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A Cold, A Pumpkin, and a Football Game = FALL!

What a fall weekend! After our wonderful staycation at the Hotel Monaco, complete with an afternoon off for Bryan and I as we got a huge drool-worthy dim sum lunch at Jade Garden and watched the latest Bond movie in plush lounge chairs in the movie theater, we checked out of the hotel and headed back home on Saturday.

Our stop at home was brief though as we had a friend’s pumpkin carving pumpkin to attend Saturday afternoon. After Reese’s nap, we set north to Luis and Carina’s house where we spent the next several hours eating way too many pumpkin cookies, carving one of our pumpkins, catching up with friends, enjoying some hot apple cider, and Reese ran around with Eliana the whole time. We headed home with stomach aches from all the sugar and made a late dinner at home while watching the Kraken home opener.

After such an eventful few days, Sunday was not eventful in the least. Reese was battling a cold that didn’t necessarily upset her but between that and the rainy and gusty weather, we spent the day inside, playing with toys, watching some football and a lot of movies. We talked to all the grandparents and we had some spicy noodle soup to cure the rainy day blues. Reese seemed to be feeling more like herself on Monday and had a great day at school, really enjoying the decked out playground equipment that is now a haunted house.

We picked her up a little after 4 pm and took her straight over to our neighbor’s house so she could play and have dinner with Eloise and her family while Bryan and I went to our one and only Seahawks game of the season, the Monday Night Football game against the New Orleans Saints. It was still a rainy and cool evening but we were able to hop on the light rail and got to our sets just shortly after the 5:15 pm kickoff and were certainly high enough to be completely sheltered from the rain. Without Russell playing or our starting running back, our team is hurting, and although we led most of the game we ended with another loss. It was a bummer that we didn’t get the win but was still fun to go to a game. I did alright hiking up all the stairs to our seats as well although with the crowd’s excitement in the second half, baby started going bonkers. We picked up some Pagliacci pizzas slices on our way home and were so thankful to already have our baby girl asleep in her bed when we got home.

The rest of this week is calling for rain and I am not here for it. But I am A-OK with the predicted sunny skies this weekend as we will have an outdoor birthday party to attend on Saturday and of course Halloween, party and trick or treating to hit up on Sunday. I’m starting to feel done with the pregnancy at this point. Sitting is no longer all that comfortable period and this baby is one on the move making it quite uncomfortable for much of the day. Heartburn is starting to come back a little bit and some fatigue. I’m still able to walk and am physically able to do things but I’ll be ready when this baby is ready. I still can’t believe with Reese I would have had 7 weeks to go. I’d be okay with just the three weeks this time around!

Chelsea

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35 Years Wonderful!

I never did provide a recap of my birthday this year, and it was a good one indeed. Reese slept in, which meant I slept in, and we had a mad dash to get to school and drove because of some light rain (and being late). Bryan and Reese also sang “Happy Birthday” to me in the morning before leaving. I got my free Starbucks cappuccino and settled in to a short day of work from home. I wanted to spend some time with Reese before Bryan and I went out for the evening so I left on foot around 3 PM to pick her up from school and head to Garfield Park in the afternoon sunshine. We had a good time at the park just the two of us, playing Queen of the Mountain on top of the slide. After quite some time at the park we headed back home so that I could quickly change for our date night out!

We had dinner reservations at our favorite Spanish restaurant down the street, Harvest Vine. The food was as delicious as ever. We stuck to all the main dishes with particular favorites of the cuddlefish with squid ink fideo and aioli, the Iberico pork with potatoes and cider sauce, and the seared sea bass with crispy serrano ham, peppers and garlc aioli. They brought us out flan on the house for my birthday and the whole vibe of the meal was great as always. We also finally got to discuss baby names to narrow the list down a bit. After dinner we had a jazz concert to make for the Earshot Jazz Festival. The vocalist was Eugenie Jones, whom we have seen a few times and really enjoy her voice, songs and personality. The concert was held at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center which is near us but we had never been to before. It was a great concert and the first time seeing live music in such a long time.

I finished my birthday off with getting my hair highlighted on Friday and then celebrating with Bryan’s homemade chocolate peanut butter cream cheese frosting birthday cake at our friends house on Saturday. Reese helped me blow out the birthday candles and we enjoyed the cake for a few days at home after.

Our party girl at the Oktoberfest Party on Saturday

Back to the daily grind this week and already so ready for the week to come to an end. I had my 34 week midwives appointment on Wednesday, the house is now clean, and we are actually spending the next two nights in a hotel downtown for a mini (and free thanks to mystery shopping) staycation. Bryan and I are planning on taking the afternoon off tomorrow to have a little day date downtown with a dim sum lunch followed up with seeing the new Bond movie. I can’t wait!

