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Exhausted and Enduring

The past week and a half has flown by, and has left us both exhausted as a result of it. Once I had my last snow day spent at home with Reese, it was back at work and there was a million things to catch up on in order to get everything done. Top that off with Reese not sleeping very well and, well, come the weekend, I was so exhausted I could barely function. We opted for a night at home on Friday and Saturday night, in lieu of going out with friends, and we took a very relaxed dinner out to a new Middle Eastern restaurant (with Reese in tow) along with a Redbox of Bohemian Rhapsody for a low key Valentine’s Day. It was the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day though in my opinion and I came home to a bunch of flowers and chocolates from Bryan.

Our social life definitely took a nose dive the past ten days but we did commit to a puree party at Anne and Phillip’s house on Sunday morning that was actually a lot of fun and an easy social setting, being that there were five other babies aged 5-6 months there. Reese definitely loves a party environment and thrives in all cuteness at them. We also managed to finally get a dinner with Mark and Kim, from Bryan’s old group at work, at Pizzeria Pulcinella, last night. This was their first time meeting Reese, my first time at the restaurant, and our first time getting to see each other for a long time. They are a great couple and treated us to dinner this time as we have treated them at our place or FareStart a time or two. Reese took pretty well to Kim.

Reese at dinner

And my deadline was pushed to today and was still tough to get all wrapped up by today. Now I have only like four projects on my plate at work and another big one for Key Arena that is just starting and has another very short and critical time frame again, ummph. Bryan has been just as busy, or more so, at his work and has had to stay late a few days. Looking forward to things calming down a bit…although probably not any time soon and now our trips are starting. At least we haven’t had to worry about our nanny situation and that continues to be working great and we really love the new nanny! What a relief that has been and a huge alleviation of stress.

I’ve tried to get in some exercise here and there and went to a great Body Pump class Monday afternoon and have done a Fitness Blender video here and there but that’s about the extent of my self care. It’s pretty fun to work out in front of or with Reese and she definitely makes you work because if you aren’t working hard enough it is not as much fun for her! Reese enjoys cooking dinner with me so that has been fun a night or two each week and it has also been fun playing with the Instant Pot, and I have to say I have liked the results of everything it has produced. We went for a long walk in one of our favorite places on Saturday but were not expecting never-ending cold drizzle for the duration of our walk and it honestly was quite miserable. On the bright side, we got to warm up with a cup of soup at Vios to warm up mid-walk (Reese dug this pit stop) and turned on the fire at home post-walk, which Reese absolutely loves! Bryan made us steaks and continues to improve upon and master this specialty of his!

Our first of four trips is tomorrow morning. We are going out to Colorado to visit Mark and Kim and ski a day without the kids. We haven’t packed at all and I’m currently a little overwhelmed thinking about everything we need to bring for cold weather, Reese, a photo shoot and to go skiing. It should be a good time and I am looking forward to a few days in the mountains without work. I just hope that Reese doesn’t get thrown for too many loops and sets a good beginning for our whirlwind of travels this winter and spring.

Chelsea

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Our 5-Month Old

The rate at which Reese is growing is mind-boggling! In just the past week it seems she has learned to sit unassisted and when you try to place her on her tummy she would much rather be on her hands and knees rocking. It’s something else to see the quick progression of movement and development with her. I find myself so captivated sometimes that I forget about how difficult she is to get to nap or sleep through the night. But we are working on it! This week we experimented with Reese napping in her crib swaddled (when we were at home) and tried a no-cry sleep solution for nighttime sleeping, trying not go straight into sleep training. We’ve had some success and will continue to stick to our guns moving forward.

Our little big difficult sleeper.

As soon as Bryan got home and we said goodbye to my mom, we made Reese’s 5-month pancakes to a delicious success. We had a good Mexican dinner at Cactus in South Lake Union and spent Sunday at church, going for a walk as the snow started falling, and watching a lame Super Bowl. But it was all under a layer of stress as our “excellent” nanny essentially quit without much notice so Monday was a snow day for Reese and I, where we stayed at home inside together to play.

5-Month Pancakes

Tuesday and Wednesday we had two different temp nannies that watched both Reese and our friend Lottie at Sarah’s place while Sarah was home working to make sure the girls were in good hands. Finally on Thursday we brought in a potential full-time nanny, Katie, who has tons of baby knowledge and experience working in a great daycare. She has been great with the girls so far and we are really hoping to continue moving forward with her as a full-time nanny for the girls.

