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Doubling Down on the Lock Down

While Bryan and I were already fully prepared to hibernate once more, after having a pretty socially full (all outside but still) weekend during Chad’s visit, I don’t think what we had in mind was a week and weekend so full of smoke that we literally couldn’t leave the house. No, pretty sure that is not what we had in mind. But that doesn’t matter because that is exactly what was in store for us this past weekend. Friday through Sunday I left the house two times, for very brief stints. Although Reese begged to go outside several times, we convinced her to play indoors, even bringing in her slide for the weekend. But we managed to entertain her and ourselves, at least somewhat.

  • There was a lot of obstacles courses, now with the use of frisbees, more pillows, the slide and the full circuit of the downstairs.
  • There was a lot of sliding, and not just Reese partook, we both had to “go down” the slide too.
  • Thank goodness for opening weekend of football (and the US Open) for keeping us entertained for a portion of the weekend.
  • There was visit from Lottie and Sarah for dinner at our house on Saturday night. We had a home-cooked Indian meal and the girls enjoyed each other, mostly.
  • We had our weekly pancake breakfast which we hadn’t had for some time.
  • I got in one indoor workout, moving all of the weights I needed to the bedroom as the air quality in the workout room isn’t the best.
  • We ventured out once on Sunday evening to go get Menchie’s for the first time in soooo long. And it was delicious!
  • We are switching up Reese’s sleep situation from crib to her own bed. We’ll see how this goes.
  • And we attempted potty training to see how it would go on Sunday morning. After a few leaks on the floor but a lot more time on the potty we decided we are going to wait a fair bit longer before we try again.
Fun times back to when I apparently risked our lungs and our life walking to get softserve while Bryan was out golfing with the boys

I’m definitely feeling a bit claustrophobic in this house now. First, we can’t go anywhere inside, and now we can’t go anywhere outside, so… We keep watching the air quality forecast with hopes that the smoke will blow out but we keep getting let down and now it doesn’t look like it will be that way until the end of the week. Work has still been busy for the both of us so at least I guess we got a good distraction. And I have a very close matchup in my first week of fantasy draft to pull out tonight…

Chelsea

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Uncle Chad

What a weekend we had with Uncle Chad paying us a visit.  The long weekend, celebrating the end *sniff* of summer, was a truly a much-needed reprieve from the regular around here.  And it was anything but regular for us.  We saw friends, we went out to eat (outside only) with Reese, we stayed up until 2 am one night, and it was a crazy rush of a weekend. Chad left just in the nick of time because as he was leaving the wild fires kicked in with horrendous smoke that is now keeping us indoors and Reese has officially begun the terrible twos as of…last night.

Reese and Uncle Chad

But reminiscing about the good times, the weekend started off nice and slow before it really geared up. I picked up Chad from the airport Friday just before noon and we caught up with each other back at the house for a few hours before the three of us took a walk to stretch our legs and get Reese from daycare. We had a drink in the backyard before heading to Ivar’s for dinner with his friend Jordan on their lakeside deck. We returned home to catch some ZZZ’s before our long anticipated hike the next day.

First time out to eat in months!

After falling asleep at 9 pm (all of us), we woke up around 6 am to pack the car and set north for the North Cascades. I made breakfast burritos to fuel us in the car and Reese kept herself pretty well entertained for the 2.5 hour drive to the trailhead. Our tentative plan was to drop our car off at Welcome Pass and return to Jordan’s car at the Excelsior Pass trailhead to do our own loop hike with the advantage of having two cars. However, the road up to Welcome Pass was potholey and so we made the decision to keep to Excelsior Pass with its trailhead right off of Mt. Baker Highway. We met up with Jordan and Vick and set out on the trail right around 11 am.