Chelsea

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Reese Lately

It’s been some time since I have done a post on Reese’s latest and greatest. She’s an abundant talker right now and continues to mature in front of our eyes on the daily. Here is what she’s all about lately:

  • She loves making “cupcakes” and “towers” with her Picasso tiles. This is one of her absolute favorite things to do right now. Currently, I am getting most of said cupcakes and I get sung to with “Happy Birthday” at the presentation of each and every cupcake.
  • She is currently using her Little Tykes slide to help her get items off of the kitchen counter. It’s far easier for her to move around the kitchen then the learning tower. Fortunately, she doesn’t seem to do this without us present in the kitchen. I may or may not have taught her this skill so that she could become a little more independent when she needs a bowl or snack or whatever with another baby on the way.
  • She likes to be carried up to bed “like a baby”. This means she lies back and gets rocked to “Rock a Bye Baby” as we carry her up the stairs to her bed.
  • She’d prefer to sleep in Mama and Daddy’s bed though. She did this the last two nights that Bryan was gone to Charleston and fortunately hasn’t needed to do it since but she still comes into our room in the middle of the night every night.
  • She has been liking to play with her doctor kit and taking care of her babies and it is pretty darn cute at it. She likes the new baby’s room furniture in general so that has become a whole new playroom of sorts.
  • She rode her first horse (well, the smallest pony on the farm) last weekend after absolutely refusing last year. She was nervous but conquered her fear and did great.
  • She also rode her first rollercoaster and loved every minute of it. This girl is a thrill seeker.
  • She can definitely do the fireman’s pole on her own now and if she can reach the monkey bars by herself she can also do the monkey bars by herself. We have also become comfortable with what we now refer to as “The Big Blue Slide” with the obstacle of ropes to get to the top of the slide.
  • She can count to 20, I’ve heard her do it a few times, she just won’t ever do it upon request.
  • This girl is all about popsicles right now. She asks for an Otter Pop nearly every night, sometimes two.
  • Reese has been quick to say, “Oh thank you Mom” when I tell her hair looks nice or I like her shirt or if I give her something in particular. It is super cute.
  • Currently, if there is a spill or she does something that makes me huff, without skipping a beat or changing her facial expressions, she asks me, “Are you happy Mom?”. This cracks me up. She doesn’t ask if I’m mad, sad, or disappointed, she asks me if I am happy. Of which I respond, “Well, no, but I love you.”
  • She’s certainly passed the 36″ mark. I already knew this had to be true but now we have visuals of it from the height chart from the pumpkin patch this past weekend.

That’s her in the smallest nutshell as of late. She brings me joy still each and every day and I just love all of the cuddles that I still get. Holding on to those preciously these next six plus weeks.

Chelsea

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Another Week Getting Closer

This week was another week without Bryan at home 😦 and another week of making preparations to bring home baby #2. I spent the majority of the week at home, going into the office only one day, and was fortunately able to tick a few things off of my To-Do list despite a busy week with work. The days were busy and the nights were spent with Reese at the park or trying to find fun things to do. We were fortunate with nice fall weather and only a few partial days of rain that allowed us to get out and around town.

The major difference with this week of Bryan gone and the last is that he was also gone the entire weekend. Instead of pancakes and walks the three of us and watching the Seahawks with my partner we had to make due without him, which is certainly less fun. Saturday was truly a busy day with glorious fall weather so Reese and I set out for the long walk to Montlake to enjoy the big blue slide she is such a fan of these days. After quite some time at the park we headed home for lunch and nap before setting out again on another adventure.

It was opening day of three new light rail stations, each that I was involved with in one way or another, starting ten years earlier when I first moved to Seattle. Polly’s company was also in charge of setting up the Opening Day party in the University District so Reese and I bussed to the University District to meet up with our friend Deana to try to hit up a few of the $3 food specials and say “Hi” to Polly. Reese is all about the bus so she did not need to be talked into this. We met up at Xi’an first as I’ve been wanting to try their spicy beef hand pulled noodles and we got that and their spicy broccoli salad. The entire thing, for $6 was incredibly filling and a large portion, which was a good thing because by this point many restaurants had either sold out of their items or the line was incredibly long. We also were able to snag a table to eat outside. It was good to be able to catch up with Deana one on one and we then walked towards the main part of the festival where we got some delicious ice cream from Sweet Alchemy and listened to some of the live music at the outdoor stage. We finally found Polly, who was still busy with working the event, but Reese was so excited to say “Hi” to her. We decided to all ride the train back, Reese and I getting off at the Capitol Hill station and then catching the bus the rest of the way home. It was a fun and eventful but exhausting day out and about.

Sunday was way, way more low key and spent primarily around our house. Reese was into all of her toys and literally played with each and every one of them while I played with her and also caught a good majority of the Seahawks game with a great win over the 49ers. It was also a misty dreary morning so we weren’t keen on leaving for some time anyways. We did finally set out by car for Jefferson Park in the late afternoon to hit up a new park for awhile before getting chicken sandwiches and fries fast food on our way back home, what has become a tradition of sorts while Bryan is away for work.

