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A Visit for Valentine's

It’s only been a few days since our guests left but it seems like it has already been forever. We were lucky enough to have Grandma and Papa Miller come stay with us for a few nights to visit baby girl and do a few fun things around town. Overall, Reese was in a pleasant and sweet mood for her grandparents and Bryan and I were able to do a few things for ourselves at the same time.

Bryan picked his parents up from the airport last Wednesday night and met Reese and I at home with Thai food carryout for dinner. We caught up with one another and Reese enjoyed her first show and tell with her grandparents before going to bed.

Being sweet for Grandma

Thursday and Friday Reese got to spend the whole day with her grandparents while Bryan and I worked as usual. Both days she was a sweet baby girl with her parents away and didn’t give her grandparents too much trouble. She enjoyed a lot of books, puzzles and Sesame Street and a few walks outside and to Plum Tree Park.

A visit to Plum Tree Park

On Thursday night the four of us decided on an impromptu dinner at Palisade’s in Elliott Bay for their early prix-fixe three course meal, in lieu of no Guest Chef Night at FareStart. While us adults actually managed to have a three course dinner with a toddler at the table, including steelhead for all of us, crab bisques, delicious bread, and bread pudding and chocolate torte for dessert, Reese roamed the restaurant mainly interested in the live steelhead in their indoor pond. However, she did enjoy bites of the steelhead and of course the chocolate torte (chocolate is a new word!).

Enjoying her chocolate

Friday was Valentine’s Day and work was as usual, plus a staff meeting at my office. I brought home a whole pizza from our staff meeting to have for an easy dinner and a movie night, along with a bottle of vino, while Bryan outdid me and brought home flowers for both me and his mom and a balloon for his girl Reese. I was all about a low key night in and honestly was not feeling up to getting dressed and going out for the night.

Reese started off V-Day with a chocolate truffle, which she actually thought was a ball.

Thankful for the weekend and some time off at home with the Millers. Saturday started off per usual, Bryan made us banana pancakes and then was off to men’s group. Once he was home we all set out for toddler gym. Reese was pretty tired for the gym but still managed to spend an hour jumping from car to car, refusing to let anyone else go down the slide, and did go down the hotwheels car ramp a few times. Bryan and I were able to get in a quick workout and then got dressed up to go out for the night while the grandparents watched Reese. We had a delicious dinner at Shaker + Spear downtown before heading to our third play of the season at the Seattle Rep. This play, about two brothers, was in part a comedy and was enjoyed by us both.

While we were out Reese was having a good time with Grandma

Sunday was adventure day. We all attended church, which was a fantastic service, and then set forth for Poulsbo for the afternoon. We had an itchin’ for Tizley’s family platter and haven’t had since Lori visited over a year ago. Surely Reese would nap in the car on the hour plus drive to Poulsbo. Nope. The rain held off for the afternoon and was actually a pleasant afternoon to walk around town. We had one nap-protesting toddler with us though so she was a bit of a handful in the restaurant, at least once her bites of pretzel were gone. Bryan and I took shifts eating but it was delicious and per usual, the platter was finished without a problem. We browsed a few of the shops and went on a quick walk with Reese to a little kids park on the waterfront, in hopes to get her to take a nap, but no such luck on this afternoon. Surely she would nap on the drive back to the ferry. Nope. The ferry ride was enjoyable and the girl was having a blast but was all over the place. We got back in the car for the short drive home (at 5 pm) and she fell asleep. Go figure. She spent the next hour sleeping in her car seat in her bedroom.

Monday, being the one random holiday that I get off for work, was a day off for me and Bryan took the day off as well. I enjoyed my morning at home and then went to a Bodypump class up north late morning before dropping the Jeep off to get serviced. I returned home and Bryan got a run in in the sunshine. We cleaned up and packed up the car and set out to Seward Park to walk but that just turned into playground time for Reese which she thoroughly enjoyed. We had one last dinner with Lon and Trish before dropping them off at the airport and it was a good one. We wanted to check out the new seltzery by the Ethan Stowell team, located in SoDo, knowing that we love his food and they have a kids play area. Both did not dissappoint. Reese got to play in the kids area, stopping only for a short time to eat some fries, and the adults had a delicious dinner well priced off of the happy hour menu of amazing fish and chips, salad, burgers and dill fries, shishito pepper with aioli, chowder and grilled green beans. It was all delicious and I left stuffed. I’d definitely go back, the place was packed with families of small children.

It was nice to have the grandparents in town for some time and Reese definitely enjoyed her Grandma and Papa. They did a great job taking care of her while they were here and Bryan and I thoroughly enjoyed our one night out.

