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An Oregon 4th

This year’s 4th of July was spent at the beach, in the water, with fireworks and BBQ, enjoyed with friends and a few drinks in hand. Sounds rather normal and oddly, it felt rather normal. It still wasn’t the same but I’ll take it. I was so appreciative to get away for a few days with friends I hadn’t physically been near, eaten dinner with, had a drink with, and a new couch to sit on. Reese was equally excited and didn’t sit still for a single second of the weekend, she had to take it all in, for every waking moment.

Polly and Ryu invited the three of us down to her family’s beach house at Cape Meares, just outside of the small town of Tillamook, OR (known for their dairy farm where usually you can visit the factory and sample their cheeses and buy their ice cream but is now temporarily closed). It’s a 4.5 hour drive from our house, usually hitting some traffic at Tacoma, Olympia and Portland on the way, and here is a little map for reference.

We were mostly packed up Wednesday night so we could get a few hours work in before leaving midday on Thursday. We packed a nap-ready Reese into the car and set south, getting Burger King drive-thru on the way down and Reese enjoyed her fries between short naps. The traffic wasn’t bad and both our car and Polly’s arrived right around 5 pm. After settling in, we made our first short walk to the beach and Reese immediately found the ocean waves, sand and beach fascinating. She’s a water babe for sure. It was their dog, Momo’s, first time experiencing the ocean as well. We walked back, had a delicious steak dinner at the house and Reese didn’t go down to bed until 10 pm!

Polly and Ryu were up early to take Momo to the beach to run free with the beach to themselves. We needed sleep and Reese didn’t fully awake until nearly 9 am (after a lousy night of sleep) we were greeted with Ryu’s omelets for breakfast. Reese’s favorite activity of the entire weekend was following Momo around, doing some petting, ordering her around, and fetching her toys. Bryan and I took Reese back to the beach and we walked much of the length in the cool but refreshing air. We came back and put Reese down for a short nap so I got to read for some time on their deck under a blanket and with the sound of the waves in the distance. It was glorious!

She ran most the length of the beach

Once Reese was up we decided as a group to head out for a short hike to the Cape Meares light house nearby. It was a short drive to the “trailhead” and we set out for what ended up being just under a 4 mile hike with not too much uphill. Reese was a little difficult in her pack but we got our views in and a few pictures before heading back to the car and back to the house for the night. Ryu made us butter chicken for dinner and we spent the night catching up and watching movies.

Saturday, the 4th, was a beautifully sunny day on the coast. We woke earlier and had breakfast duty, making sausage and waffles for the group. Bryan and I drove out to the spit for a run with Reese in the BOB. We ran 3.5 miles before stopping to walk to the end of the spit and then running back for a grand total of about 6 miles of running and 2.5 miles of walking on the gravel road of the spit. Reese got in her one and only catnap on this run for the day. We went back to the house to catch up with the group and packed up to head to the beach for the rest of the afternoon.

We found a great private spot where the temps felt like 85 degrees instead of 65 degrees somehow and we played in the water and the sand, taking in the sights of the crowds on the beach and enjoying our drinks and snacks as you should on the 4th. Reese was getting tired and thirsty as we had run out of water, so I headed back to the house with her to clean her up from the beach and maybe see about getting her a nap in. Nope, no nap. The rest joined us shortly after that and we had the ribs that Bryan had going all afternoon in the oven. Reese got to light up some sparklers for the first time and was thrilled with them. We then got her to bed, with Bryan falling asleep next to her thanks to the sun and the brewskis. Meanwhile, I had the luxury of sitting with a glass of wine, under a blanket, on a deck, with a friend, while watching the fireworks firing off from the beach. It was the best!

Sunday was our departure day and our crew was trying to leave early morning. After a quick breakfast and coffee we helped pack up our stuff and clean up as best we could. We hit the road, after saying our goodbyes to our hosts, just after 10 am. We moved with some traffic the whole way home but pulled into our driveway just before 3 pm and it was a nice 75 degrees and sunny in Seattle. We set out for a nice walk to stretch our legs before heading home to have pizza while watching Hamilton with Reese (she loved both the za and the movie).

Back home Reese needed a change of clothes for the warmer weather and I thought the Team Krupp shirt was more than fitting.