The week has been mostly the usual. Reese is learning about spiders at school and seems to be getting more and more comfortable with her new friends and teachers. We went to a park everyday but Tuesday as we had plans to drop off food for Luis and Carina’s Meal Train. Carina is also flying solo rather often these days with Luis having to travel 1-3 days a week so she asked if we wanted to stay for dinner, which I gladly accepted. Reese got to play with Eliana and we picked up tamales from Frelard Tamales to go with the salad, rice, and beans I made. To say that Carina has a hectic life right now is no exaggeration, she does not have an easy baby on her hands. I got to hold baby Lucas for about an hour which was not necessarily an easy task. It was definitely a glimpse into what may lay ahead for me. The good news is that Reese is becoming a bit more independent on certain tasks (i.e. getting dressed, getting snacks out of the kitchen, brushing her teeth, going potty, etc.) and still seems to have a timid curiosity with babies (much like that with dogs) which is probably a good thing.

And to close out the week Reese and I are heading out to a new park tonight and then getting dinner from Duke’s. Being my birthday month, I got a flood of emails at the beginning of this week with free deals (meals, softserve, etc.) so I figured I might as well use one while we are on our own so dinner tonight is on the house! Bryan gets back late tonight and we are both so ready. While he was away I did get a good deal done around the house. I got a good haul of adorable newborn clothes from a neighbor and washed and put those away. I finally got some sheet sets for the new daybed in the nursery and washed and put those away. I washed Reese’s car seat and our diaper bag to get that ready for the hospital and general use here soon. I got cold weather gear out, cleaned out and organized the freezer and cleaned out the car.

Lottie and Harold were to our surprise at the park tonight

Very much looking forward to the fall weekend ahead with Bryan home and then birthday plans just the two of us next week!

Chelsea

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Falling into Fall

Whether I am ready for it or not I guess that fall is presenting itself and I am going to have to accept that. After literally months of no rain, the rainy season is upon us. We had some wet weather this past weekend but it wasn’t as bad as the forecast indicated and we made it to the park both days and actually had glorious weather on Saturday. Reese and I took a long walk to Montlake Park to do the big, big, big slide, which she is now so capable of and terrifies me way less, and Bryan met us at the park before hitting up the Eastlake patio, still in a sleeveless shirt and quite comfortable. The views of the lake and the boats heading home at dusk were really gorgeous and we had a few flurries of wind that showered us with gold colored leaves while at the park which even Reese marveled at. Fall is not so bad! Reese has been learning about fall/autumn this week at school too so here we go. Appropriately she brought a football and pom poms to school today for Show and Share because that’s what we think of fall (she also wore her Seahawks cheerleading outfit).

We enjoyed having Bryan home this weekend so much. He made us breakfast both days and helped to watch Lottie on Saturday morning while we had the two girls until the afternoon. They were more like sisters than friends on this occasion, both a little irritable, so I was grateful to have him there. We hit up Lowrider for cookies on Sunday after our park haunt and before the horrible Seahawks loss to Minnesota. And I miraculously was able to score the dresser that I needed from IKEA at the end of last week and Bryan put that together for me on Sunday morning and it’s now in the nursery and with all of our newborn clothes and knick knacks ready to go!

I’ve cooked the past few nights, for the first time in what seems like literally months. And I’m continuing that trend with the help of the always delicious Seattle Fish Guys Fish 4 Dayz menu this week (halibut, salmon, bacon wrapped scallops and black cod on the menu this week!). I have to get in as much as I can while Bryan is here as he is leaving us again tomorrow morning for another week in Charleston, which means another week of Reese and I getting takeout or doing heat and eat meals every night (and a week of dining out for Bryan so it’s a good reprieve for all of us with home cooked meals).

I feel like my head is actually starting to understand the fact that we will be having a very new baby here soon and what that means in terms of…everything. I actually spent a morning going over old documents: to dos before labor, birth plan, my leave of absence calendar, etc. and it was a vivid walk down memory lane and a wake up call that we still have a few more things to do to get ready to welcome baby home. We will get there. I’ve scored a few things off of Buy Nothing were some of the missing items we needed and there are a few things left to get.

Farewell my friend. This was literally just about a week before it was taken as I was impressed it hadn’t been towed while we were in Michigan.

In other news and events this week, I enjoyed two free coffees from Starbucks for their 50th anniversary on Wednesday, first after dropping off Reese and in the afternoon I made a pick-me-up stop at the Roastery for a fancy brew. I’m trying to retrain my hair to be curly, which is a very temperamental and slow going experiment of sorts but one I figured I should try now when being mostly at home with both work and in welcoming a new baby. This means putting away the blow dryer (except for diffusing which I don’t have appropriate time for) and assessing the condition of my hair. I’m trying a new deep conditioner and testing my patience on my hair. And also testing my patience is realizing that my scooter was stolen last Thursday. Although my scooter was already 8 years old, I’m sad to not have it with me anymore, especially for the convenience of getting to and from the office. I’ll be purchasing another for sure because they just make sense in the city and are fun to ride but it was an ordeal reporting the bike stolen to the police and now being on the search for another one. So long Raider Red! Bryan thinks our next scooter should be burnt orange (while Reese told me she thinks it should be blue).