Thursday was like normal, with Reese and I dining at FareStart while Bryan worked. It was a delicious four-course menu from Snoqualmie Casino and Reese was in good spirits. Friday was an anormal day though with the expected snow storm brewing. Many people just decided to stay home. I went into work only to leave at 12:30 when the snow really started to come down. And thankfully I did as the roads were already getting bad and so was traffic. Fortunately, Reese and I made it home safe and Bryan had just gotten home as well. We spent the afternoon marveling at the snow fall and treating the day as a snow day. Bryan did venture out on foot to get beer, milk and chips so we were all set for the weekend.

Saturday morning we started with our usual pancakes before bundling up and taking a long walk through the Arboretum. There were very few cars on the road but a good number of people who were doing like us and taking a walk through the beautiful Arboretum, or skiing or sledding through it. There are skiers and sledders everywhere! We enjoyed another night at home.

Sunday’s service was cancelled and we spent another morning being lazy. Really, the whole day. By nighttime we both needed to get out of the house so we ventured out to Cactus in Madison Park for another great dinner and margaritas. The snow started coming down again and was really very beautiful. Then I knew I was probably going to be stuck at home again. Which I am, today. I sure hope it doesn’t prevent me from going in all week because I am supposed to have a deadline on Friday that is now a shot in the dark on whether or not we are going to make it.

Regardless, Seattle really is beautiful under a blanket of snow and so long as you don’t NEED to go anywhere, it is also a lot of fun. It definitely doesn’t look like Seattle out there but I will take it!

Chelsea

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Work Trip

This past week was a week filled with a lot changes for me, Bryan, Reese and Grandma Sue. While I was still at work for the week, my husband was on a work trip to South Carolina and my mom was on a different kind of work trip; watching our little girl (it’s work!). Reese was experiencing a lot of changes and was a bear about it at some times but still her sweet self at others. Mom and I had some good quality time just the two of us in the evenings after she was in bed but that little girl can wear you out as well!

Fortunately I had one weekend day to spend completely with Mom and Reese. We were going to play soccer but opted to stay in our pjs until about noon, which was a good decision. We then walked to get lunch at the new Tacos Chukis by our house and then continued the walk through Capitol Hill. I also said goodbyes to Stephan and Ewelina that night before they left Seattle for good and we took a quick visit to REI to look at down jackets for Mom.

Then I had to work and that was a big bummer. While I worked Mom and Reese played. Reese is active and a handful at times and I think my mom learned that quickly but she did a great job taking care of Reese! They went for walks in the sunshine, and played on the mat, read books, napped (not my mom), and sang songs. Then I tried to get off as early as I could, which was still not early enough. Thankfully we had great weather all week long which made it easier to get out of the house with her.

Monday night we took the opportunity to have a nice dinner for less at the picturesque Palisade’s restaurant in the marina, taking in the sunset and views by the water, and dined on delicious bisque, salad, steelhead, and a chocolate flourless cake. Tuesday and Wednesday we made dinners at home which was fun to cook, us three girls. Reese was in the carrier and enjoyed that. Mom and I did a face mask one night after baby girl was down for the night.

But being down for the night was a loose term. She was up every hour for a few days. After a sleepless night on Tuesday, she was a bit crabby on Wednesday right from the get-go. I had decided to work from home already and we did make it to the baby story time at the library which Reese loved. After the baby story time we took a long walk along Lake Washington. Then we had trouble that night. After dinner and bath time, we couldn’t get Reese to nurse or go down. She got overtired and SCREAMED! We took her for a drive, which she fell asleep instantly but once home started screaming again. Fortunately after some time she just collapsed on me. She was much better Thursday and Friday and we diagnosed the issue as teething.

By the end of the week Reese and Grandma were good friends and share a lot of cute little things with each other. We made it to FareStart for dinner and it was the first time for Reese to sit along the balcony upstairs and she could not get enough of that. She thought the clapping at graduation was solely for her and smiled every time. While Reese observed the goings on, Mom and I had a great seafood dinner from Duke’s Chowder House of a bacon wrapped prawn and scallop with a pear and blue cheese salad, cod fish tacos and a cookie/brownie served hot with Lopez Island ice cream (my favorite in the PNW).