It was nice and cloudy as we began our summit in the trees which made for cooler temps for the hard work going up the mountain. We progressed at a good pace with Bryan leading the way with Reese on his back, Reese taking a nap for a portion of it and walking herself for a small portion of it, and exited above the trees to breathtaking views about 3.5 miles up. We continued a little more than a half mile with views of Mt. Baker and the beauty of the North Cascades that were now in the sun with fog down in the valley. At Excelsior Pass we continued up a short way further to reach Excelsior Peak which we had more or less to ourselves for lunch of PB&Js and a few pictures (of which I have yet to get). We started our descent, this time me carrying Reese down the mountain. It took us about the same time going down as going up, 2.5 hours each way, and on the way down Reese did quite a bit more walking herself. We got back to the car around 5 pm and started our way back to Seattle. Chad went home with the guys, knowing that we would have to get back and get Reese to bed considering the time. The three of us got back to Seattle shortly after 7 pm, picking up Thai to fill us back up and Reese passed out from the day’s activity.

Thankfully Reese slept until 9 am on Sunday and after a restful sleep we were ready for another day of activity. We also had the morning to chill at home. After Reese protested a nap, lo and behold she fell asleep in the car on the way to our group floating excursion on Lake Washington. We semi planned leaving early expecting this to happen and with everyone running a bit behind schedule it worked out that Reese got about an hour nap in before waking up as everyone started arriving. We had our relaxation station raft blown up in no time and two tubes and two inflatable kayaks and hit the water. Reese was chill baby for about the first hour and then was ready to jump in and swim before we left Chad and crew on the raft and went ashore to catch up with friends we hadn’t seen in forever, at a respectable distance. We met baby Jack with David and Tina and Reese fed the two dogs a few snacks. As the group was wrapping up festivities, Reese found a bunch of interest in throwing the frisbee and wanting to play football with the guys.

Thankful for these ZZZs after a busy day

Chad and his friends came back to our house post float for dinner and spicy margaritas. We had the basketball game on the big screen outside until it was over and then transitioned to watching music videos on it. We played one sorry round of Euchre and I still don’t know why we didn’t make it best two out of three. I was called in to assist with an awaken Reese around 1 am and the rest of the gang kept going strong until 2:30 am.

Everyone was a bit slow going come Monday morning. We didn’t have concrete plans and enjoyed laying low for a while. Lottie came over to play with Reese around 10:30 and after their lunch we set out for a walk to grab our own lunch and stretch our legs through the Arboretum. The girls took their naps in the stroller and once home were ready to go. The boys went to play pitch n putt at Green Lake and the girls and I chilled outside on the deck. Once everyone was back we hit Eastlake Bar and Grill for the first time in forever and had a solid dinner before heading home to put a very temperamental Reese to bed and then take Chad to the airport.

It was such a great weekend but one that certainly left me spent. I’m happy for the short week and happy to take a still very tantrumy Reese to school today. Hopefully the week goes quick, that Reese shakes the ‘tude, and that the wild fires get some help.

Chelsea

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She’s Two!!

I can’t believe she’s two and yet I can. She’s grown so fast so quickly in the past few months and everyday she impresses me with new words she has learned and new skills she has developed. She’s still our sweet and happy daughter but she has authority, confidence, and sass to go along with that. We’ve had a great second year, despite everything that has been thrown our way, and I’m looking forward to what the next year will bring. Here is a little update with Reese:

  • New words and phrases that impress me include: octopus, obstacle course, playdoh, popsicle, blackberries, dinosaurs, coffee, too much, back to the house, toothbrush, toothpaste, nail clippers, other, no spills, toenails, slippery.
  • She’s been described as “loud” and “fast” by her teachers at school. That’s pretty on point.
  • She’s had her toenails painted for the first time (as of a few days ago) and loves them.
  • She’s just starting to learn to count and getting a bit better at the ABCs. She’s also finally starting to learn her colors.
  • She’s been really into trains and play doh lately. She’s also starting to sort and place things methodically, also doing puzzles. Books are also a big thing right now so thank goodness for her bookcase.
  • Her focus for movies is still minimal but she does enjoy about 30 minutes of Sesame Street before bedtime sitting with us on the couch most every night.
  • She’s getting better at eating at meal times and we’ve done away with her tray at the table.
  • She’s still not into brushing her teeth but did stellar at our super short dentist appointment.
  • She weighs about 23 lbs at this point and with her her first official weigh-in in months at today’s doctor’s appointment she is in the 3rd percentile. She’s 33 inches tall which puts her in the 30th (or 40th I can’t remember) percentile. I find it funny that infant car seats are 30 lbs or 30 inches because I cannot honestly imagine her being 30 lbs before 30 inches.
  • She loves turning her little night light on and off at bedtime. I don’t think she’s a big fan of the dark.
  • She’s very commanding right now with “mama sit here” and “dadda sit there”. She’s also finally saying “yes” to things. She’s been doing “uh huh” for some time now.
  • I think she is well liked at school. When we arrive all of the kids say “Reeeeese” with enthusiasm and Reese loves saying “Bye Bye” to everyone when she leaves for the day.
  • We’ve just recently transitioned from night time baths to night time showers.
  • She stuffs her socks into her shoes when she takes them off and I just find that so cute.
  • When I let her have a treat I tell her “two” but sometimes that “two” turns into “too much” and she thinks that’s funny.
  • She still doesn’t like cows milk but she will down her peanut butter chocolate milks when her dad makes them for her.