Chelsea

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Last Ten Weeks

It’s shocking that I have already hit the 30 week mark and only have less than ten weeks left to go. That time is going to fly I just know and I still feel like we aren’t fully prepared for this. I’ve still been feeling pretty good and mobile although I feel like my belly has increased twofold in the past two weeks and is still growing at a rapid speed. Other noticeable side effects and things going on now that I have entered the third trimester:

  • Difficulty breathing, getting a full breath, getting winded much easier, sometimes even when I am just sitting. Good posture helps 😦
  • Fatigue is starting to creep back in. I feel like I could take a nap most days and am tired at night at an earlier hour.
  • Fullness. My belly just doesn’t like getting more cramped these days.
  • Belly itchy at times thanks to the stretching out.
  • Squats are starting to get more difficult just from a space situation.
  • I am definitely running hot, especially at night.
  • Thankfully swelling has not yet started in my legs but I remember that being especially bad in the last month.
  • Similarly, my back has not hurt as much this time around but that might be thanks to my strength training, or maybe not.
  • I have to go to the bathroom A LOT.
  • Baby is very active and at all hours of the day. No need for kick counts with this one right now.

The nursery is definitely still a work in progress but with the crib, daybed and bassinet all set up it’ll work. I also have the curtain room divider up that I really like and I pulled out all of our newborn clothes which, thankfully, are all neutral in colors! Will still need to get some newborn diapers and install the infant car seat at some point but I am also waiting on the IKEA dresser I want to be back in stock (it’s been out of stock now for well over a month) so that I can put away the clothes, store diapers, etc. I have two of the three cross stitch projects done and I have a planned mobile to make above the crib but haven’t gone about buying the (minimal) supplies for it yet.

Another big to do is picking out names. We have talked hardly more than about 20 minutes on a walk one time about names, and this was months ago, which I stored all in my phone to discuss at a later date. Next date night this is going to be a discussion point or else I am going to start sweating on that one.

And Reese seems to be getting more serious about it all as well. We’ve tried talking more about the ways in which she can help when the baby is born so that she feels like she is apart of it all. She loves to lay her head on baby at night and she is being much more gentle with my belly. She has felt for baby’s movements a few times and to my surprise wasn’t completely freaked about that. She also talks nearly daily about what baby does or does not like (i.e. cold, pats, dancing, etc).

Reese and I have been solo this week with Bryan in Charleston and we have had a nice week. It’s been very pleasant out, very nice for fall weather. We’ve had cool mornings but warm afternoons and have been able to get out to the park a few times. We had a play date at a friend’s house on Wednesday which was a nice treat and Reese and I had a soft serve ice cream date as well. We get Bryan home this evening and I am much looking forward to that!

Chelsea

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Moving Around Michigan

We’ve now been back for just about two days from our 10 day stint in Michigan and what a great trip we had. It seems we were a little bit everywhere in Michigan which really made the time fly and fun to be had. After Bryan was home for only about 18 hours, we packed up our bags and got an Uber ride to the airport Saturday around 8 am. We had a smooth flight to Detroit and landed at about 6 pm local time. My parents were there to take us back to their house with initial plans to eat dinner and then head north to the cottage but calculating drive and arrival time, we decided to head up to the cottage the next morning. We picked up an old favorite; Aladdin’s Middleeastern and broke out all the toys in East Lansing before Reese was ready for bed after midnight local time.

Sunday morning we set forth for the cottage, arriving just after noon and shortly thereafter getting to see Chad and meet Sarah for the first time. We spent the day checking out the pontoon boat, the “castle” (aka Grandma’s potting shed), the lake and sand, took a paddle boat ride over to the island where Reese swam for all of five minutes (it was mid 70s but windy on the island and she got a bit chilled quick and was ready for a nap), and then made foil dinners over the campfire before letting Reese have one last birthday hoorah with a chocolate cake with purple icing made by Grammy. Reese was all about the cake and opening a few presents and this really made her day. Fortunately with only a short nap Reese went to bed earlier than the previous night.

The next few days went much the same way as we enjoyed the gloriousness of just being at the cottage; the fresh air, the food, the campfire, some walks, and each other. Reese played a lot of chase and hide and go seek with Grammy and Grandad. Jennette and Terry arrived Monday morning and the boys were able to go out to Cadillac to play pickleball (the first time for Bryan and he really enjoyed it). We had to say goodbye to Chad and Sarah Monday afternoon but were to see them again the next weekend. Mom made her shrimp boil on Monday night which was as delicious as ever; especially after not having had it for over two years. Terry made everyone waffles Tuesday morning and we enjoyed a peaceful morning.

