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Looking at You 2022!

In all that spare time I’ve had lately (cough) I’ve been trying to think about the new year, the future, my identity aside from motherhood, and although I am not planning on making resolutions this year, there are some less concrete things that I have been wanting to jot down as my intentions for the year. And, there has been some thought in all of this, jokes aside, I have been taking lots of walks with Brooke which are the perfect gateway into some deep thought.

My intentions for 2022:

  • Be positive! There is so much negativity out there right now and so many negative things that I could complain about, and I do, and sometimes I need to vent. But I really want to try to be a positive influence for myself and others as often as I can. Positive thoughts and positive people are so much better to be around.
  • Keep reading! I’ve really been enjoying getting back into reading regularly over the past year and a half. Bryan got me a super thoughtful Christmas gift, a Kindle, so that I can easily read while nursing Brooke or in bed and have finished one book and started another so far on it. I have so many more books that I want to read and although I don’t read for long periods throughout the day, I thoroughly enjoy the minutes here and there I do get to pick it up and read.
  • Adventures! A few of the books I have read recently have been on people’s tales of their grand adventures. Being a mom of two and working full time doesn’t leave much time or energy for adventures of this scale, but I want to continue to have fun adventures with our family. This summer I am really hoping to continue biking when possible but to also explore more with the girls through hikes, camping trips, local excursions out of the city, and hopefully Italy (fingers crossed!). We are also taking Reese skiing for the first time in a couple of weeks.
  • Cooking! I do really love being in the kitchen and exploring the realm of cooking. Even when I am strapped for time (I’m looking at you Brooke) it is something that I really love doing. I want to continue to explore and have fun in the kitchen and have even thought about exploring more on the baking side. Something I’ve wanted to do for the last several years is actually cook out of my physical cookbooks and hope to start breaking them out from time to time to try out their recipes. I want to cook more in my paella pan and I also want to explore a bit more of the possibilities with the sous vide machine.
  • Friends. I want to continue to cultivate friendships, both old and new. Even during these times of continued social isolation I want to keep reaching out to friends to get together as much as possible. We’ve also made a lot of friendships in the past year thanks to Reese’s friends connections, many who we have really enjoyed being around, and I want to continue to foster those relationships.

There are more thoughts I have had that I am sure I am forgetting of right now but this is a good start and makes me happy just reading them through as I write them. I’m still hoping for a wonderful 2022!

Chelsea

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What a Week!

This mom survived the week. We had a pretty eventful weekend, a great weekend I might add, but the feel good nature of the weekend came to a screeching halt on Sunday afternoon when I learned that Reese’s classroom was going to be closed through Thursday because of the first positive case in her class. I knew this was going to happen but not on week 2 of the new year! The good news is Reese, nor any of her classmates, tested positive, but the bad news was that school was not happening for most of the week!

So the weekend was great. We went over to one of Reese’s classmates house on Friday for pizza, wine, and a playdate. On Saturday morning we celebrated Brooke’s one month birthday with one month pancakes, and Bryan’s first time trying out his new waffle maker. Bryan took Reese over to Lottie’s house for a morning playdate so I got some quiet that morning. We had a large group outing for the Zoo Lights at Woodland Park Zoo in the afternoon. We had to wake Reese up from her nap in order to get there in time and she enjoyed the lights for sure but was rather a crank for most of it due to the nap waking.

And Sunday was the first brew day. I know what this means now, this means mommy-daughters day. Brooke and I took Reese to her gymnastics class in the morning. It was a beautiful day so we took a walk around the neighborhood while Reese was in class. Our walk was cut short because Brooke decided to have a blow out right when dropping off Reese. Us girls then went straight to Yesler Park to meet up with Reese’s friend Mika. Reese LOVES this park. The artificial turf and cardboard boxes are apparently a fan favorite for sliding down the hill. Reese did this for well over an hour, after nearly an hour of gymnastics. It was pretty cute when the two girls would go down the hill on a box together.

From there we headed home and the rest of the day was Bryan brewing in the backyard, me wearing his large puffy indoors because the backdoor was open much of the time, and then finally giving in and ordering, picking up, and eating my first poke bowl post-pregnancy while Bryan finished up brewing, at like 10 pm! It was a long but fun day but like I mentioned earlier, was dampened by the news from Reese’s school, which sent me into a frenzy trying to sign up for a test for Reese while also messaging her friend’s parents to try to organize some playdates during the week.

