group on Wednesday night and then dining in together at FareStart for a delicious ahi tuna dinner, we managed to all get to bed relatively early Thursday night for an early wake up Friday morning.  This ended up being way easier than it used to be with waking up for Reese’s only feeding at just about the right time to get ready and head to the airport.  We got to SeaTac with plenty of time to get some food ourselves, feed Reese, and snag an empty seat next to us for the carseat.  All was already going smoothly and then Reese slept the entire flight through, save 45 minutes for a bunch of smiles to her parents, and managed to sleep through the two-hour car ride to East Lansing thanks to construction traffic.  We were elated as parents; as well as sleepy parents can be.  Upon getting to my parent’s house, Reese was held for the first time by Uncle Chad which was an awesome sight and then my grandparents and aunt and uncle came over to meet Reese.  Reese was still a bunch of smiles that night, which was amazing after such a long day of travel.

The very next day was the Michigan vs. Michigan State game at Spartan Stadium so we set out to tailgate.  Or at least we tried to.  We weren’t able to find Chad’s tailgate but still enjoyed nearly a two hour walk, seeing the crowds, getting oohs and aahs from the fans for both Reese and Sophie dog (Aunt Sophie) and Mom got to carry Reese in the Ergo.  We made it back to the house for the start of the game and fortunately this year Michigan was victorious (sorry Mom).  Reese was cranky pants so Mom and I ran some errands to get her to sleep in the car and we enjoyed Topopo salad at home.

Sunday was a fantastic day and one that I will remember for a long time.  For the first time in 8 years I got to enjoy my birthday celebration with my grandma like old times and this was only the second time that I was home for a birthday gathering.  Everyone came over around 1 pm and Mom made a great meal of ribs, brussels with bacon, cornbread, coleslaw, beet salad and caprese salad.  Everything was delicious and I got to sit next to my grandma like we did for the first 24 years of my life.  We had a delicious double chocolate cake and opened presents.  It was a real treat to be home for this. 

The next few days were nice and relaxing days at home.  Mom took time off of work and I immensely enjoyed having someone to talk to during the day; maternity leave can be lonely at home at times.  Bryan was heading back to Seattle on Monday night and wasn’t feeling his best so I think it was good for him to take it easy too and for him to get some good sleep sans Reese back at home in Seattle but we sure missed him for two nights in Michigan.  I got together with three of my best friends from high school for a sushi lunch one day and it was great to catch up with them; me on Reese, pregnancy and labor and two of them on recent engagements.  It was a long and enjoyable lunch.  We also saw my grandparents one last time when they came over for a short visit and we had our great friends Tom, Pam and Madison stop by to meet Reese another night.

I truly felt relaxed and at ease with Reese in Michigan and it was a really great trip for all of us I think.  Bryan needed some rest, I needed people to talk to and see family, and Reese needed to meet everyone.  All was accomplished, and I left feeling fulfilled.  Our journey back to Seattle just the two of us began with meeting Dad at lunch to get my last fill of Middleeastern food and then we started our drive to the airport.  Then the flight saga begins: I needed and received tons of assistance getting through TSA with baby Reese by myself, I found the nursing room in the airport but then Reese went bonkers on me and wouldn’t feed and soaked her outfit and required a change, we arrive at the gate after that ordeal after boarding had begun so no preboarding for us, I get a row to myself only to then get an older gentlemen decide to change his seat to sit next to us and take the aisle seat blocking me in, Reese has a near blow out and requires a diaper and outfit change in the teeny airplane lavatory, and I spend five hours and all my energy keeping her entertained and prevented her from crying or screaming the whole flight.  Bryan was there at the airport to pick us up, got our bag for us and drive us to PEPS.  We made it to PEPS and then were there all of ten minutes because Reese loses it and had enough of the day so we hightailed it home where she immediately switched back to angel baby.

I can’t believe we already have another plane trip to take but at least I feel like I know a little better about what we are doing this time.

Chelsea