We are on the struggle bus this week after coming off the high of the weekend with friends. Add onto that any additional drama and I just want to throw my hands up in the hair. We are also still having odd July weather for Seattle with highs ranging from a measly 61 to sometimes a rare 75 with a little bit of rain here and there. Usually by this time of year we are in the clear without a drop in the sky and temps to keep us relatively toasty but no one can predict a single thing about what this year is going to behold and bestow upon us. Our one adventure was a great one and has certainly left me wanting more!

Chelsea

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Our 22 Month Old!

22 months!! Wow wow wow. Reese has legit long hair, is speaking in phrases now, remembers stories and can recount them often, and is one smart cookie. I got to spend a large chunk of this month with her for her every waking moment so I really got to take in all she has learned and all of her quirks, obsessions, looks, etc.

  • It’s all about phrases right now; stringing two to three words together that actually make sense. She does continue to learn new words on the daily but I guess these are less striking to me. Some of her favorite phrases: “big booty”, “flower cut”, “touch flower”, “back up”, “no Lottie, no”. But my absolute favorite is when she now says “I love you.”
  • She is uber bossy. She directs Lottie and me (sometimes Daddy) to follow her exact steps or movements on walks, smell particular flowers, touch certain things, etc.
  • While I was “nanny”, she was my mini me and felt the need to give Lottie the same commands that I gave, “No Lottie, no” was apparently one because she says it often. “Lottie, eat” was another when I was trying to get them in their high chairs.
  • Both Reese and Lottie are starting to hum/sing the “ABCs”. They also obviously know portions of their favorite songs that they dance to.
  • The girls started making and drinking smoothies for afternoon snack. They were also big fans of chocolate milk, even though Reese still doesn’t like cow’s milk.
  • Reese has started to snooze on some days, which is a blessing since she hasn’t been going to sleep so early. Maybe it’s also a growth spurt.
  • Reese spent most mornings while I was “nanny” walking the whole way up the hill and often the whole way to Lottie’s. She can walk a mile for sure but I’m very impressed with her uphill walking skills.
  • The girl likes sand and beaches in general. Can’t wait for the weather to warm up to spend some more time at the beach to see the “big wawa”.
  • Reese is big into watering plants right now. I sure hope these tomato plants produce because I want her to see what she helped grow (both her and Lottie did help plant them as well).
  • Reese loves helping in the kitchen still and so I have been giving her more kitchen tasks. She has assembled many a salad for us. I just need to convince her that she doesn’t need to macerate the cucumbers before putting them in the salad…But she LOVES the Kitchen Aid mixer.
  • The current best things are the balloon that we got at Safeway for $2 and cardboard boxes. Also obstacle courses.
  • She still won’t really let us read books to her but she wants to bring us books and she reads them on our lap.
  • She has been a cuddle-bug lately and I kind of love it.
  • She could play open and shut doors forever. She will literally shut the upstairs doors for an hour if we let her, just sometimes we also need to be playing the game by “knock knocking”.
  • She’s super funny and makes us laugh all of the time. She’s a goof ball and I love it.
  • She’s gone on many a bike ride and does so well on them. She’s pretty content in there with her snacks, her water, her Wubba, and her sunglasses.

I can’t believe we are only a few months from this little one’s second birthday. I don’t know how that can really be. Still not sure what her 2nd birthday will look like at this point but Reese still doesn’t seem to mind the whole social distancing thing as much as the rest of us.

Chelsea

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What the Doctor Ordered

Set aside the first week that I watched the girls and my time “away” from work and spending my days as the girls’ nanny was just what the doctor ordered for me. I needed a mental break and I don’t mind the physical expense that comes with playing, walking, singing, reading, feeding, and monitoring them. I shifted my mindset from one of being their nanny and to just having fun with them. It’s summer and the weather during the week has been nice, I don’t have to sit at a desk all day, so let’s go out and play.

This screams summer to me; bare feet, shorts, dazing off, green grass, crazy hair, snacks on the go.

Certainly, it was the pressure lowered from work that made the second two weeks wonderful, but we also had glorious weather and the girls and I fell into our own routine, which wasn’t so much routine to begin with. Reese and I would walk up the hill, me pushing the double stroller, in the morning to go get Lottie. Reese has a whole routine with this walk; smelling particular flowers, sometimes requiring lifts in the air to smell the tall ones, saying “hi” and “bye” to the neighborhood chickens, etc. But Reese also walks all the way to the top of the hill and sometimes further, sometimes all of the way to Lottie’s. On the way home, the girls walk about half of the way and then I pop them in the stroller. By the time we are home, they are ready for breakfast, generally this being yogurt, sometimes oatmeal. We’d play inside for a while, reading books, doing puzzles, obstacle courses, etc. We’d go outside for a little while before lunch and with the nice weather we would enjoy lunch outside listening to jams. The girls would go down for their nap anytime between 12 and 1 pm and that was my time to check work emails, get my own lunch and on two occasions I actually had enough energy to work out.