And here are some scenes from her 2nd birthday party this past weekend.

Chelsea

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Parents Two Years Later

Before I go on about how wonderful Reese is and all of the growing she has made recently now that she is about to turn two, I thought I would briefly chime in on how her wonderful and amazing parents are doing.

Bryan:

I think that Bryan has felt somewhat fortunate to be able to work from home for awhile. Knowing that he wanted to spend a minimum of two years in his current management role, his two year mark is quickly approaching and fortunately nearly a year of that has not brought with it the lengthy commute to and from Auburn. For the longest time he was enjoying sharing a bowl of cereal or yogurt with Reese in the morning and he still gets to kiss her goodbye before she is off to school.

He has also had more time and flexibility to get back into a routine of working out and has impressively been working out all but two rest days a week. And he is getting FAST! He’s running quicker than ever and going on speedy 30ish mile bike rides here and there, on top of almost weekly family rides. He’s definitely feeling fitter and is hoping to continue that into the colder months as we both use exercise to keep us sane, especially now.

But aside from the lack of commute, I do think that Bryan misses seeing coworkers and the work environment. He is still on the phone a ton for his job. He’s learned a lot over the past two years and grown in confidence and knowledge in his current role. I think he has a lot of potential opportunities in whatever he does next at Boeing, they are definitely going to need him because all of the experienced mentors whom just announced they are taking the Voluntary Layoff this go around.

He has gotten together with the guys a few times to play chip n’ putt or go to the driving range and really enjoyed hitting the golf balls far. We are thinking it might be this next week that we finally put his beer making system to use but he’s already had so many people tell him that his bubbly water is the best, and it is!! He’s perfected pancakes on Saturday and making coffee in the morning and knows the right ratio for Reese’s chocolate peanut butter milk at home. We used the grill more than we have the past few summers I think and only lit it on fire once (man I wish I had a video or picture of that, made my night!).

Chelsea:

I’m also probably a mixed one when it comes to the whole work from home situation. As much as I like the lack of commute and more freedom and flexibility for say lunches and working out, I miss the office, my coworkers and being downtown. I miss the energy of being in the city and the options for my lunch break around the office. I think I am the type that keeps better focus and productivity when I’m physically in the office. And I just miss catching up with my coworkers on a daily basis, being greeted by our office assistant every morning, Friday donuts, monthly staff meeting lunches, and Carol’s M&M bowl. I don’t find working from home fun and only some times is it more more convenient (and some times less).

Aside from that, similar to Bryan, I have been utilizing the increased flexibility to do a little more exercise. Though, the trade off for me is that I get far less steps from a lifestyle perspective than when I am going to the office (whether it be because I would walk home from the office from time to time, walk somewhere for lunch, or just get way more steps around the office than sitting in one place all day long). I’ve never owned a road bike or clip-in bike shoes but I have thoroughly enjoyed my new bike and shoes and going for some scenic and long solo rides, and certainly our weekend family rides. My running game has not been fast like Bryan’s but I still try to run once a week or so and use it as a short warm-up when I lift at home, which I love strength training! I also do enjoy walking to get Reese from school when I can though she has now essentially made it so she requires being carried home the whole way from school. And it’s uphill both ways!