Enter the week. It started off with a bang. A heavy rain and Reese’s Covid test appointment. Brooke had to come with us of course and I wasn’t sure that Reese was going to allow the test to happen in the first place since she seemed apprehensive about it (especially after witnessing us suctioning out boogers from Brooke all last week). We pull up and the line is long and waiting outside in the rain! But we did it! Reese waiting patiently and took the test without a problem and I managed to keep Brooke from losing it and keeping dry. I was so excited once we were done and we went to the store so Reese could pick out candy for her reward for taking the test. The rest of the day was quiet at home.

Reese had playdates lined up for the next three mornings; two were at our house, which was a lot, but one was at her friend’s and the other will be taking her for some time for MLK Day on Monday. We spent Wednesday afternoon going to the inflatable zone at Arena Sports and the indoor playground at the Gymnastics Academy Thursday afternoon to allow Reese to burn off her energy. By this point we had gotten her negative test results back. We also somehow managed to get Brooke’s passport application in while Reese was over at her friend’s house and got a delicious lunch from Harried and Hungry while we were out. I felt a bit like a zombie during the week but also did manage to have some fun with Reese at home. And Thursday afternoon was so beautiful out (and I knew the end was near) so I opted to walk Reese (and Brooke) in the stroller for naptime so I could get a nice walk in.

Reese was back at school yesterday and it felt so good! The house is clean, I was finally able to fold laundry, submit applications for schools for Reese, and prep dinner. It was another beautiful day and I felt like I had a new lease on life. We finished the night off with spicy margaritas and a new lease on life!

Chelsea

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A New Year and a New Month

We have rolled right into 2022 and yesterday Reese was back in session at school. Let’s rejoice, hallelujah, amen. We’ve been forewarned that with the Omicron running rampant we might be thrown for some loops in school at the beginning of the year and they have already reduced their operational hours to 8-5 pm but I don’t even care because that is 9 hours of my day back that Reese is social and preoccupied and I can better take care of Brooke individually. We finally got the car out yesterday morning to take her to school, as the roads finally got around to clearing themselves of the ice that we have had for far too long, and I felt like I could both breathe again and felt quite exhausted at the same time. I love both of my girls so much but both require a fair amount of attention right now.

The first thing Bryan did for me with Reese back at school was take out the tree and the house instantly felt cleaner as well. Bryan was reveling in the fact that he doesn’t have to go back to work until today and had one more day to rejuvenate post-holidays and get back to the brew game. I felt like I finally got around to various things around the house, a visit to the grocery store, and working on getting Brooke to nap decently. I’m ready for the next two months “by myself” at home with Brooke, I’m just really praying that Reese’s school doesn’t explode with cases and thus closures. I’ve also experienced my first adventure in getting Reese ready to school and Brooke ready to take her to school and to say it was stressful was an understatement. I’ll be trying to walk them to school as much as I can because even 15 minutes in the car with a screaming Brooke is too much for my head to handle early in the morning.

Reese on the left and Brooke on the right, both right at their one month birthday.

Brooke is already at a month old already so I thought that I would share a few updates.

  • She’s put on quite a bit of weight. I’m not sure how much but she is already growing out of some of the smaller newborn outfits, we just finished our last pack of newborn diapers and are planning on just proceeding ahead with size 1 diapers, and she just feels and looks so much bigger.
  • Her neck strength is definitely improving, although I was looking back at Reese’s one month pictures and Reese was already fully up on her arms at this stage when she was doing tummy time.
  • She currently has a little bit of baby acne and a little bit of cradle cap but both to be expected and neither too bad.
  • She is turning into her sister. She takes a little bit of effort (aka movement) to nap these days, isn’t fond of car rides but will sleep soundly on however long a walk I want to take, likes to be carried/wrapped to me, is more sensitive to light and sound when going to sleep now, and has found her lungs when she wants to.
  • She does not seem to have any intolerances to anything I eat but already has had one cold that has required us to use the suction tools to clear her nasal passages. This, she actually seems to like, Reese never did and thankfully we didn’t have to use it much on Reese.
  • She does not like a dirty diaper. She also does not mind laying on her diaper pad post change for some time which is the best time for me to get a break from holding her.
  • She’s slowly inching up her bedtime and is now pretty much ready to go to bed around 7 pm. I think she is crankiest when she is most tired. No, this I know.
  • Like her sister, she does not seem to car for swings too much. She’d rather be held of course, or even just flat on her back.
  • She is cluster feeding at night. This starts some days as early as 5 pm which makes getting a dinner together and eaten a lot more difficult but we have still managed.
  • She may have given us her first smile yesterday morning. It’s still in progress so we have yet to snap a photo of it but I expect it to come any day now. Looking back at Reese photos again, Reese started giving us some cheesy grins at about 3 weeks.
  • Aside from Brooke’s first bath, all of her baths have been with the other two ladies in the house. During last night’s bath, she seemed to really enjoy bath time.