Chelsea

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Revived and Reunited

Bryan’s back, and as expected, Reese is feeling herself. Joy! This week has felt much more normal than the previous week and I think all three of us have reveled in that fact. Despite it still raining mostly nonstop (with some light snow on Tuesday) we are all in good moods because of being back in a routine/normalcy. Scenes from Super Bowl Sunday (before Bryan’s return):

Bryan didn’t actually get to reunite with Reese until Monday evening as she was already in bed by the time he got home Sunday night at midnight and she was still sleeping when he left for work around 6:30 am on Monday morning. But when she was reunited, she gave him no stink eye, no cold shoulder, nothing more than a big ol’ hug and lots of giggles, laughs and cuddles all night, and pretty much all week she has been super sweet to her daddy. She’s even giving me more of a break at times.

We enjoyed a few dinners at home this week, we all attended the FareStart monthly community dinner on Wednesday and were all back at FareStart this week for Guest Chef Night. Bryan has had retention meetings for the first half of the week which moved him to Boeing Field instead of Auburn and I spent one day in Redmond and had my first PT appointment to sort out this issue with the knee pain that I have been dealing with for a few months now. Aside from trying to get in some exercise when I can I have also been trying to put in hours of studying for the SE whenever I get the chance to.

Our nanny has been keeping the girls busy during the day lately and they continue to explore new activities, adventures, and fun. This week they did some coloring with crayons, finger paints and watercolor ice cubes.

They went to the toddler gym once and got outside when they could at our house.

And Thursday they went to the Burke Museum at UW for the monthly free museum day. Reese has been slow to work her appetite back up from being sick and it has probably been compounded by the fact that we think she is getting two more top teeth in now. Because of that, she has still had bouts of high temps and not sleeping her best at night, although she decided to take a 4 hour nap for the nanny on Wednesday!

I’m so happy to have both my husband and my daughter back in action and I am looking forward to whatever the weekend entails. Reese got to visit my office early this morning and then spent the rest of the morning and afternoon with her daddy around town as our nanny called out sick. She’s having fun!

Hopefully we get a glimpse of the sun at some point would be a nice change of pace!

Chelsea

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Our 17 Month Old!

I didn’t know that 17 months came with so many opinions but Reese has them these days. Whether it be which shoes she wears, what jacket she wears, what highchair she sits in, what bib she wants, the list goes on, she wants to let you know what her preference is. That has been the biggest change I have seen in her this last month. Well, that and saying “no” or “no, no, no” all day everyday. She’s definitely testing her limits when it comes to decision-making and at times it is hilarious and at other times it can be frustrating. She literally had a meltdown the other night before dinner and it was lost on us what was going on until we realized that she was in the wrong high chair with the wrong bib. Issue solved! Aside from opinions, what’s the girl doing these days?

  • Her vocabulary continues to grow. New words include: baby, neigh, airplane, up, down, out, mine, milk, two, water, elmo, shoot.
  • Lately she has really gotten into cherry tomatoes and she also likes to dip things (fries, veggies, pancake bites, etc).
  • Her climbing skills continue although sometimes she gets a little too fearless, case in point when she flipped off the side of the couch (thankfully she was caught before falling).
  • She’s become a great little walker and most times will hold your hand down the street.
  • She can go down the stairs correctly, she just needs to be reminded that that is how you are supposed to do it.
  • She loves riding the bus. The other day, while I was paying the bus fare, she went and picked out her seat all by herself. She’s the calmest I’ve ever seen her on the bus for whatever reason.
  • She is not calm at FareStart but loves it. She runs around that place like she owns it. She knows where all the rooms and stairs are and particularly loves their bread.
  • She likes to sit and read books by herself a lot lately. Both her and Lottie will read book after book themselves just looking at the pages.
  • We got some chalk for her easel and she thinks that is pretty neat to draw on.
  • We have made drastic improvement with sleeping at night. It really only took one night of me going in at her regularly timed wake ups in the middle of the night to provide her comfort but not nurse and since then she has slept from at least 8 pm to 5 or 6 am with at most one wake up and often with no wake ups. And those wake ups only require a quick pick up, pat on the back, and she’s back down in her crib fast asleep. Hallelujah! I was beginning to think I was never going to get more than 4 hours of sleep in a row again.
  • I can sense that sharing is going to be our next struggle. She’s pretty reluctant to give up a toy that she knows another kid wants.
  • She has no issue getting outdoor gear on because that means she is going outside. She doesn’t care what the weather is.
  • We got two stools for the bathrooms and she loves them and loves to stand there talking to herself in the mirror.
  • We also got a potty seat and I put her on it once and she cried…

Onto another month here soon and always so curious what that might bring.