The girl’s naps range from 90 minutes to 3 1/2 hours, generally, so sometimes they are up early enough for an afternoon excursion and sometimes they are up just in time for a snack and for a walk home to return Lottie. But these girls love walks and generally when asked, that’s what they would choose to do. The double stroller served me well during this time and I used it often. If we didn’t walk home we would play in the backyard; singing and dancing to music, playing with the water, testing out the bikes that are still a tad too big for them to ride themselves.

We did a lot of things during the three weeks though. I took them to the beach at Lake Washington to play in the sand and water one afternoon. We walked through the Kubota Gardens in South Seattle twice and that was glorious. We got drive-thru fries for the girls to share on the way home. We had several picnics on our picnic blankets, finding shade in quiet parks. We made cookies and smoothies in the kitchen. I had the grand idea to walk to a dog park one afternoon, thinking the girls would find it fun to watch the dogs play. This was a good idea until Lottie immediately darted towards the dogs to chase them because she has absolutely no fear in animals. I took them to a secret playground twice to play on the “big slide”. They loved this and it was impressive to see them go down the tall slides on their own now and even exploring more difficult structures like rock climbing walls.

I was honestly a little sad that my time with the girls was coming to an end last week. I really enjoyed getting to know Lottie better and I have wanted to adventure with Reese during the weekdays for some time now. They are so fun right now, learning new words and new things on the daily. I’m back at work now and back at my shared office space with Bryan and that is also good, but I’m really grateful that I was able to take some time away. And I think Reese is excited to have her friend Joie back too.

Chelsea

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To the Dads

This year’s Father Day weekend is not one I will probably forget anytime soon. As with everything during the times of Coronavirus, each is part bizarre and part special in its own way. We went into the weekend without any concrete plans; part my fault and part what every weekend has been like since the beginning of March. Plans or not, we had a great weekend celebrating Dadda and dads afar and celebrating the beginning of summer.

We started off with our Friday weekly happy hour with BBQ takeout from Cask and Trotter and an outdoor movie screening of Mary Poppins for Bryan the girls. We had our weekly pancakes Saturday morning and after a low key relaxing morning we took a nice long walk in the sun after Reese’s nap, came back home to make steaks and drink delicious Bourbon on the back deck and finished the night with ice cream.

Sunday morning presented the most special present yet; Reese sleeping into until nearly 9 am!!! The slow start on the weekend morning was wonderful and unexpected. We set out to pick up breakfast burritos from Agua Verde and enjoyed this pre-bike fuel in West Montlake Park, watching the boats go through The Cut and strolling along the waterfront waving to the boaters. We set back home so Bryan could do a million things to get us ready for a long bike ride.

Greeting daddy in bed

I was going to be using Bryan’s old bike for the first time which meant that I had to learn how to ride with clip-in pedals with my new bike shoes, learn new brakes and handlebars, and learn how to shift on his bike. There was a whole lot of new and I was nervous about it all. I spent only about five minutes just before leaving on our ride practicing clipping in and out a few times and we were off. I did surprisingly well with all the newness, at least after the first two miles in. I never did fall though. Reese immediately fell asleep, as we expected her to do since we set out at 1 pm, planning this one through her nap time. She slept for the first 40 minutes, waking up after we had crossed the 520 floating bridge and had made our way through Kirkland on the eastside. We continued north until we hit the Sammammish River Trail and then heading back to the west, riding this along the north edge of Lake Washington before meeting up with the Burke-Gilman Trail to head back towards the U and eventually home. In total we biked 31 miles and kept a pretty good pace. We ran into some church friends about half way through and caught up with them, which is just so good to see someone you know these days. We took a break shortly after seeing them at a tiny little park that had a platform on the lake with a bench that we could enjoy our snacks, water, and watch Reese feed the ducks (she loved this!).

We got back home right around 5 pm and Reese was ready to try out her own bike in the backyard. She is still just a touch too short for it. We each took turns talking to our dads on the phone and then made a delicious Blue Apron dinner and watched Little Rascals before heading to bed. Definitely the highlight of the weekend was the bike ride and we are both feeling it today. But we also enjoyed a lot of good conversation which I feel is the most valuable present during these times.