Meanwhile, Reese has gone through a few changes of her own.

  • She’s grown definitely. She feels a lot heavier and looks so much bigger. I don’t think it is just our perception because she has gotten taller than Lottie again.
  • Her imagination and creativity is starting to kick into gear more.
  • She hasn’t used her Wubba pacifier in over a week.
  • She has also been preferring to nap in her bed and has also been eager to go upstairs to bedtime. This might be because she gets undivided attention at bedtime, whenever possible, whenever we can get Brooke in bed first. Bedtime still takes forever so we have a visual timer in transit to our house as we speak to hopefully keep bedtime to a reasonable length.
  • She has done great with trying anything and everything we have eaten at meals while she was off of school. Gummy worms as an incentive to eat her dinner does work like a charm. She’s also really into using chopsticks!
  • She still loves to give “baby” hugs and kisses all of the time. She’s been holding Brooke less but loves to lay down with her. She’s been good about not being too jealous but I can sense when she starts to get that way or get a little frustrated with the attention that Brooke gets.
  • She is still loving gymnastics and starts swim classes tomorrow.

I still have to work on devising any kind of list for 2022 but I’ll get there. I still can’t believe it is 2022, can’t believe it is January, and can’t believe our baby is already a month old!

Chelsea

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Xmas 2021

Christmas has come and gone and our time at home over this winter break has brought an actual winter. In many ways this has been a blessing, offering many new activities to enjoy while at home. In other ways, it means we are stuck to some degree. We’ve made the best of what we have so far this Christmas season and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Rewind to our Christmas weekend just a bit. For Reese’s last day at school before break, her school had a pajama party where they got to wear their favorite PJs to school and bring in their favorite stuffed animal. Reese wore her white PJs with red floral print and brought in her moose stuffy. Bryan and I savored one last day at home with just the two of us there plus Brooke, gearing ourselves up for a week plus with Reese at home.

On Christmas Eve, we had invited Sarah and Lottie over for dinner but had a surprise guest of Sarah’s mom that also joined us after flying in a day earlier than planned. Reese was excited for Lottie to come over and we were excited for the company. We did a simple but special dinner of Dungeness crab, asparagus, potatoes, bread, and salad. We finished off the meal with Bryan’s favorite grasshopper pie. The girls certainly enjoyed one another and got to open each other’s presents to one another, shortly before the entire tube of Lottie’s Hershey kisses were concealed and eaten under the dining room table between the two girls. They were definitely amped up post candy and for the rest of the night. We opened up our family pajamas just before bed and then Reese definitely had a difficult time going to sleep with the excitement of the next day awaiting.

Reese’s Christmas Eve attire

Christmas morning began in our bed. Reese slept in hers until we were all ready to get up and superdad Bryan went with Brooke in arms to go get big sis to start opening presents. We opened each of our stockings first in our bed. Reese was excited for all of the candy, new undies, gloves, and a slinky that has been a big hit. We then moved downstairs and Reese was the first to see her new purple swing and bike next to the fireplace. Reese thoroughly enjoyed opening ALL of the presents, including our presents. She got lots of clothes and books this year, a necklace bead kit, a puzzle, and lots of other great presents. We snacked on some crumb cake after opening presents and let Reese come down from the high of opening presents and then bundled up to take her new bike for a cruise in the neighborhood, being that cold weather and possible snow was in the forecast for us. She was a little unsure about the balance bike at first, so we pushed her up the gradual climb up 27th Ave and let her balance with her feet on the bike but on the way back really got the hang of it. Once home we also strung up the swing on a tree out front and she was excited about the swing. We enjoyed the rest of Christmas Day indoors, Facetimed with our families, and then Bryan finished off Christmas dinner with a truly excellent New York roast with a bourbon cream sauce, truffled mashed potatoes, green beans and a salad. Bryan and I also enjoyed one of his cocktails before settling into bed.

