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Christmas Cometh

Horrible title names lol. I’m reporting that we had a most delicious Thanksgiving day dinner that filled us right up and fueled us into the coming Christmas season in a festive manner…mostly. We had a crazy Thanksgiving morning of getting the pie and green bean casserole assembled, working out, and getting Reese her lone 40 minute nap of the day but once we were in the car on the way to Tina and David’s, our gracious hosts, we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening indulging, sitting and talking while Reese ran around like crazy with Rosalie. It was nice to be able to spend time and talk with our friends while still having another youngin’ around to keep Reese entertained.

Friday was rough for Bryan as he was fighting off something (overindulgence or sickness, not sure) so we had a low key morning, which was a nice change of pace from the morning prior. We watched the Tech vs. Texas game and tidied up around the house. Around 3 pm, we headed downtown to partake in the downtown Christmas festivities; the carousel, music, fake snow, tree lighting and fireworks. Reese loved the carousel and was intrigued about the fireworks but the whole middle part she found quite uninteresting, waiting around in the carrier with us. There were lots of kids in attendance though and it was a beautiful day for standing outside.

Saturday we were all feeling great and festive, until Michigan lost horribly to OSU at least. After that pounding, we headed to our local City People’s Nursery to find our Christmas tree. We found the perfect tree within minutes and had the nice people fresh cut it for us and give us a stand. Meanwhile, Reese helped us pick out a wreath and rode around in a wagon for a little while. We were lucky with another beautiful day to get outside, however brief. We returned home to get lights, ribbon and ornaments on the tree. The bottom ornaments came off the tree about as quickly as they came on (thanks Reese).

Saturday night was Bryan and my date night while Anne and Phillip watched the girls. We spent the night bowling at the Garage in Capitol Hill and then got a great dinner downtown, making our four hours away from Reese with unpaid childcare seem like eternity! We came back to pick up Reese feeling refreshed after a great night out.

Sunday was church date, followed by brunch at home, cleaning up the house and then awaiting Rosalie coming over so that Anne and Phillip could have their date night out. We watched Rosalie from 2:15-6:45 and it was a marathon. Rosalie wasn’t happy to be dropped off with us so in order to get moods back on a high note we packed the girls into the double stroller and took them to the park. Unfortunately, this was the one day the whole weekend through that we got rain and it started sprinkling on us while at the park. We packed them back up to take home. We spent the next few hours feeding the girls, changing diapers, and basically keeping each other from attacking one another. We got through it though and are still grateful for the baby swap and our night out.

It was a wonderful four day weekend and a break from work. We had one wonderful Friendsgiving and have jumped into the Christmas season with both feet. Only three weeks away!

Chelsea

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Gratitude Groweth

This month is sincerely causing me to fill up with gratitude. I’ve never been more grateful in my life than this November, for whatever reason. But I have many reasons. This past weekend was looking to be one with very little planned for us and looking to be one of ultimate relaxation. But when our friend Sarah got especially sick Friday night and was feeling horrible the whole weekend through, I was so grateful for our health and our ability to help a friend in need. We picked up Lottie on Saturday and she spent 9:30 am – 5: 30 pm with the three of us and on Sunday we had her from 3:00 pm – 7:30 pm. The weekend was not relaxing after all but I was just so grateful that we were helpful to someone and Reese had a playmate all weekend.

We also had a lot of fun. I took the two girls to a music class that my coworker goes to with his almost two year old. Both the girls jumped right in to playing the musical instruments and enjoyed the songs and dance even though they were probably the only ones too young to sing any of the words. Bryan got to his men’s group and we dropped him off and picked him up in Queen Anne. We took the girls to the playground briefly Saturday evening before dropping Lottie off and getting our own dinner in U Village at Eureka!. And after church date on Sunday and my soccer game in the glorious sunshine, Reese and Lottie terrorized played with each other all afternoon, had a good dinner together, and danced around before dropping Lottie back off for the night.

I’m still grateful to be able to play soccer (and that the weather cooperated), although I’m going to take a break this winter and spring if I’m studying for this SE exam again. I’m grateful that Bryan watches (sleeping) Reese while I play my soccer games. And I am grateful that none of us seem to have caught the bug that Sarah had. Knock on wood.

I’m grateful this week is a short week with a long holiday weekend. I’m so looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner and then kickstarting the Christmas festivities later this weekend. And I’m grateful that my annual review went great, got a promotion to Senior Project Engineer and a hefty bonus! Definitely feeling good about life right now and really looking forward to the holidays this year, which I wasn’t so enthusiastic about last year.