And to culminate the week, we celebrated Friday afternoon with happy hour at one of my favorite restaurants, Heartwood Provisions, literally a stone’s throw from my office. We first showed off Reese to the office before settling into our cocktails and slew of delicious happy hour dishes. It was quite the spread and knowing both the executive chef and sous chef from my ties to FareStart, our drinks were on the house. We headed back home to catch some basketball and wait for Bryan’s plane to land. Reese and I went to go pick up her daddy who was very excited to see the little girl, who was sound asleep.

Grandma really got the hang of things…

It was sad to have to say goodbye to my mom and Reese’s grandma Saturday morning. She was in a stellar mood and showing off all of the tricks she learned from Grandma Sue this week. I really appreciated having my mom’s company for the week and her resilience, strength and support during Reese’s unexpectedly difficult times. It would have been a lot different week without her and I don’t think Reese will forget Grandma this time around…we have one of my best friend’s weddings to attend on a short trip to Michigan mid-March.

Thank you for the help this week Mom!

Chelsea

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Our Sweet Little Girl

Reese is just the best. We have such a great time with her while she is awake, are relieved that she goes to bed as easy as she does at night, and we sit and look at videos and photos of her even after she goes to bed. She is really fun and enjoyable these days, super playful, and still all smiles. Both of us are enamored with her and it makes our lives feel so much more fulfilled. It’s alright that she still isn’t sleeping through the night….for now.

Work is work and fairly busy right now and I find myself working an hour or so from home in the evenings just so I can leave earlier in the day to spend more time with Reese. I absolutely love seeing how excited she is when I get home though and she gives me these big ol’ open mouth kisses on the lips and chins and it cracks me up. She is a little clingy at the moment, it’s not that bad because she is content and easy to play with so long as she is on our lap or right next to us, but she definitely does perceive distance now and understands when Mom and Dad are there and not there, or even in the same room or not in the same room.

We had another great but low key weekend that was a good mix of relaxation, exercise, dining out, eating in, and one date night. Bryan and I dropped Reese off with Anne and Phillip for our third Seattle Rep play of the year and enjoyed some time away. This was after an enormous happy hour feast at one of our favorite restaurants in the city, Soi, a northern Thai eatery in Capitol Hill. We were hungry after swapping walking with Reese in the stroller and running shifts in the Arboretum.

We elected not to go to church on Sunday and instead caught up on some sleep, some laundry, some football and I got back on the soccer field and am still paying for that in soreness. Cardio-wise, I wasn’t as bad as I expected to be but coordination and skill, Reese probably could have done better. Still, it was so fun to be back out there playing and the weather was great for a game of soccer.

This week has been fairly relaxed in terms of schedule and we have had the opportunity to have a few dinners at home; which is now a lot more fun now that Reese can sit in her high chair at the table.

So happy to sit at the table

Bryan and I each got a workout in at home; which Reese finds fascinating. And instead of either of us volunteering at FareStart this week we were offered to dine in, two for the price of one, so we took them up on their offer. We’ve had great family time this week right before Bryan leaves for his week-long work trip and my mom comes to visit.

Looking forward to spending some one-on-one time with Mom, allow her to spend some quality time with Reese, and looking forward to several dry weather days.

Chelsea

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Back to the Grind

I’m back to full time and everything that that entails. And not just me…it was Bryan’s first full week back to work last week in a long time as well. We had our new nanny start last week and we both love her so far! Reese does as well and is cheery and happy when she sees her in the morning (but still happy to see me when I get home from work too!). While we started a few things we also finished our PEPs group with our last meeting, with a presentation on financial planning with babies and then the last hour spent socializing over a potluck of food and figuring out how to keep the group going. And we said goodbye to another Seahawk’s season with their wild card loss to the Cowboys last Saturday night.

We added to our babysitting rotation with our neighbor Lauren, who watched Reese sleep on Sunday night when Bryan and I dined with nine friends from FareStart at the James Beard award-winning restaurant, Junebaby. Our group of foodies went with the family tasting menu and were stuffed to the gills by the end of the night of Southern delicacies.