Our trip summary

Our social circle is slim these days and we both miss friends and family dearly, something neither of us are afraid to admit. It’s great to be outside and enjoy something that feels normal during this season but there is the looming anxiety and anger about the whole situation right now. I am so incredibly worried about the lack of caution and concern the country is taking towards the virus right now. I fear for those I love. I am desperate to get back to Michigan and don’t see that happening anytime soon considering the current circumstances and spread of infection we are seeing on the rise again. Why we can’t, in the present day, be a unified community on one dire issue and come together on this, have a leader safely lead us through this, and do what other countries have been able to do, baffles and infuriates me. I’ve cried too many times dreaming of being with family again and thinking of the time that we are wasting and the lives we are losing with our lackluster approach to all of this. I really hope that we can get this thing under control because I know that we all want to resume life as normal. I’m fully preparing myself for the rest of the summer being in quarantine.

Chelsea

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Life Lately – Some Time in the Year 2020

I had created and titled this post last week and had planned on talking about what has basically become our “new normal” (hate the phrase but no other way I know to phrase it) for the past several months. For a while things weren’t too much different then they were a week ago, a month ago, or three months ago, other than we have settled into this routine. Work has been much the same. The house looks much the same. The routine is much the same. The weather is the same (gotta love Seattle this time of year…eye rolling). And I was going to talk about what that look like for us:

Weekdays:

  • Bryan wakes up at 6 am and rolls out of bed and heads straight to work.
  • Reese usually wakes up between 6 am and 7:30 am so that is when I wake up too.
  • Reese knocks on the office door between 7:15 am and 7:40 am to get in a shared bowl of cereal with her daddy before Bryan’s 7:45 am daily meeting.
  • We get ready, brush teeth, get dressed, vacuum the play area downstairs, make coffee.
  • Reese and I go for a short stroll or play outside while we wait for Lottie and the nanny to arrive usually around 8:30 am.
  • I greet nanny, discuss the girls, and then head up to my torture chamber (office).
  • Bryan and I work upstairs, 18″ apart elbow to elbow, from about 8:45 am until 3 pm. We usually go downstairs to get lunch while the girls are napping. If it is nice outside we each try to eat or get outside briefly to get some fresh air.
  • Around 3 pm, one or both of us might work out. I have to make sure the girls are either outside or occupied if I want to escape the house and go for a run or do a cardio warm-up outside. Otherwise, we can work upstairs because hey, we are already in that room. Yippee!
  • At 4:15 pm, we relieve the nanny and usually chat and hang out for a bit, sometimes go for a toddler-paced walk around the block.
  • Dinner around 6:30 pm, Reese’s bedtime routine starts around 7:30 pm, and she is now not falling asleep until between 8:30 – 9 pm, with one of us in the room with her.
  • We crash on the couch for an hour or so before heading up to bed ourselves.

Weekends:

  • Not too much different. Reese wakes up at about the same time and I get up with her.
  • Saturdays are still pancake mornings and she somehow knows they are.
  • Sunday mornings are now Safeway pickup order mornings in the car where we also grab donuts from Safeway and a Starbucks coffee as a treat.
  • We try to get outside when the weather is good; long walks, runs, bike rides, swimming in the backyard, etc.
  • We still have been doing weekend movie nights with dinner. We’ve watched most of the Disney movies and many of the Pixar movies already.

That’s all good and dandy and what a good routine…

Post donut disaster

HOWEVER, our nanny dropped a big one on us last Friday in telling us that she is going to take three weeks off, unpaid. We essentially told her she couldn’t do that to us, that she has three paid days she can use but three weeks?!? What were we supposed to do? Both Bryan and Sarah’s work has been stressful and chaotic. Both companies are in their own sorts of jeopardy. I’m the only one that could possibly take this time and I also was feeling a need for a break from work. Adding to that, my company qualifies for the FFCRA which would allow me to get paid 2/3 my salary for up to 6 hours per day, for several weeks if I so needed. After explaining to HR our situation and getting approval on whether this qualifies for this leave, then breaking the news to my supervisor, I’m full on ready to commit to watching the girls full-time for the next three weeks. I’m looking forward to. I’m ready for a break from work, even to just be eager to go back and appreciate work in the aftermath of this all.