Now let us gobble till we wobble…

Chelsea

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November Thankful

November has started off with me really thankful for what I have; an amazing family, a good job, my health, loving friends and the occasional sunny day. The leaves are still somewhat on the trees and we have had a beautiful fall this year. This past week has been a very busy one for Bryan on the work front but a pretty fun one on my front.

  • We had so many volunteers signed up at FareStart for my volunteer shift this past week that I got to dine in with Reese and Bryan with a 2 for 1 discount for an amazingly delicious meal.
  • We beat the 49ers, Seahawks rivals down the coast, in a crazy Monday Night Football game.
  • Michigan beat the Spartans in the annual rivalry game.
  • Reese and I went to the Aquarium (for free thanks to mystery shopping) while Bryan was at work on Saturday. Reese especially enjoyed pointing out the baby salmon to another kid (who was very skeptical of Reese’s intentions and told her parents that she couldn’t understand her…lol), watching the otters and seals, and touching the spiky items in the aquarium…and of course, kissing the glass tanks open mouthed.
  • I got to watch Reese and Lottie for a full day last Thursday when our nanny was out sick and we didn’t have a back up. I took the girls to the Madrona library branch for toddler story time which they loved and then danced and made faces trying to get them to eat their lunch.
  • We had church date (after being the adults in the Toddler Room last week) which was as great and relaxing as ever.
  • I played in a wet and rainy soccer game that we actually won on Sunday!
  • Bryan and I had a fabulous date night out Sunday night with a delicious meal downtown before going to the Seattle Rep for a fun and lively musical play called Shout Sister Shout, based on Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
  • I attended my first Structural Engineers Association of Washington (SEAW) meeting since I was pregnant and enjoyed a rare night spent with colleagues in the field and listening to an interesting technical presentation.
  • We are skipping out on FareStart tonight to go to the Harvest Party at Novelty Hill winery. We believe we might have three whole cases to pick up tonight. Bring on the wine!
  • We enjoyed a wonderful night of hot pot and drinks over at Polly and Ryu’s house on Saturday. I always love the fun and deliciousness of hot pot and this was the first time trying Ryu’s and it was A+++.

Looking forward to the weekend, a short week and a long Thanksgiving weekend ahead. Then, before we know it, the holidays will be upon us. This time of year goes by so fast. Thankful for Reese to help us appreciate each and every day.

Chelsea

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Daddy’s Girl

For the past several days Reese has been daddy’s little girl…and it is so cute. And I have been thankful for it, maybe a tad jealous, but thankful as I went through a few days of feeling pretty worn out. Fortunately, Bryan was wanting some daddy-daughter time and took Reese to a guys dinner at Philipp’s house on Friday night and took her to the Museum of Flight with the guys on Saturday for a couple of hours so I got a little time to myself and a rare few hours at home in peace and quiet. I definitely feel refreshed from the break and Reese definitely bonded with her daddy.

I did have some quality time with her last week when Bryan had to stay at work one day after her bedtime and it was the two of us dining in at FareStart. Bryan also had his Saturday morning men’s group where we had some mommy and me time but I still definitely feel like I have gotten some breaks in the past week and that has been nice. I was able to go to the America’s Test Kitchen 20-year Party, thanks to FareStart, where there were about 15 of the top Seattle chefs and about 5-10 of the ATK chefs each providing a nosh and a bunch of cocktails and wine for the tasting as well. I way overindulged at this event but quite enjoyed Sawyer’s pork belly baos, a babagahnoush topped with lamb ragu and free mini pitas from Manmoon, and many beef tartares and bulgogi beef lettuce wraps all being my favorite of the night. I had quite the tummy ache for nearly 24 hours post event. Worth it!

The three of us also enjoyed a night out of the kitchen at the November Community Dinner at FareStart where they put a Thanksgiving meal inside a biscuit, and it was good! Reese didn’t necessarily want to sit on this occasion however so it was a bit of a wild dinner. Bryan and I also volunteered in the Toddler’s Room this week at church so we didn’t get our church date but put in our service chasing around the littles.

We had nearly a football free weekend (except for Texas winning in a nailbiter to Kansas State) which made a schedule a little freer than usual. We did enjoy watching the Sounders win the FSC championship against Toronto on Sunday afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed the epic overtime game of the Seahawks vs. 49ers for Monday Night Football, breaking the 49ers winning streak. Oh such a good feeling and such a good game. Reese actually enjoyed watching most of it. And I’d like to mention that I am 2nd in my fantasy league with a team that I really like.

I really can’t believe it’s mid-November, which means that the holidays are fast approaching. Not sure I am ready for them but I am looking forward to them this year for sure.