I guess I have done a decent amount of cooking since we started this whole solitary confinement, which has been fun on some levels and I’ve tried a lot of recipes I have had bookmarked for awhile. We only get takeout once or maybe twice a week so the rest of the meals are pretty much at home. Our tomato plants that I planted with Reese and Lottie are ginormous and full of green tomatoes but just won’t turn red. I suspect I planted them in an area that just doesn’t get enough sunlight during the day. But I have a decent amount of herb planters that have added to the cooking exploration. I am pleased that I finished Reese’s bookcase and have been able to declutter around the house some. I actually finished one book (thanks Mom) and am about to finish two more (one for a girls book club that we are just starting next week and another that I started on my own).

And although the wardrobe I actually use on a weekly basis has slimmed down considerably, I have still found some good pieces through Stitch Fix to add to my closet. I used to carry a backpack, a diaper bag, and sometimes a purse around with me and now its boiled down to my ID and one credit card that I keep in my pocket. Oh, and my mask in the other pocket because I can’t leave home without that (cue panic if I did). I can’t remember the last time I got a mani pedi and have really only been painting my toes when I must and going au natural on my fingers for however long now. I think I have had more stress in my neck thanks to a constant bun or updo since this all began. But at least I’ve upped my skin routine thanks to a friend turning me onto Beauty Counter products and have actually found them quite good so far.

We are both doing as good as we can I believe and Reese is to thank for a lot of that. She’s keeps us on our toes and certainly entertains us on a daily basis. I still try not to think about what the cooler months are going to bring; more difficulty to exercise (but not impossible for us) but definitely more difficulty social distancing when you can’t be outside. I don’t see things changing still for some months so we’ll have to figure it out at some point I guess.

Chelsea

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Summer Weekends are the Absolute Best

We had another absolutely amazing and gorgeous weekend and just don’t want the summer (or the weekends) to end. We had another mix of physical activity and time spent with just the three of us as well as some fun social time with friends who feel comfortable doing so (outside in our backyard).

We had a low key night on Friday which was great as that helped us have the energy for our lengthiest family bike ride to date. Saturday morning, after pancakes and selling the Jeep (!), we packed up the Chariot and left just after noon for a 39 mile ride. Reese instantly fell asleep for her nap, but only for 30 minutes, and Bryan pulled her over the 520 floating bridge, past the stations that I am designing and are nearly built, past Redmond and our winery in Woodinville, along the Sammammish River to 192 Brewing in Kenmore. Here we stopped for a long break and a beer or two. We got a picnic table outside in the way back and broke out our snacks and each enjoyed some delicious IPAs. Reese got juice so she didn’t feel left out while we were drinking “mama juice” and “dada juice”.

We set back for home, this time with me pulling Reese the remaining third of the way home. We clocked in just over three hours of actual cycling time and arrived back home tired and happy. Reese, meanwhile, wasn’t sure where the Jeep went. We picked up Thai takeout to round out a wonderful day.

The voyage

Sunday morning we had promised to watch Lottie for some time to help Sarah be able to pack up some of her apartment for her upcoming move. Reese and I walked up to retrieve Lottie and checked out the new apartment (same building) where the girls spent 15 minutes running and screaming in the empty space. Once back home, the girls had lunch outside, played and then went down for their nap. Sunday afternoon we invited Sarah and the girl’s daycare friend and PEPS aquaintance Maggie and Harold to come over in the backyard. Bryan made strong spicy margaritas and we we had chicken mole tacos, salad, corn, and Spanish rice. It was a very enjoyable evening with perfect weather and Reese had a ball.

Back to the grind but having to be actually productive I have been actually productive. Now we get to gear up for Reese turning two!

Chelsea

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Chillin in Chelan

It’s been awhile since I posted, I guess last week got a little busy prior to leaving to go out of town for a long weekend. We had two great weekends in a row and so much to reminisce about…

The first great weekend involved a “party” to celebrate Lottie, complete with cupcakes from Cupcake Royale, a dance playlist, amazing Chinese food for takeout, and balloons. Everyone had a good time, until Lottie became deathly afraid of the candle at least.