So begins our “new normal” for these three weeks…now that I am a full week in. I have enjoyed stepping away from work and definitely the torture chamber this week. I like playing with the girls and doing things with them and for them. This week has continued to be on and off nice and miserable. We’ve made the best of both weather conditions. When it’s nice out, Reese and I have been walking to Sarah’s in the double stroller to get Lottie, and doing drop offs the same way. When it’s not nice out, we still go pick up Lottie but in the car. We’ve been able to swim one day, took a bath one day, went to the park twice, done a lot of puzzles, dancing, snacks, play-doh, obstacle courses coloring, and trains. We’ve gone on many walks. There have only been a few moments that have been stressful, when the girls aren’t sharing and acting up. For the most part, they have been pretty great and definitely a great reprieve from work.

But there hasn’t been a reprieve from work. This is the final week before our submission of the Catskills project to DEP. I’ve still been expected to do what I would normally be doing. Which means that I have had to have my phone on me more than I would like to field questions via chat messages or phone calls. I’ve worked straight through the girl’s nap times and I have worked until 11 pm after Reese has gone to bed the past two nights. I’m over all of that for sure. I have had ZERO time to do anything else. A part of me feels like super mom and a part of me just wants to go nap. I’m definitely ready for the weekend and hoping maybe to get a few work related items done this week so next week is not so stressful.

We have another happy hour tonight with our current “family” and another weekend of meh weather to get through. Maybe we will get a break like we did last weekend and get nice enough weather to go for another long bike ride or dip our feet in the lake. We had a great weekend last weekend with a 24 mile round trip bike ride to Juanita Beach Park and back, a long walk through the Arboretum, picking up our wine, and this week we were able to grill burgers outside once and picked up poke bowls to enjoy along the Sound waterfront one night.

Chelsea

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Our 21-Month Old!

Reese seems OLD to us. I don’t know what it is exactly but in just the past few weeks we now look at her and wonder when she did all that growing. Not that she has physically grown that much, that we can tell at least. But her educational growth has really started soaring. The last few weeks it has been all about Reese practicing her words, expanding her vocabulary, and especially stringing multiple words together. Here is her latest this month:

  • Her new words include: movie, broccoli, sad, bubbly, big, tall, night night, cracker, popcorn, fox, fork, spoon, bowl, buckle, cheek, elbow, knee, shoulder, blanket, pillow, soap, turn, chair, and probably so much more but I can’t think of them now. Her vocabulary is soaring but it’s more impressive to me her stringing two or three words together that make sense.
  • When we move onto another task or activity she says “bye” to whatever we are leaving, generally this is an inanimate object (i.e. “bye water”, “bye colors”, “bye slide”)
  • She puts her babies to bed every night. This includes putting them on the chair downstairs, putting the blanket over them, giving them kisses and then saying “night night babies”.
  • She understands when someone is sad and says so.
  • She asks if certain things are okay (i.e. the birdies, the trucks, Lottie, etc)
  • She has some obsession with saying “Polly” and “Momo” (Polly’s dog’s name) often.
  • She is a water bug and loves being in the bath, kiddie pool, etc. She is getting more comfortable, lying down, kicking her legs and blowing bubbles.
  • She is bossy. She loves to tell Lottie what to do, but even better, what not to do “no Lottie”.
  • She is a good helper, generally. If I ask her to bring stuff in or get a towel for spilled water, or throw things in the trash she will do so.
  • Her latest obsession is giving herself a makeover. She will sit down and give herself a pedicure or do her hair for 30 minutes.
  • Bedtime is still a thing right now. She is in a talkie mood late at night and must fall asleep next to me (or dadda) in bed.
  • She’s generally up at 6 am EVERYDAY.
  • She’s getting better at riding her Uber Zoomer around by herself and without me pushing.
  • She’s also working on a lot of other skills like buckles. She loves doing buckles.
  • She loves lifting heavy things and her NATURAL athletic ability is amazing to me.
  • She’s learned to jump and loves it.

You can see her little brain working often and it’s super cool to see her learn things. She’s often sweet and cuddly and still just has a zest for life.

Chelsea

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A Memorial Weekend

One quite different than any others in the past. However, it wasn’t completely foreign. Memorial Days in the past we meant getting together with friends or family for BBQs. We would spend some time outside; either going on a hike or playing in the water. And the three day weekend would go way too fast. We still did all of that, and yes, it did go by way too fast. The weekends always do these days when its difficult to make them seem much different than the weekdays. We got together with friends; old and new. We went for a hike and played in the water.