Chelsea

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A Good Laugh

I just have to share this article that my friend Valerie sent me because it is just too funny and literally word for word could have come from Reese’s mouth/pen. I really missed the opportunity of finding this at 11 months but it still rings true now…and the author of this letter is Reese! Read on (source) for some laughs:

MY 11-MONTH-OLD BABY’S HR DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT

by SHANNON J. CURTIN

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to inform you about the recent occurrence of mistreatment I’ve encountered at this establishment. I hope that by alerting you via written correspondence, the appropriate authorities will get involved to remedy this dire situation.

11 14 months ago I joined this establishment to a lot of fanfare. My current position sat vacant for years before my tenure, and since I on-boarded last November August I have been regularly told “you are a dream come true,” and “we are so happy to have you.” While this is flattering, I must note that almost immediately there were issues of inequality amongst my colleagues and me — issues I choose to ignore because I was new and still getting the lay of the land.

In the first few months of my new role, I had a lot of information to get up to speed on, including figuring how to roll over and acquiring a firm grasp on object permanence. Now, I have almost a year of experience completing my primary responsibilities — like sleeping, pooping, and communicating with individuals who are not fluent in my native tongue, and as I’m sure you’ve heard, all my performance reviews are glowingly positive.

I am constantly revered and told that I am “such a big girl” and “so big” and “a sweet, big girl” and yet every time I attempt to partake in certain activities alongside my older, male colleague I hear “that is not for you, Reesey,” or “that’s not for babies.” There you have my dilemma.

Is this truly an equal opportunity establishment or isn’t it? Is my colleague allowed to play with scissors because he’s truly more experienced or is it just because he’s older and a male? Am I a big girl or not?

I find it interesting that while my older colleague is allowed to do whatever he wants (including leaving early to “sleep,” while my commitment to my position includes routinely clocking in at 3 AM — take that as you will) every time I try to do something innovative I hear a litany of “nos.”

  • “No Reese, you can’t eat rocks.”
  • “No Reese, you can’t play in the toilet.”
  • “No Reese, Legos aren’t for babies.”
  • “No Reese, you can’t jump off the couch.”

I feel like I’m being unfairly stifled. Today I attempted a scientific experiment with yogurt drops and the dog’s water dish, and my research was callously wiped away before I even started recording my observations. I feel this is a gross injustice and I’m not convinced it isn’t based on age and gender discrimination. My colleague not only gets to feed the dog, but he also is allowed to drink from cups without lids. Where does it end?

I have attempted to deal with this on my own by being very vocal about my feelings. I routinely collapse onto the floor and cry whenever I am denied my right to play in the fridge or eat garbage. Every once in a while I am placated. Sometimes I get to slowly rip up drawings my colleague leaves on the floor. Once I ate a bug. But more and more I find I’m being denied even these limited opportunities. As I become more practiced in navigating the floorplan, doors are being closed and there is talk about gating the stairs. How can I be expected to shatter glass ceilings when I can’t even climb into the dishwasher?

This establishment is supposed to function with a growth mindset and I am disappointed to find it so lacking. At 12 months — a full year into my position — certain privileges must be granted or I will be forced to elevate these complaints. For one, anything my colleague is currently playing with should be mine, regardless of the so-called “age-appropriate” designations. I also want to eat his food (from his plate — this is important) after I throw mine on the floor where it belongs. It would please me to pull his hair at every opportunity, but I understand this might be a champagne dream. It goes without saying that I should be allowed full access to all company water features — toilets and water dishes and wet shower stalls included. I also request that I should be the sole person responsible for holding my mother’s phone. She is old. She probably doesn’t even know how to operate it correctly. I strongly believe it functions better when I can chew the upper left corner. I could present my findings on this theory if only I were allowed to put it into practice.

I expect to see a marked change in the management system immediately upon my first anniversary — if not sooner. I am prepared to take these concerns all the way up the chain. I am not afraid to go over your head to tell Grandma. I’m sure she would have some choice words about how her “best girl” is being treated.

Pleased…

Thank you for taking the time to address this issue.

Sincerely,
Reese
“Employee of the Month” for 11 14 months and counting

Chelsea

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That 14 Month Old

Fourteen months and growing…though she should be growing in size. The past month has surely seen more growth and maturation for Reese but maybe not as blatantly obvious as months previous. But she definitely has a few new tricks up her sleeves:

  • She will fetch things around the house when we name them (balls, bubbles, moose, Wubba, books, etc)
  • Loves to dance! Twirling in circles, stomping and head bopping
  • Likes to carry her shoes around the house and also likes getting into our shoes
  • Has at least three teeth coming in on the top
  • Is in a more observational period when it comes to playing with other kids and playing on the playground
  • Is done with the bottle permanently (and has been for the past month almost)
  • Loves having her hair brushed
  • She is starting to learn to stack things and use nesting toys as they are meant to be
  • Is terrified of animals right now
  • Prefers to walk herself when outside, in lieu of riding in the stroller
  • She likes to have us walk/slide her backwards A LOT
  • Likes sparkling water, still not into cows milk
  • Has a new scream; she can go from 0 to 60 in a second
  • Our easy napping phase may be temporarily over
  • She loves stuffed animals right now; moose, lamb, fox, monkey, etc
  • She’s being super sweet…most of the time
  • She hasn’t been sleeping as well at night
  • Is a fan of chocolate
  • She’s a goof ball and definitely knows how to make people laugh
  • She’s phenomenal in a social setting so getting her around other kids is ALWAYS a plus
  • She is really starting to dig books
  • She still loves her Lottie…

She knows what she wants and what she doesn’t and sticks to her guns on it. I wanted to look at pictures of me as a baby again just to see any comparisons and differences. I think she looks a lot like me when sleeping and when smiling. Reese has lighter hair than I did around this age but I’m not sure if she is going to get the curls because it looks like I already had quite the curls on top at this age. Size-wise we look the same, although it looks like I went through a stockier stage at a younger age and Reese never really had that. These are the pictures that I found that I can really see the resemblance with Reese:

Chelsea

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Our Second Halloween

Reese’s second Halloween was a great success in my book…or at least my Halloween was a great one from start to finish:

Work went all out for this year’s Halloween. We had a Reese’s Pieces candy count guess for a prize, a spooky Halloween potluck for lunch with tons of sweets and treats and a costume contest with a $100 prize which pretty much got all but about five employees to dress up, and to dress up good everyone did. I wore my Elastigirl Incredibles outfit to work, wig and mask and all.

This was just the group onesie photo at work.

After work, the three of us got ready in our costumes quickly (I was already in mine) and headed over to West Seattle for a party with a bunch of 1-year-olds +/-. There had to have been at least 10 kids plus their parents at one point at our friends Kelsey and Joe’s place. We had some snacks and drinks and the kids played and then we headed out to hit about eight households for Reese’s first trick or treating experience. Which she loved! Reese got the hang of walking up the steps, knocking on the door, grabbing as much candy as she could to put into her bag, and then trying to enter each person’s house, which was pretty funny. She would then yell and run (literally run) to the next house. We came back with a good amount of loot for having only been to a handful of houses. The decorations in West Seattle were quite impressive which made it even more fun for us!

We headed back home a little after 7 pm and Reese got to enjoy one Reese’s peanut butter cup before bed, which she loved. Thankfully she was still able to fall asleep without a problem…though not sure she slept all that well.

The rest of our week has been good. Both of us have been busy at work but work has been good lately. We had a lovely weekend last weekend with a hotel shop stay at the very nice Hyatt Regency at the south end of Lake Washington, right next door to Bryan’s old workplace. We went on Friday night, walked to the Renton Landing from the hotel to get dinner at the new Korean place, Take Five, then picked up a bottle of wine, put Reese to sleep in the hotel room and then enjoyed the wine on the sofas overlooking the lake with a thunderstorm rolling out over the lake. It was awesome!

Saturday morning was Bryan’s weekend shift at work so Reese and I walked to the damp playground next door in the morning, messed around in the very nice fitness facility in the hotel, rode the elevators a bunch of times, walked to the Landing and went to the toy shop just as they were starting Toddler Craft Time (just a coincidence), made a sensory jack o lantern in a Ziploc bag, then headed back to the hotel to meet up with Bryan and go swimming/hot tubbing in their saltwater pool. It was a wonderful start to the weekend!

Sunday was spent with church date, then I played soccer in the sunshine before Bryan and I got to enjoy the start of Seattle Restaurant Week at Sawyer in Ballard while Tina watched Reese for us. It was a wonderful dinner and we thoroughly enjoyed a night out, without having to get a sitter! We each got two cocktails, pork bao buns, wood grilled artichokes, pan seared rockfish, their take on a dilly bar and their tres leches cake. It was all so delicious.

Yum yum!

We’ve had a few nights at home this week, watching the World Series in the background between dinner and games of chase. I had my second week at my women’s life group at church and really do enjoy the night out midweek. And we had no FareStart this week so it was a real unusual Thursday for us. Reese has been solo for the past two weeks as Lottie has been in Indianapolis so Reese has been adventuring to visit cats, go to the zoo, went to library store time once and the tot gym once.

Thankful that it is the weekend again and thankful for the continued sunshine. I’ll take the cooler temps every single day for the amazing sunshine and picturesque views it brings during this time of year. I’d be thankful for the time change this weekend and the extra hour of sleep but I’m not expecting to get any as Reese has woken up at or before 6 am the past three mornings. I have no idea why.

Too early for mommy to function…don’t know how daddy does it.

Happy Halloween and Welcome November!

Chelsea