This weekend also included a visit up to Edmonds to see Philipp, Sara and Emelia. We walked from their house down to downtown Edmonds, found a picnic spot on the beach and all got some fish tacos from the Edmonds Fish Market to enjoy. We took a quick one hour bike ride down to Lake Washington Boulevard to Seward Park and back, which was a nice little workout without cars now that Lake Washington Boulevard is closed to traffic and Reese got a nap in! And to round out the weekend we invited our neighbors over to the backyard for a drink to get to know one another and we like them a lot!

Then there was the short week of work, that was busy for both of us, yadda yadda yadda….but I did finish Reese’s bookcase.

So then our next great weekend was a long weekend with us taking Friday off of work to head out to Chelan Thursday afternoon. We got the car all packed up and ready to go and picked up Reese (the latest we ever have) at 5:30 PM to hit the road right away. We didn’t run into any traffic on the way to Chelan and we broke up the trip by getting dinner at the Twin Pines Drive In in Cle Elum which is usually extremely busy but we got there 15 minutes before close and were able to order burgers, chicken bites, fries and a nutella shake without any wait and ate that at one of their many picnic tables outside. We arrived at the Chelan house just after 9 pm and settled in for the weekend with a glass of wine after the girls went to bed.

Friday morning we were up around 8 am and Reese woke much more alive and spirited and ready to greet everyone than she did the night previously, after a 90 minute sleep in the car. And fortunately for her, Emerson has almost equal amounts of energy and a desire to run back and forth through the house, blowing bubbles, fetching balls, and jumping. These girls kept each other going and going and going. We enjoyed the slow morning, the heat and sun on the back deck, took a walk around town and along the river, getting our feet wet in the lake, and enjoying a breakfast burrito before Reese went down for her nap. Post nap we all set out for a winery visit where we enjoyed two bottles of white wine overlooking the lake from a yard high above the lake. The views were gorgeous and fortunately the girls kept each other entertained on their own bench. Friday night’s dinner was undertaken by Timothy and Heather and they made up a delicious spread of dill salmon, grilled caesar salad, asparagus and an fancy herbed cheese and baguette, all enjoyed with a glass of wine of course. We stayed up way too late catching up and I paid for this the next morning.

But fortunately for me, I got to sleep in on Saturday morning and Bryan was up with Reese. I didn’t wake up until about 9 am to my surprise after a rough night of sleep with Reese. We enjoyed another slow morning but then the three of us got ready to head to the beach and set out by foot mid morning. With some hassle (thanks to the city’s ridiculous policies on enjoying the beach during Covid) we got a spot at the lake and spent a couple hours swimming, floating and playing in the sand before heading home for Reese’s nap. Reese’s nap ended up being only the 30 minutes in the stroller and once home wasn’t keen on continuing that nap. Sigh. The other crew wasn’t at the house so we enjoyed some peace and quiet before they returned. They got back a little after 4 pm and we immediately opened up a bottle of rose and chips, salsa and guac we made. Bryan and I were on dinner duty and our spread included carne asada with an avocado and feta salad with homemade vinaigrette and a Mexican street corn saute. It came out pretty good with no leftovers. The girls crashed on this night and we enjoyed some peach cobbler with ice cream before hitting the sack a bit earlier ourselves.

Sunday was our last day (the other crew were staying a tad longer). Bryan and I each went for an extremely hot run along a trail that runs by the dam and river. It was a good run if it hadn’t been so hot. I was dying and walked a good portion of it. Once back we were ready to hit the water again so the three of us set out for the lake. We ran into the dumb city rules about park usage again but managed to bypass that after some more hassle and got a good spot at the lake. Reese wasn’t at all hesitant this time to get in the water and play and after another few hours we packed her back up in the stroller where she promptly fell asleep. Bryan and I got the most amazing fish tacos ever from a low key place and enjoyed these in the shade at an empty baseball park while Reese continued to snooze in her stroller. We got back to the house for showers and to finish packing and shortly there after said our goodbyes and thank yous.