Friday was amazing! After a day that was dreary, unexciting and at the end of a long and subdued week, we got out of the house. Our nanny invited us over to her house for the weekly Friday happy hour and it was glorious to sit on a couch, eating dinner, and socializing in a place other than our own. It was the first time in over two months. We met two of her roommates and ordered a massive Indian spread. I had a ton of naan and washed that down with gin and tonics and was in a completely different mood than when I arrived. Hallelujah, just what the doctor ordered.

Saturday started out with our weekly banana pancakes and bacon and we quickly decided to take ourselves out of town on a hike. It was going to be overcast and cool so there wasn’t much sense in staying in town. We set out of Seattle just before 11 am (nap time usually) and headed south towards Mt. Rainier. We made it to the trailhead of McDonald Mountain and Reese was drowsy, having woken up from only a 40 minute nap. She started out on foot and then moved into her hiking backpack. For the majority of the 8.5 mile, 2,300 feet vertical hike, the route was on an old forest road which provided plenty of space to pass others, both hikers and bikers. It was a gentle uphill climb with one great flat reach where you could catch some views. Reese fell asleep about 20 minutes from the top of the mountain and then woke back up about 20 minutes on the way back down so she definitely missed out on the summit. We didn’t spend much time at the top, what with Reese sleeping and the overcast skies preventing us from seeing Rainier, the Olympics and could barely see Seattle. Reese got a bit cold on the way down and we transitioned into me carrying her in my arms, wrapped in my jacket, where she was super snuggly. We made it back down to the car around 5, making it a 4 hr trek from start to finish. We set back home, picking up Halal Guys on our way home, and enjoyed the night kicking up our feet.

Sunday was a beautiful day from start to finish, only getting up to about 70 degrees, but it always feels warmer in our backyard. We spent the morning building obstacle courses and running Reese ragged. She was ready for her nap shortly after 11 am and slept until about 2 pm, allowing me to read in the hammock and do some tidying up around the house and yard and Bryan to work on the brewing set up. Once awake, we played in the backyard and debated going for a bike ride. Apparently all of us were delaying and hesitating in biting the bullet on a bike ride because as soon as Sarah texted asking to get together we jumped at the chance. Sarah and Lottie joined us for the night for the girls to play in the pool, had an amazing dinner of Bryan’s steak, sweet corn, salad, strawberries (all of the tastes of summer) and watched Moana on the outdoor big screen. The girls were cute and it was good to have another adult to talk to again.

The girls watching Moana outside

Monday was the gloomy day on the weather forecast so I didn’t wake up too excited for this extra day. Still grateful to have another day off but Reese never got the message about the long weekend and woke by 6 am every single day. I was B.E.A.T on this particular morning so after trying my best to hang in there for the morning, when Reese asked daddy for cereal after 8 am, I passed out in bed and didn’t wake up again until 10 am. This surprised even me because I rarely am the type to go back to bed. But I needed it for sure. Then Reese proved she needed her own sleep, sleeping for nearly 4 hours, 2 hours with her daddy laying next to her. Meanwhile, I took the time to do a workout, make some soup for the week, and call my parents. After she finally woke up, Reese and I set out to walk with Polly, Ryuhei and Momo at Carkeek Park. The rain let up long enough for us to get in this short walk, and Reese was super excited to see Polly and Momo again. We made it home to have homemade fettuccine alfredo with daddy before settling into another week.

I’m glad its a short week and the weather is looking good during the week, just not for the next weekend. Reese has gone back to her usual self, more or less, when going down for bed. I’m thankful we aren’t having marathon bedtime sessions anymore, although she still wants to fall asleep on the big bed next to me. She’s been super sweet and cuddly all weekend. I’m definitely enjoying this stage of Reese. Can’t believe this is the last week of May already.

Chelsea

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Lightening Speed

Time currently is flying by like no other time that I can remember. I am shocked that this weekend is already Memorial Day Weekend and I just can’t comprehend how it can already almost be June. How is summer nearly here? Where did spring go? Oh yeah, that’s right, spring was horrendous this year.

I mean, not really, it’s been beautiful here. We have had the opportunity to walk or run through the Arboretum a handful of times in the past few weeks and every single time we comment on how it seems more breathtakingly beautiful than we have ever remembered it being before. The flowers are in full bloom. The smell of late spring is glorious. Allergies are also at an all time high, people’s sneezing and red itchy eyes not to be confused with the Coronavirus. This week wasn’t particularly one for long stints outside but the forecast is on the up and up and we’ve tried to make the most of it with short walks when we can, I’ve been chipping away at weeding and mulching ever so slowly, and Bryan has been working away at his brewing setup.