Reese and I got out with Grandpa on a Gator ride through the State lands and I think Reese enjoyed this bumpy ride through the woods, although she nearly fell asleep. Shortly thereafter we all cozied up in the cottage to watch a storm coming in. We actually got a tornado warning just as I was putting Reese down for a nap. Fortunately, Reese went to sleep right away on the couch downstairs with us all inside and slept through the whole thing. Other then a nice lightening show and losing power for a few hours, we didn’t get any damage or see the actual tornado. We were back at it outside shortly after the storm, grilling burgers and playing cards.

Wednesday we had plans to head back to East Lansing around Reese’s nap time. Bryan and I got a kayak ride in before we had to head back and we said our goodbyes and packed up the car for the ride back. We got back to EL in late afternoon and picked up some Greek food from Lou and Harry’s to enjoy at the patio table outside before setting out for a long walk to Patriach Park to let Reese get her playground needs out. This park has changed since I lived there (after they took down the massive wood playground) but it is still big and excellent and Reese loved it. We were not in a rush and thus didn’t leave the park until nearly 7 pm. We returned home and picked up pizza slices from another much loved place; Georgio’s on campus.

Thursday and Friday were work days for everyone in some fashion other than myself. I watched Reese throughout the day and then tried to get in a workout or a little work during her nap time. We had no real plans these days, which was nice. Chad came to EL on Thursday night to hang out and worked from there on Friday. Mom and I got out for a girl’s mani-pedi session while the boys both tag-teamed watching Reese and making dinner of grilled salmon. Friday afternoon the boys headed out to have a round of frisbee golf while I met up with my good friend Claire at the Michigan State Marching Band practice. I finally got to meet her daughter Ada who was just about to turn 1 and Reese enjoyed watching the band, the color guard and particularly the paton twirlers. After the band’s practice Reese was itching to get on the field, took off her socks and shoes, and started sprinting back and forth. We walked to meet Mom at a playground and then the boys suggesting getting dinner at Black Cat Bistro downtown so we walked there next and got an outdoor table for our party of six and Sophie. We had a good meal and then walked the mile or so back home.

Saturday was our one busy day left as we had tickets to the Michigan vs. Washington game at the Big House in Ann Arbor. We all set forth for Ann Arbor around midday, found parking spots for the cars and then met up at Grizzly Peak for a late lunch to tide us over and through game time. It’s been years since I’ve dined at Grizzly Peak but it is still excellent. We almost all got the brewery steak sandwich which comes with amazing toppings and served between two potato latkes (instead of bread) and meant to be eaten with knife and fork. Mom and I split one so we could also enjoy their delicious crinkle cut sweet potato fries. Us ladies left to walk through town a bit. We got Reese a juice at a café and then headed to UM outfitters store where Reese picked out some pom poms for $1 and a new pink Nalgeen with “MICHIGAN” on it to keep at school.

Reese was tired at this point so Bryan and I walked her and mom to the car for them to take back to East Lansing and then Bryan and I walked down Main Street to meet up with Chad’s friends and Sarah at their tailgate at the golf course neighboring the stadium. Bryan had some drinks and we enjoyed the time until it was ready to head in for the 8:20 pm game. We had great seats and it was so fantastic to finally be back in the stadium, the first time for Bryan and the first time for me since leaving school. It was an enjoyable game, good outcome, still undecided on how good Michigan is this year but certainly better than Washington. We enjoyed a few snacks and water but other than that were focused on the game. The game finished with Michigan beating Washington, just before midnight and we drove back to EL getting home around 1 am to mom who was still awake.

After all of us had gone to bed after 2 am on Saturday night, it’s no wonder that we felt hungover and like zombies come Sunday morning. Well, all of us except for Reese who was chipper. We broke out the splash pad that she got and she enjoyed running through that for some time. We watched the NFL games when we could and then got ready to head down to my parent’s neighborhood annual picnic which just so happened to be while we were there. And it was fun (for families with kids at least)! Reese got to sit in a firetruck and was really thrilled with that. There were tons of kids there and we checked out the playground for awhile. My friend Nisa met up with us there so that we could catch up and two other kids (who are now parents of three) that I graduated with were also there as they live in the neighborhood. We had a nice little catch up, enjoyed a few of the cookies (we were doing dinner at home) and then a shaved ice truck arrived and we let Reese get a shaved ice (especially since it was all free). It was enjoyable and we stayed for a few hours before heading home, having a great homecooked dinner, then enjoying the fire patio table for some time before going to bed, which we all needed after the previous night.

Monday through Wednesday were again workdays for most, including myself when I could, still mostly while Reese napped. We visited some more playgrounds, went for some walks, played with the splash pad and other toys around the house. Bryan and I were able to go out for a date night on Monday night and decided to check out a hot pot place that Nisa had recommended to us and it was so good. We left more than stuffed and happy and came home to a happy girl who had a great time with Grammy and Grandad and they had a night out on the town to get cookies and were given lit-up glasses. We had another night out on the town on Tuesday night when we went for the famous Topopo salad at El Azteco before coming home and settling into a movie. And Wednesday we got one more late lunch of Middleeastern before we set off for the airport around 3 pm. Reese took a short nap in the car and then we made it to the airport, said our goodbyes and thank you’s, and then headed back to Seattle. Every time we fly out of Detroit (in the North Terminal at least) it is the easiest flight of my life. We’ve never had to wait in line anywhere. Our flight back was again smooth and on time, although hot and I felt like I couldn’t breathe now that I am nearly 30 weeks pregnant, but we made it. We got our Uber ride back home and Reese was in bed by about 10 pm Seattle time.