Our drive back was longer due to some traffic but without any stops (and with Reese napping for about two hours in the car) we got back a little after 6 pm to temps in the mid 90s in Seattle! Reese immediately started crying when she saw our house and was asking to go “back to the house”. It took her about 15 minutes to actually get inside our house because she was so adamant about going back. It was definitely a great weekend for all of us and I’m so glad that Reese enjoyed it as much as she did and that she was as easy going as she was.

Goof ball on the way back

Now back to the grind…

Chelsea

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Four Years Strong

This week has moved like molasses for me for whatever reason. It was a rare week of a few fun things planned during the week and I had some to-dos to check off my list. I don’t know if that’s what made the week seem long or something else entirely. But it was a good week, for me at least. And I think Reese had a great time with those social outings and easy drop offs at school all week long. Bryan had more stress related to work and had to go into the office Monday and Tuesday (as well as last Friday) but also enjoyed our evenings and a few workouts. Plus, we had our first date night out in five months in celebration of our four year wedding anniversary!

But let’s “back up” as Reese would say. Our weekend was fantastic and I think that is really what makes my weeks feel so long. Saturday was low key with morning pancakes, Bryan went for a 37 mile bike ride (!) to Edmonds and back, I worked some on my bookcase project for Reese’s books, and then Lottie and Sarah came over for BBQ takeout in our backyard. The girls played great together and we enjoyed their company.

Sunday we set out midday for Lake Sammammish, via the 520 bridge and bike trail. I pulled Reese for the first time on the way there and now I know the extra ummmph you need when pulling that girl. I made it the full 13 miles there though and then we had a nice long break at the beach. The water temp was perfect and it was the first time Reese used her puddle jumpers to actually swim and jump off the swim platform/dock at the beach. She had a blast jumping alongside other kids and really was not afraid of swimming with her puddle jumpers on. Bryan pulled the chariot on the way back and we both arrived home physically tired. We enjoyed pizza at home with a movie and didn’t want the weekend to end.

Like I said, Reese has been pretty easy to drop off at daycare this week. What hasn’t been easy is getting her up in the morning. She slept in until 9 am both weekend days and this week I’ve had to get her up around 8 am to get ready to go to school. We enjoyed Polly and Ryu’s company at our house on Wednesday night. We got some take home ramen kits to have for dinner, along with potstickers and gomae that we made at home, and it was a very tasty dinner eaten on our back deck. Reese enjoyed the noodles, and the attention. We got the bubble machine going while we had berries and cream for dessert and we didn’t get Reese in the bath until after 9 pm.

And our anniversary brought with it the coldest day we’ve had in weeks, and rain! It was a high of 63 and rained most the morning but that didn’t deter us from our date night plans. Sarah was gracious enough to watch Reese for us while we went to our favorite spot, Harvest Vine, for our first time eating out in five months. We were the only table for the longest time, with our early reservation time of 5:30. We shared a delicious bottle of Spanish red, the always delicious trout, a gambas/shrimp dish, braised chicken, goat cheese with fig paste, bread, and garlic tomato green beans. Everything was delicious and we took home a pint of their homemade salted caramel ice cream for dessert later in the evening. We picked up Reese, who had dinner, colored and had her bath with Lottie. She was dressed in her PJs and her and Lottie read a bazillion books on Bryan’s lap before we left for home. The girls gave each other a dozen kisses as we were leaving. Love them!

I’ve spent quite a few hours this week working on my bookcase project for Reese and it is close to being done. I had to drill several pieces of wood together, paint a minimum of two coats of paint on all sides, and wallpapered the inside that took a lot more patience and skill than I would have liked. I still need to drill in the inserts, give the sides another coat of paint, put on the legs and then it will be finished. Along with this project I had to take the Jeep to get serviced one more time, which required me to ride my bike home/there along the Burke-Gilman two days in a row. It was a nice 10-mile ride by myself that I actually quite enjoyed. I love my bike!

We have another glorious weekend coming up and are celebrating little miss Lottie who is turning two tomorrow. Reese is pretty good at saying “happy birthday” and I’m sure she will enjoy the cupcakes and balloons with Lottie. I still can’t believe it is August already.

Chelsea

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One Month Shy of Two

And then we will officially stop counting her age in months, I guess. I can’t believe she will be two in a month, and yet I can. She seems so grown. She speaks in full sentences from time to time. She is extremely agile, strong, and impressive in her physical capabilities. And now she is going to “school”. It’s all a little much a little too soon if you ask me. But we continue to love her to death, more every day.