Surprisingly, I didn’t find myself going stir crazy this past weekend with the cooler and wet weather. Friday was glorious and our weekly happy hour featured Thai food eaten in the backyard, the girls played in the pool, and the drinks were flowing. It was a great wind down from the long week. Bryan and I had also gone for a run together, the first in a long time, right before it. Saturday was spent pretty typically and the rain seized for long enough for us to go on a walk through the Arboretum. Sunday presented sunnier weather and we took advantage of that with a 23-mile down and back bike ride on the Burke Gilman Trail, Reese catnapped for the first half and then we stopped at Magnusson Park to let her walk around, chase the geese and throw rocks in the lake.

This week has been fairly uneventful. Bryan and I just finished the show Dead to Me on Netflix that kept me completely captivated. Reese and I went for a walk with Polly and their dog Momo in a park by their house before returning home and picking up Qdoba takeout on the way. We had our weekly family happy hour on Wednesday and have made use of convenience foods in the freezer this week; leftover enchiladas, Indian meals, frozen pizza. Apparently, I wasn’t as keen on cooking this week as the week prior. It comes and goes.

Dinner and a movie

Reese has continued to be fun and sweet. She is completely shy around strangers now, not sure because of the current social dynamics in the world or just by her own character. But I took her to pick up my preordered groceries at Safeway on Sunday and she was in hog heaven just being there, outside the store, sharing a donut with me. She hasn’t gotten to go anywhere in so long. She hops into the car now to go for a drive. I cannot wait to share more real world experiences with her again. She definitely misses people and places, although she’s doing extremely well considering everything, as we all are.

Grateful for a three day weekend because I need an extra day for a break. Considering a hike and maybe another bike ride again this weekend. Not sure what else but praying Reese actually takes some good naps for us this weekend.

Chelsea

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Mother’s Day 2.0

Last weekend was a wonderful weekend of warm weather, food, and low key fun at home. I felt like a very special mama and am very appreciative of everything that I have right now. I had a difficult time when reminded that I was originally going to be celebrating this Mother’s Day with family in Michigan but this downer couldn’t erase the good times we had considering the circumstances. And Bryan went above and beyond making sure that we had fun celebrating at home.

Saturday started off with a walk to get the pastries that I have been craving. We met Sarah and Lottie at Bakery Nouveau and then enjoyed our chocolate and almond croissants and chocolate paczki in the grass in the shade. The girls enjoyed bites while running around barefoot in the grass.

Reese took a glorious nap and I napped for a bit in the hammock and read in the shade. Bryan got the backyard ready for summer fun, setting up the outdoor movie screen, bringing out some of the patio cushions, and readying the kiddie pool. Reese didn’t wake up until 5:30 PM when Bryan was already off to pick up our takeout from Terra Plata. We enjoyed one delicious dinner and gin and tonics outside on the deck, watching Beauty and the Beast while Reese (and I at times) swam. Bryan got us Peruvian chicken with various sauces and yucca fries, pork chile verde and a beet and orange salad. It was all so delicious. Reese decided we should finish off the movie night with popcorn enjoyed outside watching Newsies.

Movie night and swimming in the backyard

Sunday I got to sleep in which was the biggest treat of the weekend. Lottie and Sarah came over for Bryan’s pancakes and we enjoyed those outside on the deck and the girls then exhausted themselves sliding and swimming. Reese went down for a nap easily but woke after only 30 minutes! So, essentially no nap. We had planned on biking to Alki to play in the sand and walk the beach but after we were about two miles into the ride by bike got a flat and we didn’t have the tools to fix it on the spot. Bryan had to bike home, break into the house (he didn’t have his keys), and drive back with the Jeep to pick us up. Once home, we spent the rest of the night swimming in the backyard and eating leftovers again on the deck.

Since the weekend we have had cooler temperatures with cloudy (or rainy) morning but sunny afternoons. We’ve enjoyed some Blue Apron meals at home and I’ve gotten in a few workouts this week but I have had the major itching to get out of this house. Reese has been mostly super sweet and is really conversing more, loves to build with blocks and work on buckles and busy boards around the house, but has been a bit more of a chore to put down at night. It’s not a direction I want to head so I’m hoping it’s just a phase. She wants me to lay down with her in the big bed in her room and stroke her face and tickle her back. There are worse things in the world for sure, and I’ve needed a few nights of just laying down next to her.