We had such a great time in Michigan; had some great quality time with my parents, got to meet Sarah, see Chad for the first time in a year, go to the cottage, go to my first Michigan football game in over ten years, had great food, enjoyed some good walks and parks, got to take some time off of work, got in a date night, and I got to see my two dearest friends in the area. All in all it was a great trip and now I am basically put at home for the next six months so I’m trying to wrap my head around that; that and the fact that it is darker a whole lot earlier at night and a whole lot earlier in the morning and I am just not ready for summer to be coming to an end.

Chelsea

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We Keep Trucking

The past three weeks I have felt like we are just trucking through. I don’t know why that has been the case necessarily and it doesn’t mean that it has been altogether bad either, nor that the time as gone quickly or slowly. Since our guests (Lon and Trish) left we’ve had cooler temps that have made it feel like fall and have gone through a few changes…

  • Bryan and I are now back to working from home as the cases keep rising, including the first positive case in my company’s Seattle office while I was present in the office (I got a test afterwards and it was negative).
  • Lottie has been away in New York and so Reese has been going through Lottie withdrawals. Fortunately, she is handling it quite well and is befriending Georgie and Vivienne at school as well as seems to be on a mission to play with kids at playgrounds these days. We have also had a park date after school with both Harold and Georgie on separate occasions as well as we just had a bounce house playdate with Harold, Georgie, Vivienne and Lily in the backyard that was fun for both the kids and the parents alike. Reese LOVES having her friends over
  • Reese had a bit of a cold for about a week which meant that she was not sleeping in like she had been gloriously for weeks. We were instead getting up before 7 am (as early as 6) which is a full hour earlier than she had been sleeping just a week before that. We are starting to get back on track…at least until we switch over to EST.
  • We had Reese’s three year well check up at the doctor’s office last Monday. I now realize that Reese’s rambunctious behavior at the doctor’s was her way of expressing her nervousness. This I confirmed with her was the case after the fact. After about 30 minutes of her bouncing off the walls we left with no shots, a clean bill of health, and an increase in weight to the 20th percentile while a slight decrease in height to the 16th percentile. We think she is gearing up for a growth spurt here soon.
  • We have gone on our first overnight camping trip with Reese and it was a success, albeit exhausting at times. Reese did well sleeping in the tent and of course does not mind getting a bit dirty.
  • This week Bryan is back in Charleston which means Reese and I are left to our own endeavors. So we spent the week by playing at the park for a long time on Monday and Wednesday, went to Southcenter Mall on Tuesday to have a dumpling date at Din Tai Fung and then drive the mini cars around the mall for 30 minutes (we didn’t get home until 9 pm), and then had that bounce house playdate in our backyard on Thursday that I mentioned previously. It was a rather eventful week and I just feel relieved that I got her in a bath on Thursday night.
  • I’ve made progress in the new nursery, getting the crib back up (with Bryan’s help), assembling the new daybed, and putting up the custom curtain/room divider that we got. I’m still waiting on IKEA for them to have the dresser/diaper changing table back in stock that has been out of stock for forever now and then will have to make another trip down there when it is back in stock. So far I like how the room is coming together.
  • I have my second cross-stitch project (of the three) finished and will wait until probably my last month to start on the third. Since finishing this one I’ve started picking up some books again to continue my newfound interest in reading. Unfortunately I was not able to attend my monthly book club that was held this week with Bryan being gone but have thoroughly enjoyed A Walk in the Woods which at times have had me laughing out loud…but also makes me want (but also not want) to go hike the full length of the Appalachian Trail.
  • Monday will be the beginning of my 7th month and 3rd trimester and I am ready for it! I have still been feeling good although I get full quickly, am starting to get more winded and slower on walks, and at times I have discomfort just with the increasing belly size and round ligament pain. Oh, and having to go to the bathroom often!
  • Reese’s three friends at school have no officially left Mother’s Place but Reese seems alright. Her friends from the Toddlers Room are moving up this week and when we get back from Michigan it will be the start to the “school year”, but unfortunately they will have to start wearing masks. I’m glad its the teachers who have to deal with the masks and not me but it also is troubling because I just don’t know when the end will be for the kids in having to wear masks. Still no word on when to expect a vaccine for kids under 12 years 😦

Bryan gets back tonight and Reese and I both are so ready for him home. Tomorrow we will be back on a plane to Michigan. I’m not looking forward to the lengthy day of travel (flight plus 3 hour drive north to the cottage with Reese) but I will be so glad to be there when I get there!