Chelsea

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Optimism Challenged

This week has definitely been a lot to handle, mentally, physically and emotionally. I was looking forward to a week with just my girl, Bryan is out of town, but basically before we even got our week started Reese came down with an awful cold and everything went out the window. I noticed a bad cough on Sunday but the cough only came a handful of times throughout the entire day and there was no other indication that anything else wasn’t right with her. We enjoyed the day spent at church, taking a good nap, and then going for a run and to U Village to play on their playground structure and grab a quick dinner. Reese didn’t want a bite and when I put her down for bed was when I heard the cough pick up and I got a little worried.

3:45 AM and Reese has woken me up in bouts of coughing fits. She manages to go in and out of sleep but with her bad cough and what sounds like difficulty getting a full breath I’m laying there wide awake, until about 6 am when we go downstairs. At this point Reese is awake and crying “Mommmmm”. I’m debating what to do. I call the nurse’s line and leave a message and then get Reese in the car to go to Seattle Children’s Hospital. I’m nearly there when the nurse’s line calls back, asks a bunch of questions, tells me it sounds like croup and to make an appointment at our normal clinic when they open at 8 AM. We head home, Reese (and myself) both fall asleep and take a nap, wake up and call the clinic and they have no appointments available and tell me to get assessed at Seattle Children’s. Reese is hungry and eats a ton at breakfast and then we get back in the car to go to the children’s ER. We are there about 90 minutes and Reese gets checked out by a few doctors and they say she has croup and give her an oral steroid to reduce inflammation but you can’t even tell anything is amiss as she is jumping up and down on the hospital bed and begging to blow bubbles.

That’s how most of Monday and Tuesday went; at times she seemed tired and clingy, she’d cough occasionally (mostly at nap or bed time), didn’t sleep well but had lots of energy (cue terrible duo for her mom) and still really wanted to be outside. I thought Reese was ready to get back into her daily routine on Tuesday but we waited one more day just to be safe. We went to the library story time at the Beacon Hill branch on Tuesday and also to the park. We made it a good day.

Then Wednesday came and she was so much worse and my patience and energy were dwindling. I called the doctor because her situation was getting worse and they told me they did want me to come back in, which we did at 4 PM. By this third day, she was now coughing more, sneezing a bunch, and with every sneeze there was just an insane amount of boogies. She was miserable at home so we had to get out of the house but it was pouring down rain so we went to the Garfield Community Center for their tot gym. I know I took a sick kid to a public place but every single kid there was coughing. Reese had a blast, despite being sick, and came back to nap before her doctors appointment. The doctor confirmed that it is just a very bad cold and usually days 3-5 are the worst. Great! We are on day 3 so does that mean we still had two more bad days? Yes, pretty much.

But Wednesday was by far the worst. Thursday she was a bit better and knowing that she doesn’t have a fever and it is just a cold I decided to try her at Sarah’s for a little bit just so I could get some relief and get a few things done. She didn’t want me to leave at first but then settled in and took a 3 hour nap over there. But once up she wasn’t easily comforted (she was still protesting all food for the second day in a row) and I went to go pick her back up around 2:30 PM. The short break did wonders for me though and we came back home and had fun around the house.

And I’m finally back at work today on my normal schedule. Her boogies are now thick and causing her to stuff up but she has started eating some things again and seems in a more chipper mood. She still isn’t sleeping great so I’m back to feeling like Zombie Mom but it’s nice to have at least one normalish day this week. I wish they had all been like this and this week would have been a breeze, and more social, and more fun, but at least we are on the mend and hopefully she will get back to her good sleeping routine soon after she is fully recovered. And this whole experience definitely makes me feel grateful that she has had so few times of being sick in her life this far.

Feeling optimistic about the weekend (although this rain has got to stop) and definitely looking forward for Bryan returning home. I’m sure she is going to be feeling better right when he does get home, go figure!

Chelsea

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Optimistic

You definitely wonder sometimes what you are doing wrong when things aren’t going your way. It’s easy to get frustrated, down and dejected. It’s easy to think of what could have been or what you missed. I do that a lot. And with how this month has been, I’ve definitely had the hours, the days, and the weeks spent thinking just those thoughts.

But I’m switching gears and looking optimistically at what IS right and what the future holds. This crazy trip called life isn’t ever perfect but it is beautiful and every moment, even the difficult times, should be cherished. I’ve learned from my own past experiences that the difficult times are usually times of growth, strength and self-awareness. They are times of leaning on others and into faith. The journey might not be the easiest or full of rainbows and sunshine but the outcome can be even better.

So in being grateful and optimistic, thank goodness it is Friday and January is almost over. JK.

Thank goodness for this girl who is usually always happy!

But in reality, I’m thankful for a strong and close (even if not in location) family, I’m thankful for a supportive and caring husband, I’m thankful for a sweet and spunky daughter, I’m thankful for having the time to study for my future, I’m thankful for planning events to spend time with friends, I’m thankful for having the mental stability to get through difficult times.