The weather this weekend is looking more like a weekend for hobbies/indoor activities vs one for getting out of the house, so I am bracing myself for such and will try to make the most of it. Work has been a bit brutal and stressful for myself over here (as it continues to be for Bryan) and I expect to have another two weeks of it being so before we finally submit our design for the main project that I am working on. I’m hanging in over here.

Chelsea

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Keeping Me Sane

I’m thankful for the beautiful weather, my family and friends, cooking, biking, running, and Bryan and Reese for keeping me sane during this time. I’m hanging in over here and we are all still trying to live our best life. But I definitely enjoy getting out and about, seeing people and exploring what the world has to offer, and am looking forward to the days when we can do all of this again. Whenever that might be…

Another week down over here and at least three more to go, in the current condition. We’ve had our stay at home order extended in Washington until May 31st at the earliest. Washington’s approach back into daily life is a four pronged approach and the earliest I would expect to get back into the office is still five weeks out, or so I believe. That’s not the end of the world but I can’t wait to be allowed to hang with friends again. The work days sure seem to roll one into the next but we’ve tried to make the most of our time outside of “work hours” and here is how we have done so:

  1. We did go on a glorious walk with Polly and Ryu and their new dog last Thursday and it was just so amazing to see a friendly face in person. We walked through one of our fave parks in Seattle, Interlochen, great for their wide open, car-free street, and forest-in-the-middle-of-the-city feel to it. Perfect for social distancing.
  2. We celebrated Cinco de Mayo early with our nanny share family last Friday with a pork taco platter and Mexican mole enchilada casserole (that was delicious) from Raiz to enjoy with moijtos and a side action of the movie Coco for the girls.
  3. Reese and I went for a rainy run through the Arboretum on Saturday and divided up the run with some puddle jumping.
  4. We had a movie night with the projector in our workout room. Aladdin on the big screen was a fun treat.
  5. While Reese napped for a long time on Sunday, Bryan and I invested time in our own respective hobbies. I made a batch of homemade fettuccine for the first time in forever and the recipe for a white chicken ragu (that came out super good). After we each played independently, we then posted up in the sun in the backyard where I cross-stitched and drank iced coffee.
  6. We took Reese for a 21-mile bike ride to and around Mercer Island and back. We haven’t done this bike ride since about 7 years ago and we both forgot how nice a ride it is. It’s also quite hilly. It was perfect biking weather and Reese did phenomenally in her Chariot for the full 2.5 hours (we did break at a park about 2 hrs into the ride).
  7. Bryan and I had intentional date night at home after putting Reese to bed on Sunday. We finished the pasta, salad and white wine and ate and talked in front of the fire. It was a great few hours just the two of us.
  8. I finally finished my cross stitch project as of 5/5/20. Mark it in the books. So excited to be done and also finished fixing the framing on all three.
  9. I baked a quick apple fritter bread that came out so good. Definitely a good way to get my “donut fix” now that I no longer have my office’s weekly donut Fridays to look forward to.
  10. I went on two walks with the girls and the nanny during the middle of the day last week; the first to get Raised Donuts as a Monday pick-me-up and the second to go to the local p-patch to get some fresh mint for mojitos.
  11. The three of us also went for a walk around the UW campus that we have never really done before. The cherry blossoms on campus are all gone but it was a nice place to walk with essentially ZERO other people out and about.
  12. We have new toys for the girls as of this week. We had the table and chairs made custom, like our work desk upstairs, and that was delivered on Tuesday. The girls instantly fell in love with sitting at their table for coloring and snack time. We also received our toy kitchen set on Wednesday that we put together. We plan on putting it outside in the toy house eventually but it is in the living room for the meantime. It’s perfect; nice and small but came with some cooking ingredients and utensils, plus inexpensive!
  13. We finished the latest season of Ozarks and wow or wow. Much better season than the last and glad to have something to keep us on edge, you know, aside from the current craziness that is all keeping us on edge out there.
  14. I got in a solo run along Lake Washington on Friday and broke any time I’ve had for at least two years. Felt good, not great!
  15. We ordered from our favorite restaurant Harvest Vine on Thursday night and were able to walk in the great weather to pick up our own personal paella, an amazing asparagus and manchego salad, and a free slice of Basque cheesecake. We had this fancy dinner alongside the live piano music streaming from Canlis restaurant before calling into our FareStart weekly Zoom call.

Now it’s Mother’s Day weekend and we are having a great weekend over here, soaking up all of the sunshine and hot weather before it cools down and rains this week. Will update on what trouble we get into later.

Chelsea