Chelsea

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Our Three Year Old!!!

In what feels like a blink of an eye our little Reese is now a big three year old. I think this is really shocking to me, especially as I continue to get more pregnant I’ve been looking at more and more photos of when she was a newborn and it just seems like so long ago. This year, her birthday has seemed to last about a month and still isn’t completely over, but that’s okay, she will be sharing some of the attention here soon. We’ve had a great time celebrating her birthday.

Two weeks ago was her birthday party, shared with Lottie, with her friends from school coming over to play, bounce and eat cupcakes. On Friday, I made birthday cake rice krispie treats for her to take into school to share with her classmates and she got to wear her purple Birthday Queen dress again and she had a great time being sung to by all of her friends and teachers. Thankfully, the rice krispie treats were a hit with the kids and teachers as I haven’t made rice krispie treats in at least a decade.

This past weekend we partook in a family adventure with our first overnight camping trip with Reese and finally getting in a bike ride around quaint Lopez Island in the San Juans. There was not a whole lot of discussion surrounding the trip and we more or less settled on trying to make it happen Friday night but fortunately everything went as we had hoped for. We got the camping gear together on Friday night and once Reese was up at 7 am on Saturday we all got into gear, making Saturday morning pancakes and then finishing up packing, loading up the bikes and gear, and getting Reese in the car. We hit the road before 10 am heading north and pulled into Washington Park in Anacortes, WA around 11:30 am. This is where I was crossing my fingers because we did not have a camping reservation but were lucky to snag one of the non-reservable sites in the small campgrounds. With this in place all plans moved forward.

We set up camp and then got a bag ready to walk to the very nearby playground and beach to spend a good portion of the afternoon. This was an extremely pleasant way to spend a few hours. The playground was not large but filled with kids at all hours, which Reese is all about right now, and with views of the Sound during our supervising made it worth it. We enjoyed some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on our picnic blanket by the water before getting our feet wet and then hitting the playground again.

After a few hours we went back to our campsite to get our bike trailer to make use as a stroller while we strolled the 2.5 mile loop around Washington Park, taking in the views of the Sound and stopping a few times to perch on large rocks or benches for the scenery. We made our way back to camp to make dinner on our propane stove (there is still a strict burn ban so no fires were allowed). We feasted on a sausage, pepper and mushroom pasta with salad and were stuffed and loaded for our bike ride the next day. We made some hot cocoa and snacked on some Hershey’s and then walked the short distance back over to the playground for the last hour to catch the sunset. The sunset was beautiful and then the temps got chilly and Reese and I settled into our tent to get some sleep while Bryan finished packing up the majority of the camp for an early morning departure.

Reese did pretty well during the night. She fell asleep without too much hassle and woke up a few brief times during the night but didn’t fully wake up until just after 7 am which is her usual. We had some cereal at our campsite before getting dressed and packing up the tent. We were in the car just before 8 am, had time to get a Starbucks in Anacortes and then made our way to the ferry for the 9:30 am departure to Lopez Island. There was a slew of passengers on the 9 am ferry to Friday Harbor but our Lopez Island ferry was very quiet with a small posse of cyclists (this is what Lopez is more or less known for). The ferry to Lopez is only about 45 minutes and we spent that time taking in the views as well as chasing down Reese. We got to Lopez around 10:30 am and after letting all of the cars off, we set off on our bike loop around the island. We had opted for a 28 mile loop around the island, heading west first from the ferry terminal, as opposed to east first which much of the cyclists went. Reese fell asleep for a nap almost immediately and we made a quick pitstop at the village market to pick up a picnic lunch to take with us. The village is only about 4-5 miles off the ferry terminal so after this brief stop we continued on south towards the south end of the island. We had a steep climb as we headed out of the village and then we were greeted with beautiful views of the water as well as the farmlands on the island. We saw very few cars or cyclists on this stretch and in no time we hit the one out and back road that took us to the very south end with a picnic stop at Agate Beach.

We took about a 45 minute break to go to the bathrooms and enjoy our sandwiches that we purchased at one of the two picnic tables overlooking the breathtaking water. After finishing up the sandwiches we walked down to the water to throw some rocks before we got the bikes ready for the second half of the ride. We had a decent climb to head back north away from the beach and then had a stretch through the center of the island which was much hotter and a little less interesting. We started to approach the northeastern part of the island which again provided a more woodsy/shaded stretch with peek-a-boo views of the water. There were several steep climbs throughout the ride that I think surprised us both but we made it back to the ferry terminal with plenty of time to spare before the 2:40 pm return trip to Anacortes, with tired legs but a total of 28 miles and about 1,600 feet of elevation gain. Reese was covered in chocolate donut that we had gotten her from the store (for her birthday) so we cleaned her up and hydrated while waiting for the ferry back.