Reese and I dined into FareStart for another night while Bryan worked the night away; this time we had company of our friend’s Sarah and her daughter Lottie.

And I am trying to get back into the groove of working out now that I do have more energy and some time away from baby girl. My company is running in the 8k Viaduct Run at the beginning of February so some coworkers have started to run a time or two each week and I have joined on a few short and slow runs. I am also trying to get back into my Fitnessblender routine, leaving me sore several days in a row.

As should be expected, we have had a few bumps in the road including our great nanny coming under the weather for a few days and Reese getting her four month shots but overall things have been really great.

I don’t want shots or this other nanny, Mom.

Reese loves attention and has been getting lots of it everywhere we go. At restaurants, church, and especially at this past weekend’s baby shower for Carina. She got lots of it! Both of us had a good time at the shower, although I would say I came home more exhausted than she did as I was co-hosting this one with Polly.

But it was a wonderful weekend and Saturday was a wonderful day spent just the three of us and we went on a very long walk along the lake and Seward Park in the sunshine. We have started this year feeling very blessed and all those feel good feelings definitely make the work days go by faster!

Chelsea

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19 for 2019

My new list of self-improvement and wishes are hot off the press and this is what I’m looking to achieve to make 2019 a great year (note: this is just for me, none of these items are associated with Reese really).

  1. Run a 10k in an 8:30 pace.
  2. Break 140 watts in my 45-minute cycle class.
  3. Read 10 books.
  4. Learn to play a song on the guitar.
  5. Make 6 girls events happen.
  6. Be able to do 5 pull ups/chin ups (if not at once, at least in the same day).
  7. Visit or spend time with Chad.
  8. Do 10 hikes.
  9. Go on a vacation just the three of us (at least a total of 5 nights throughout the year).
  10. Visit 5 new restaurants to try.
  11. Baby proof and de-clutter the house.
  12. Go to a concert.
  13. Re-learn our lindy hop dance.
  14. Get in one self-care day/night per month.
  15. Get in one date day/night per month.
  16. Limit social media and cell phone usage to 30 minutes every night after 5 pm.
  17. Become more involved with our church beyond attendance
  18. Get Reese a passport
  19. Eat dinner at the table at least once a week.

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Ringing in 2019

I can’t say we partied the night away this New Year’s Eve…because we didn’t, but we did ring in the new year hopeful and excited for what the new year might bring. Pretty much every day, but New Year’s Eve, since getting home from Arizona has been enjoyable and we have gotten out with Reese quite a few times.

We’ve needed our fair share of naps too.

Bryan and Reese met me for a dumpling lunch in the International District on Thursday, we dined at Fat’s Chicken and Waffles Friday night (and the owner gave us dinner on the house as she had promised when we were there and I was in labor), we made 4-month birthday pancakes on Saturday morning (that didn’t save the Wolverines in their bowl game) and then got dinner at Eastlake Bar and Grill that night, and then walked to Harvest Vine for dinner Sunday night for another amazing meal and wine at our favorite restaurant.

Monday night was a challenge to stay awake and we rang in the New Year with a dinner at home and a bottle of bubbly that we toasted to at the Eastern time zone “midnight” and then were later woken in the night to fireworks and celebration from our partying neighbors. Definitely felt a bit lame but woke up feeling refreshed and full of energy.

We spent New Year’s Day in a great way. After beginning the year with a workout at home we got dressed and went over to our friend Anita’s for brunch and then we all set out for a long walk in the surprisingly nice weather. Tuesday night we had fellow Longhorn’s alums, Anne and Phillip (and Rosalie) to watch the Texas vs. Georgia bowl game that blew my mind with Texas’ victory. It was a very social day but one that I felt quite productive with and even managed to sort through Reese’s clothes to update it to all her 6-month clothes and cleaned up around the house.

As we start the New Year we are also starting a new nanny for Reese and a new modified “full time” position for me at work. I’m also contemplating my goals and wishes for the new year and will be drafting those in the next week or so but Bryan and I had a great conversation while dining at Harvest Vine remembering and analyzing the past several months and looking to the future for what is to come and how to be the best parents, spouses, friends, sons, daughters, volunteers, and employees that we can be..without wearing ourselves out. I’m very much looking forward to the new year and think we are all starting out on a good foot!

Chelsea