  • Singing the “ABCs” is her new thing. She definitely can hum along to it and knows when to sing a few letters, “A, B, C, and P” mostly and then finishes off with “me”. It’s a work in progress but both her and Lottie are obsessed with the song currently.
  • Her favorite number is still 2 and I am trying to get her to at least count to 3 but it’s still basically just 2. But she gets the number 2 in its meaning.
  • She can follow directions pretty well when she wants to. I’m always impressed when she actually does exactly what I say to her.
  • She’s really into pizza, pasta, Thai food still, chocolate of course, cookies, blueberries (!), cheese, popcorn, cereal, yogurt cereal, spoonfuls of peanut butter and chocolate milk. But apparently whatever is served at daycare she will eat so there is definitely something about peer pressure and environment in getting this one to eat.
  • She knows, turn for turn, how to walk to Lottie’s house and can walk there without help.
  • She is walking up and down the stairs, one stair at a time and upright these days.
  • She really likes getting into the Jeep for some reason lately. According to her, it’s “new car”.
  • She loves doing the splits, handstands, cartwheels and climbing over everything. Also jumping!! We need to get this girl into gymnastics. She can do full splits without struggle and has never seen me do them, she just does them and then says, “splits mama”.
  • Everything is “My, do”. She must do everything by herself unless she asks for help or you better expect her to do whatever you did for her all over again.
  • She’s finally letting me do her hair before we leave in the morning (most days). Hallelujah!
  • We lay with her in bed still as she goes down every night. She requests hair brushing, back scratching, and stroking her wrists (she’s had a bit of eczema for some months now, it’s getting better but her wrists have always been the itchiest spots).
  • She’s helping me more and more with cooking. I was actually pretty impressed with how she cracked three eggs by herself the other day and she also knows the ins and outs of making coffee in the morning.
  • She’s scared, yet still fascinated, by big trucks lately. For some reason their noise now causes her to run over and ask to be picked up. Same for the vacuum…
  • She’s getting much better at saying “I love you”. She’s also pretty cute saying “Dr. Pol”.

Chelsea

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One Week In

We have wrapped up our first full week with Reese at daycare and I have to say that I think it was a success on many levels. Reese has transitioned well and seems to be really enjoying her “school” and there is so much more quiet in the house, I can work downstairs which is better with Bryan and I often being in calls or meetings at the same time, and there is so much less to clean up around the house. Bryan and I still miss having the girls here though. It is definitely different around here now.

I don’t know if my expectations were so high with Reese and daycare that I just didn’t think there would be any issue with the transition at all or what, but I was definitely conflicted during drop off and pick up the first two days. Reese didn’t really want me to leave in the morning and although she didn’t cry she did give her pouty face and it broke my heart. She seemed so timid and shy those first few days and it didn’t help that Lottie always got dropped off after we were already there so her confidante wasn’t there to greet her yet. She seemed a little reserved at pick up those first few days as well, though the teachers all said she was eating well, napping, and seemed to be enjoying herself, they just also said that the transition can be hard for the kids.

First day excitement

I believe we hit our groove on Thursday and the whole day lifted my spirits and I knew she was settling in and enjoying her “school”. Thursday morning she was eager to get to school. She jumped down the stairs to her classroom and once inside and once she saw they had just sat down to breakfast, she practically ran over to the sink to wash hands, motioned me over for a quick kiss, and then found her place at the table. There was no attempt to delay my leaving and she looked so much more confident and at ease. It was much the same when I returned to pick her up. She was excited to show me the cars she was playing with. Then as we were getting ready to leave, Lottie came over and Reese said, “Bye Lottie. Love you.” She then said “Bye!!!” enthusiastically to all of the teachers and left with a huge smile on her face. As did I. And Friday morning was the same when she saw the kids that were already there had just sat down for breakfast she literally ran to wash her hands. You’d think we have been starving this kid.

Pretty hunky dory on Thursday afternoon after pickup.

