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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

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Our 20 Month Old!

As I’ve reported, life has looked a little different for us lately but honestly Reese probably doesn’t notice a difference. Our new normal is different, but is working, and Reese helps keep us busy and entertained and makes the world feel a little less abnormal.

Here’s her latest:

  • Her vocabulary is expanding. New words include: Apple, bed, chin, cheek, love you, thank you, pancake, play doh, soup, ride, trash, cute, cereal.
  • She is still reading her own books at night while we sit and watch her act. She is quite animated while doing so, as well.
  • She loves the shower head and is getting more comfortable being in the water. She also loves bath time with Lottie.
  • She loves her play house, particularly shutting the door on people.
  • She demands “Elmo” often but only gets to watch in the morning on occasion and at night.
  • Night time dance parties are still pretty epic. We’ve moved from La La Land to “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls. I think we are close to moving on to “Lollipop” by MIKA. She also likes to get on dancing shoes or boots while still being nude so that’s something to see.
  • She has helped me make a few things in the kitchen now. She has helped assembled many salads (eating many tomatoes as she goes) and helped me put together some biscuits with adding and mixing some ingredients.
  • She needs her Lottie right now. The more they are with each other the more they seem to need one another. She gets sad when she leaves every day and we now are waiting outside for their arrival in the morning.
  • She’s been really good with her new baby dolls. She likes to get the baby a bottle, give them hugs, put them in chairs, dance with them and change their diapers. She also puts them to bed often before nap time or bed time. They also get to go down the slide often, usually head first and on their tummy, those daredevils.
  • She does walk up and down the stairs standing up on her own.
  • She likes sidewalk chalk but its best purpose is for rolling down the hill.
  • She likes coloring of all kind. Finger paints, with brushes, crayons, chalk, bath tub crayons, etc. She’s been really into lately and asks me join with with “Color Mama”.
  • The building blocks and playdoh are also still hot commodities right now.
  • She has really enjoyed a bowl of cereal with milk shared with her Dada in the morning. That’s become their new routine.

Chelsea

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Home Work

This past weekend was an accomplished weekend to say the least. We had no plans to do so but ended up completely overhauling the living room and garage. This was the majority of our time spent on Saturday, along with taking Reese for walks to throw rocks down catch basins (she finds this fascinating), picking up Thai food from Soi in Capitol Hill and having our usual Saturday morning pancakes. Sunday was a lazy day but ended with a wonderful walk through Capitol Hill and Seattle University in the sunshine. We found a spot to bask in the sun for a bit with our socks and shoes off to run around in the grass. This was all glorious!

So back to this spring cleaning…

Living Room:

We managed to do away with our unused entertainment center, DVD player, DVDs and speakers. We reorganized the living room furniture to make more space for play. We reorganized the bookcase to have a better storage solution for toys and kids books. And we thoroughly cleaned shelves and the like that hadn’t been touched in some time.

The living room rearranged

Garage:

Bryan moved a bunch of rarely used items to the crawl space beneath the house to free up more space in the garage. This was a lot of heavy lifting. We threw away a bunch of random stuff and broke down cardboard boxes. Bryan was able to condense all of our stuff to one of the shelving units and swept and bleached the floors and voila!!! We have space again in the garage. Now Bryan has room to actually start brewing at home.

The garage all tidied up

Bathrooms:

Unexciting but I haven’t cleaned my own bathrooms in forever. Got all of these down in less than an hour.

Dining Room:

We swapped the bar and the shoe bin and moved Bryan’s new kegerator next to the bar and wine rack so now we have a full beverage station. Check out this kegerator!

That’s a wrap with our current home projects. Probably don’t have too much left that we need to do, only little projects here and there. We have been so lucky with the weather lately but today it turned and has been dropping rain on the window above our desk all day long. Before the weather turned we did make good use of it. We had our weekly Friday night happy hour outside and grilled up some chicken and asparagus. And Monday night after work we went for a bike ride, picking up Ivar’s fish and chips and eating them on the grass at Gas Works Park before heading back towards home with a down and back on the new 520 bridge bike path. It was glorious!

We have a few days of so-so weather before it gets good again so looking forward to that again!

Chelsea

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One Month Locked Down

It’s officially been one month since Washington enforced the Stay at Home order and, surprisingly, time is starting to move a little faster. Maybe we are getting accustomed to this. Maybe we are forgetting what real life used to look like. Maybe we just made better use of our weekend and broke up the never-ending stretch of work, eat, sleep. Whatever it is, this is the one period of time that I am glad is starting to speed up. However, Reese has been extremely cute and extremely sweet so in that respect this time can last forever.

So Easter weekend came and went. It felt like Easter as best as it could, although we were not able to listen to our church’s sermon thanks to my ineptitude of Instagram and the church not providing any other means of tuning in. We still had friends over for Easter brunch; Sarah, Lottie, and Joie came over for delicious eggs benedicts and mimosas and the girls went on their first ever Easter egg hunt in the backyard. They enjoyed the hunt and enjoyed opening up each egg twice to make sure they got all of the chocolate/goldfish crackers out of them.

Our Friday happy hour was filled with Vodka Collins and Malaysian food from Kedai Makan and the girls were great playing more or less independently outside. We also spent the weekend getting in some family activities. We went for a very long walk through Mt. Baker neighborhood and down to Lake Washington on Saturday and a bike ride through Interlochen and around Lake Union on Sunday. Come Monday I was sore but had the sense that the weekend was actually a weekend! First time in weeks its felt like one.

Honestly, the only daily chores that have become easier with working from home are prepping/cooking dinner and emptying the dishwasher (since I can do this when I grab lunch), and doing loads of laundry. Otherwise, I feel like we are running the dishwasher two to three times more frequently and cleaning the messes from the girls in the kitchen and living room much more often. I’ve been able to cross a few things off of the Covid-19 to-do list (while adding more to it, per usual).

  • Replace the CR-V windshield
  • Clean up the backyard to get it patio weather ready
  • Clean out the big freezer (this weekend)
  • Build Reese a book case
  • Finish decluttering the house
  • Finish Reese’s cross-stitch (this week)
  • Plant herbs
  • Get mulch and weed yard
  • Clean the downstairs thoroughly
  • Clean the bathrooms (NOOOOOO)

Thankfully, the girls don’t seem to be growing too restless staying at our house all day everyday, yet. They have greatly enjoyed the new toys and each other. I think they are actually needing each other more every day. Lottie has had an extremely difficult time saying goodbyes and leaving each and every day and apparently moans “Reese” the whole five-minute ride home. Reese walks out to the car and appears to want to go home with Lottie at the end of the day. They’ve also seen each other at least once most of these weekends so I am surprised that they aren’t completely sick of each other yet. I’m just so relieved that they have each other and the nanny these days because Reese would have gotten sick of just seeing the two of us a long time ago.

I’m definitely looking forward to another weekend and very thankful for this glorious weather that we have been having. We hope to do another bike ride soon and I will have one deadline finished this time tomorrow and will be happy to have that off of my plate.

Stay healthy!

Chelsea