This week has been like much of January; a slew of ups and downs throughout the week. Reese is starting to express her will and opinions anywhere and everywhere so I have had some mornings where it takes forever to get her ready and Bryan was put through the ringer at FareStart last night. This week we also took the first step into looking at Reese’s future care/schooling. We visited one daycare center and one school. Both show promises for sure but also bring a slew of applications, decision making, and conversations with our current working situation. And downtown Seattle has experienced a few shootings this week which is not a common occurrence for us. Thankfully Bryan and I had a midweek date night out (after one school tour), dining at our favorite restaurant for dinner and having a wonderful conversation. It was needed to touch base and come together before Bryan leaves for a week on Sunday.

January is nearly over and the rest of the year is looking very optimistic. I know 2020 has it in it.

Chelsea

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Our 16 Month Old!

Reese is definitely a toddler these days. She is mostly sweet and good to her parents but there are some days where she is just in a mood or more likely to have a tantrum over something. However, I’d say she is more upbeat and bubbly than down or moody on the average. She is quickly catching on to how things work these days and it is amazing seeing the gears working as she explores and figures things out. So much fun to watch. So what’s new with her these days?

  • Her vocabulary is slowly but surely expanding. New words include: bye bye, big truck (loosely), some animal noises, hi, verbal “no” (instead of just shaking her head), yeah, hot, out (for outside), shoe.
  • Her appetite has been on an uptick most days and I find myself scratching my head for other food/snack ideas. She is a snacker more so than one who does big meals, which is fine except you have to keep in mind what sort of mess a snack will make as she carries it around the room with her.
  • She is loving climbing right now. She likes to taunt us by climbing on the couch and peeking in and yelling at whoever is in the kitchen. She also likes to pull herself onto the ottoman.
  • She runs everywhere! The only time she moves at a walking pace is when we naturally want her to move a little faster.
  • She likes to go grocery shopping; either riding in the cart or pushing a kids cart around if they have one.
  • She has a sweet tooth and knows where there might be any cookies, donuts or the like placed on the counter.
  • She chooses the book we read at bedtime now. It’s surprising to me how she now has a preference for what book to read and I’m usually surprised by her requests.
  • Diaper changes can still sometimes be a struggle and you might find yourself chasing a naked baby around the house. However, she is good about getting her boppy pillow down and laying there during diaper changes. She also is beginning to understand when she has gone #1 and #2.
  • She is really getting the hang of slides and that seems to be her preference at the playground these days. Swings are still high up there though.
  • She’s starting to figure out shapes with blocks, build things with legos, and will pretend play with various items.
  • Her favorite show is quickly becoming Dr. Pol (high five on that one Bryan!). Her animal fascination is high.
  • She still refuses to drink cow’s milk but has tried juice and seems to like it but still mainly a water girl but sparkling water is her #1.
  • She’s grown out of a fair amount of her 12 month clothes so I have put many away and will be shortly getting out new 18 month clothes. Fun! She is also now in size 5 shoes and we have had to retire a few of my favorite shoes of hers already.
  • She’s shot up in height a lot in just the past two weeks. She is currently breaking the 20 lb mark as well.

Chelsea

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1-Star Rating for 2020

So far 2020 is definitely out to get us. I don’t know what we did in 2019 to deserve this but we are less than a week into 2020 and pretty much nothing has gone as I would have liked. NOTHING!

  • Our flight was cancelled on the way back to Seattle (this started in 2019 but was largely the way we began the year)
  • Bryan had to sweet talk the hotel shuttle bus into giving him a ride to CVS from the hotel so that we could buy more diapers as we were literally all out
  • Our NYE luxury delivery dinner through Bite Squad to our Embassy Suites Detroit Metro hotel was cancelled, after calling three times to confirm the order and after waiting 3 hours for said delivery dinner
  • Bryan got us a so-so dinner from the hotel next door that thankfully was still open, but stepped in big puddle on the way to getting us this much needed dinner
  • Michigan lost to Alabama in the Citrus Bowl (expected but still a bummer)
  • Bryan got some stomach bug immediately upon getting back to Seattle and was home from work both Thursday and Friday (either Dallas airport food or Detroit hotel food is the theoretical culprit)
  • Nanny also came down with something, preventing her from watching the girls on Friday and me staying home to care for Reese (this wasn’t the end of the world but still precious PTO hours!)
  • We were asked to serve in the Toddler Room at church for the first Sunday of the year, while Bryan was still not feeling great (amen for only three babies this week)
  • Michigan lost to Michigan State in basketball
  • Our water heater is currently broken and we are planning on taking showers at the YMCA up the street from us tonight…

If 2020 delivers any more bad luck in the next week I’m not sure what I will do. I’m definitely not going gambling anytime soon! 2020 most certainly has some work to do to improve its current rating.

Chelsea