We’ve driven twice to pick Reese up and walked home three times this week and both methods have been nice. Reese enjoys the walk but it is a little too long for her so she ends up getting carried half the way. She also demands a cookie or milkshake (caca milk) on these walks home, which we have obliged this week. Monday and Tuesday were so warm that we had a family swim in our bigger pool in the back yard once we were home and she really enjoyed those swims. Bryan and I have been able to spread out during the day, I’ve been able to tackle more household chores like laundry that hopefully will free up more time on the weekend, and there is about 20 minutes less work in tidying up the kitchen and living room by not having the girls there all day. I have more a sense of freedom now at home as before I literally had to time when I left my one room all day long. It’s also deathly quiet and that’s good for productivity but I think might need to be fixed in a few weeks.

First day after school milk shake treat

I’d say so far so good on this new routine. I’m relieved and happy and have full trust in her daycare teachers. That’s a very good feeling.

Chelsea

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Endings Bring New Beginnings

Last week was an eventful week. We celebrated mid-week for Bryan’s birthday but then the day after we had to make a bittersweet goodbye to our nanny of the past year and a half for the girls and the day after that we dropped Reese off at daycare for her first half day to transition her. It felt like anything but a normal week. Thursday felt like Friday, with us celebrating the end of our nanny’s time with one last happy hour cocktail of negronis and snacks on the back deck. And Friday felt like Monday because we were starting in on something new.

It did NOT feel like Friday that is for sure. However, Reese led me on a walk in the afternoon, straight to Lottie’s house (I had plans on going for a run with her but she led me on a walk, turn for turn, straight to Lottie’s) so I stayed and visited with Sarah for a bit before finally getting a short run in with Reese much later than planned before heading home and having pizza for dinner. Bryan joined us at home for dinner but he had a busy afternoon of a run in the Arboretum and then going to the driving range with Mark and Jeff and hitting the crap out of the balls!

Thankfully, the weekend felt like the weekend and was both parts relaxing and fun. We had beautiful weather the whole weekend through and it’s finally starting to feel like summer is here. We had pancakes outside (per request of Reese), played in the backyard for a while Saturday morning, and then Reese and Bryan took a nap together while I went for a solo run. On Saturday afternoon we took Reese to Seward Park to walk and sit and splash by the water. Soooo many boats out and Reese always has a good time with water.

On Sunday we got ready to go pick up Sarah and Lottie for an out-of-town adventure. We set forth for Henna Blueberry Farm in Carnation, WA (about 40 minutes drive away) to go pick blueberries. Since the girls ate two pints of blueberries in two days a little over a week ago, I thought they might enjoy it and we would enjoy getting some delicious fresh berries for a fraction of the cost. It was a toasty day and Bryan and Reese both got pretty hot. One had to retreat to the AC in the car while the other retreated to shade of the John Deere tractor. After over an hour of picking the berries, and eating quite a bit as we went along (particularly Reese had quite a few), we paid for our berries before heading home with the AC blasting. 4.5 lbs of berries were in tow for our one household. I’d say it was successful.

Once back in Seattle, Reese took some time to go down for her nap and didn’t do so until after 3 pm. This gave Bryan and I the late afternoon to share some sangria and beers on the back deck and we filled up the “big” pool for the next several hot days ahead of us. Once up, Reese was hungry so we had an early dinner and a movie night and wished for many more weekend summer days instead of getting back to work.

Cheers to summertime and nap time

This morning started Reese’s first day at daycare and I was a little anxious dropping her off. She was shy and timid this morning and I just wanted to hug and sit with her forever but I also knew if I stayed awhile it would make it that much more difficult. She didn’t cry when I left and it’s tough having to give her kisses through the mask but I’m still thinking that this is going to be good for her and that she will settle in quickly. Lottie wasn’t yet there when I arrived so I think Lottie will help the transition as well, I know Reese does for Lottie at least.

And back in Michigan, “Grandma”, as Reese said for the first time this morning is tackling one more step in her journey. I’ve heard surgery has gone well and is more or less as was to be expected so far. Like every moment already this year, I wish I could be there to help and support locally but I’m very grateful for the help and support she has without me.

Here’s to more new beginnings…

Chelsea