The next morning, when I woke around 5:30 am to feed Brooke, I couldn’t help myself by saying, “Oh my god!” when I sat next to our big window upstairs in the glider. We had several inches of snow already on the ground and it was still coming down. The blanket of white was so shocking to me and so unexpected from the weather forecast. When Reese woke that morning Reese was equally surprised and excited. After breakfast and coffee we broke out our winter wear and the sled and Bryan got first turn at taking Reese sledding for a few runs on our hill. I came out with Brooke to follow them around. We got paid a visit by Reese’s friend Vivienne from school who lives just up the hill and the two girls played for a bit at our house. After Reese’s nap, with Brooke still asleep, I took the opportunity to take Reese out sledding with me. We made a few good runs, with Reese giggling the whole time, and then came back to the house to build a snowman in the front yard. Bryan took Reese for a few more turns before calling it a night.

The rest of the week was not much different. On Monday, Reese and Bryan did some sledding in the morning, Vivienne came over for another short play date, and the weather stayed cold and the snow remained. I got out of the house for a walk with Brooke while Reese napped and enjoyed the fresh air and sunny skies. Tons of people have been out walking these days which makes it a lot of fun as well. On Tuesday we hadn’t gotten out of the house other than Bryan to do some shoveling of snow but we finally got snow ready and set out for an evening walk to the Arboretum with the sled. Reese swung for a bit in the Arboretum playground before grabbing a slice of Pagliacci’s Pizza for Reese that she could eat in the sled on the way back home. On Wednesday we walked up to Lottie’s in the morning after breakfast and Bryan and I took the two (well, three) girls over to Miller Park to sled, swing, slide, and build a snowman before returning to Lottie’s for lunch and then heading back home.

And today we got more snow! Yippee! Just kidding, I am over the snow by this point, as pretty as it is, we’ve now been stuck for several days. We got a few inches over night and this was the first that I heard Reese ask to get the car out, up until now it had just been me asking for it. Reese has entered boredom stage which means that her creative juices are now flowing and she is actively engaging in more independent play as well. We are going out with our neighbors to walk over to the retention “pond” for some more sledding this afternoon and are planning on getting takeout from Kin Dee Thai for dinner.

And for the last day of the year, our plans to watch the big football games with friends was botched, thanks to snow and their sick kids. We will be coming up with a Plan B, either walking/bussing somewhere to watch the big game (or a half of it probably) or doing something at home and drinking champagne. I’ll be ready for 2022 even just for the weekend weather to drive the snow away and free our car out of the driveway! It’s been a pretty quiet week at home but overall it’s been very nice. I’ve certainly loved the sunny skies and I am very grateful that I had a bunch of meals prepped in the freezer and that we also live within walking distance from so many grocery stores (not that we have even needed to go during this week, other than to stock up on more gummy worms!).

Here’s to 2022! Now I need to work on my “22 for 22” list. Should be interesting since I feel like I have had zero hours in the day to do anything besides, eat, sleep, clean and watch these girls.

Chelsea

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Oh What Fun

The past week has been quite enjoyable, still some work and still getting used to our new routine, but enjoyable nonetheless. After a slew of visitors last week, we had a few nights just the four of us at home at the end of the week. Bryan and I were able to steal away for an afternoon of wine tasting at our beloved winery Novelty Hill-Januik. In addition to the reserve tasting, we were hand delivered multiple additional pours thanks to Brooke being with us and our connections with FareStart. We had a blast to say the least.

And Friday we decided to take advantage of the “rain free” day and walk to get Reese and then walk downtown to take in the lights before getting a delicious dinner at Din Tai Fung. What we didn’t predict was that we would get rained on the whole walk back home. It was a fast walk back, stopping only to get Reese the largest slice of cheese pizza I have ever seen her eat in one sitting.