The ferry was on time and we enjoyed the views back but an even crazier Reese to keep up with on the ride back. We got back to the car and loaded up the bikes and headed to a nearby playground in Anacortes for Reese to get her energy burned before driving the 1.5 hours back to Seattle. The park was an amazing wooden park that reminded me of one from my childhood and Reese enjoyed exploring it as well as playing in the spray park before we got back in the car for a quick fast food stop and then the drive back which Reese slept the entire way more or less.

Reese woke up right as we were pulling into the driveway but let us unload the car while she watched a show on the couch. We then got her birthday presents out for her to open and she was eager and excited to open each one. We stayed up until past 9 pm playing with her new toys before she was finally too tired to play anymore and headed to bed. It was a wonderful weekend filled with adventure but we definitely all slept hard as a result of it. The house was a bit of a mess this morning but we are working through that and Bryan had to tag team important business meetings this morning while also packing to head out to Charleston for the week. I dropped him off at the airport around 11:40 am this morning and will miss him this week. I feel like I need a nap now but I so enjoyed our eventful weekend, Reese’s birthday, and much looking forward to heading to Michigan on Saturday!

Chelsea

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The Millers in Town and Birthday Party

These past several days we have had Grandma and Papa Miller in town to get a glimpse into Reese’s routine, see her school, her parks and even celebrate her birthday with her friends. It’s been a nice visit and we bid them farewell at the airport last night. Not sure when we will see them next but hopefully not in too far a distant future.

Bryan picked up his parents Wednesday night and got them situated in their hotel but Reese and I didn’t get to say hello until Thursday afternoon after work/school. We all met at Reese’s school to pick her up and head to Volunteer Park for some time. Reese showed her playground skills for some time and then we headed home to have some Thai takeout and catch up with one another. The temperatures were starting to heat up and the smoke was settling in on Thursday which ended up remaining through Saturday night.

Friday was the last day of the week and working from home meant more like party prep for Bryan and I as we were fortunate enough to have a slow day at work to get ready. We readied the backyard and then got the bounce house situated. Bryan picked up his parents and Reese a little early and headed home, with a quick stop at Lowrider Cookie Company, and then Reese got to test out the bounce house, which was a hit! We spent quite some time in the backyard on Friday and then had a seafood dinner (thanks to Seattle Fish Guys) at home. We said our “goodnights” to Grandma and Papa and then all tried to get good sleep before the party.

Saturday morning began with us finishing our party preparations; making some snack platters and putting everything out in the backyard. Reese’s party dress came just in the nick of time and she was excited to don her “Birthday Queen” purple dress. Lottie and Sarah came over and then guests started trickling in. The girls had three other classmates over to play and one who came over to say “hi” but couldn’t stay as we were all notified of a positive Covid case in the Toddlers Room that morning. There were four other kids present and their parents and it was the right number to have in our backyard. The kids all enjoyed jumping in the bounce house as well as the bubble guns, the indoor toys and the playhouse and kitchen. We had pizzas delivered around 11:30 am and then sang happy birthday to the girls shortly after that with a variety of chocolate and funfetti cupcakes. The party was over about 1 pm and Reese was pretty worn out by this time and ready for a nap.

After some downtime for all of us, we were ready for round 2 and Reese was back outside to jump and play. Bryan needed to take his parents for an errand that night so Reese and I hung at home, playing more in the backyard and then finally taking a bath as the girl was covered in sweet and smelled like cupcakes. Bryan picked us up Caribbean sandwiches from Paseos and we enjoyed this along with a movie and then ice cream at home.

Sunday was wide open with no plans and we got off to a slow start. The three of us had breakfast at home and tried to get Reese out for a walk to the park but she decided she would rather bounce, go figure. After a morning at home, the Millers came over just before Reese was heading down for her nap, and Bryan and I decided to take advantage of our visitors to go out for a joint bike ride.

We set out for our Mercer Island loop, and although I am slower these days, it still felt great to get some fresh air and exercise after a few days of being at home. The smoke was pretty much gone and although it was warm the ride was pretty well shaded. We returned home from our 24 mile ride and Reese had just woken up from her nap. We took showers and played with some toys inside and then all headed out to Montlake Playfield to have some more park fun. Reese was pretty much running full speed and did everything available to her at the park, including the very difficult ropes ladder that led up to the skyhigh slide. After Reese had done everything we set out for Eastlake Bar and Grill for dinner on the patio. Dinner was enjoyable and Reese did alright during dinner. The weather was beautiful and comfortable and around 7:30 pm we headed home with a stop to drop Grandma and Papa off at their hotel.

Reese and Grandma and Papa at the swings

Monday was Lon and Trish’s last day in Seattle and Bryan and I both had to work. Lon and Trish came over midday, after checking out of their hotel, and were able to relax at our house for the afternoon. We picked up Reese together and did one more visit at a park before Bryan headed south to take his parents to the airport. It was a nice visit with the Millers and it’s always tough when we don’t know when the next visit will be. I’m hoping that Lon and Trish enjoyed their First Class flight home at least!

Chelsea