Saturday was a rainy mess of a day and we spent the whole day inside. It was my first experience really handling both girls by myself for awhile and although not easy, I survived and it was an enjoyable day at home. Sunday was a beautiful day but we had a few items on the calendar. Reese had her second gymnastics class which Bryan took her to and then enjoyed a walk around the neighborhood and got a coffee while Reese was in class. I took Brooke on a brief walk around our neighborhood and to get a few last minute things for our cookie exchange party. I spent the rest of the day finishing up the chili, baking cornbread muffins, and baking off my contribution of the peppermint chocolate cookies.

We managed to get to Optimism Brewing in Capitol Hill right around 4 pm and got a nice big table to set up the chili dinner and the cookies before our friends arrived. We had three other families join us for beers, to exchange cookies, and have dinner. Between the four families there was three girls (all about Reese’s age) that ran around our table like crazy for the full duration we were there, three infants, and a toddler. We have a nice big cookie platter that might last us until we get to Christmas (maybe!). I think Reese had the best time of everyone.

Last week for Reese at school for the year! Her school is decorated all cute for Christmas and Reese is just now starting to ask frequently if she can open up her presents. Most presents are wrapped and we have settled on meals for Christmas Eve and Christmas. Snow is even forecasted starting on Christmas Day as of right now with much colder temperatures expected next week. This week is really just a low key week at home, waiting for Christmas Day to arrive, although it still does not feel like Christmas to me. Bryan has still been busy getting his brew setup all ready to go for his first brew day, now planned for 12/29. Many of Reese’s friends are gone through break so I’ve been trying to brainstorm what playdates we may be able to get in or any excursions we might be able to do all four of us for the week that Reese is off of school.

So like I said before we are starting to get settled into a routine of sorts. Brooke has still been sleeping pretty well at night, waking two or three times on average (almost always at 1-1:30 am and then again around 5 am. Reese has adopted a big girl attitude almost over night and is now only wanting to sleep in her bed. But this does mean if she wakes at night then she wants someone to come lay with her again. Some nights she sleeps through the night and other nights she wakes two times. Brooke has been eating and sleeping well throughout the day. She’s certainly exceeded her birth weight and takes a pretty solid nap most days starting around 11 am or so. She definitely gets cranky when she’s sleepy but otherwise she has still been a pretty content baby. I feel like I am back to juggling a toddler in arms while eating dinner again and we have had some pretty good blowouts, most coming at night.

But ready or not, Christmas is almost here!

Chelsea

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Brooke Isabelle

This is a much overdue post as we have been busy getting acquainted and settled in with our new baby girl, Brooke Isabelle, and our new family dynamic of four. Honestly, so far everything has been easier than I had expected and there have been so many precious moments that will forever be engrained in my memory, or at least I hope so.

Saturday, December 4th started much the same; Reese and I woke to watch Frozen and then Bryan made us bacon and pancakes for breakfast. However, I was already having the lightest of contractions as soon as I was awake and it was about 10 am that I had a feeling that this was going to be the day, or at least the day in which labor started, maybe not the actual delivery of our new baby. It was a rainy day and the three of us moved throughout the day like usual, playing with toys, taking a nap (Reese fell asleep on me which is not her usual but was oh so sweet), for me reading a book and for Bryan working on his home brew setup. Things were slow moving to start but around 3-4 pm things started picking up speed and intensity. We communicated this to Sarah, who was going to be taking Reese for the night, and started getting ourselves ready to leave for the hospital. We met Sarah and Lottie at the hospital as they had been north already at a friend’s party, and I gave Reese a big hug and kiss goodbye. You could tell she was nervous but in good hands with her best friend and an adult she knows extremely well.

Bryan and I headed to the childbirth center and checked in at about 5:30 pm and moved in to our palatial labor and delivery room where we sat in anticipation for a bit while also watching the beginning of the Big 10 Championship Game between Michigan and Iowa. Bryan may or may not be thrilled that his first photos with our newborn were wearing maize and blue! We had our favorite midwife on duty and the same midwife that helped us through labor with Reese. We also were greeted by our labor and delivery nurse, Ann Hathaway, who was something else and a whole other story. We were told to go ahead and get settled, order dinner before it was too late for that, and I was brought out a birthing ball to sit on to get things going.

That ball and dinner worked as by the end of the meal my contractions were much more intense and I wouldn’t have been able to stomach eating anything at this point. I was working through contractions with my support of Bryan by my side until about 9 pm and was checked again and was at 6 cm. At this point I was working through the pain but was ready to get the epidural before it was too late to do so. Once I had the pain relief I had about an hour of comfort and then started feeling the contractions heavily again, now understanding that this was due to the baby moving down where the pain blockers are no longer as effective. At about 10:40 pm I said that I was feeling the urge to push and the midwife checked me and that I was. I pushed for 8 minutes and then was handed my new baby girl who was placed in my arms. In comparison with the delivery of Reese where it seemed like we had 10+ people in the room with us at the time of delivery, we had two nurses and a midwife in our room at this point. It seemed surreal at how peaceful everything felt.

Brooke seemed so much smaller than Reese did and much quieter but in reality Brooke weighed in at 7 lbs 3 oz and 20″ and Reese weighed in at 7 lbs 10 oz and 19.5″. We had some time with the first nursing session and checking of her vitals before we were both cleaned up and then helped moved to a smaller postpartum room. We spent the next day and a half resting, recovering, and getting to know one another. Brooke took to breastfeeding without any problems. We got our celebratory dinner and quietly opened up a good bottle of red wine to celebrate our new daughter. My mom was able to come visit for some time in the room with me but we were only allowed two guests per day so she was the sole visitor aside from Bryan. Bryan helped retrieve Reese from Lottie’s house and get my parents settled at home before coming back to join me. And after only about 90 minutes of sleep that first night, both Bryan and I fell asleep at 6:30 pm, post dinner, and managed to get some more sleep after a few nurse’s wakeups. We were discharged from the hospital at about noon on Monday the 6th. Reese did so well while we were away, getting treated to a spaghetti dinner at home with my parents and watching the Incredibles before bed. She went to school Monday and Bryan and I were eager to pick her up from school before bringing her home to meet Brooke. I was so excited to see my big girl and give her a hug again.

Back home Reese got to meet her new baby sister. She was hesitant to hold her at first but that was the last time she was hesitant. All day everyday she wants to hold “Baby” and she does really a great job holding her and is getting better by the day. She’s not shared any signs of jealousy towards Brooke but was definitely more emotional the first week with everything going on. This has seemed to die down and she has been telling Brooke how much she loves her all the time and wants Brooke to lay in her bed with her at bedtime every night.

With my parents in town for the week we had several great homemade meals and a few takeout meals as a family. Blessedly, Reese sat at the table with the family and did well eating (she has a new cushion for a booster seat that I think helps) and Brooke slept or laid quietly in her swing every night to allow us to eat meals in peace, something Reese never let us do early on. We kept Reese home on Tuesday to spend the day with us and she got to go to the Gymnastics Academy with Bryan and my parents for their Indoor Playground which she loved but didn’t want to leave. We also took a big excursion out as a family, getting a quick dinner of dumplings in Bellevue and breaking out the double stroller to walk over and watch our first parade at the nightly Snowflake Lane celebration. Reese had a blast, even though she was freezing, both with the dumplings and then getting a light up balloon and waving at all of the parade participants. Definitely a worthwhile trip for all of us.

Reese also elected to stay home with everyone on Friday which ended up being a great day of going to her favorite park with the blue slide and later getting Pagliacci’s Pizza when Sarah and Lottie came over to have dinner with all of us and meet Brooke. We tried to take her to the Inflatable Zone on Saturday morning but the Zone was full so the girls and my parents went to the Magnusson Park playground instead and took a walk since it was actually a rain-free morning. And finally, Reese got to start her new gymnastics class on Sunday morning and even though the parents are not allowed to stay and watch, Reese’s first comments to me when I picked her up was, “Mom, I had fun!”

We said goodbye to my parents on Sunday around noon and then we were truly a family of four. We’ve had visitors every day since though and it’s been nice to see people and has brought with it meals and a playmate for Reese. Bryan and I have enjoyed some peace and quiet the past two days while Reese has been at school. Brooke is truly easy at this point so we’ve been able to shower, read books, clean, and go on walks. We have another week and a half of these days before Reese is off for a holiday break and then Bryan will be going back to work for two months while I am at home. Cherishing these days with his company! Fingers crossed things keep going as well as they have been for us.

Chelsea

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Due Date

We’ve reached and now passed our theoretical due date which was Monday, 11/29/21. I’m not surprised and feel like no one should be really with Reese coming two weeks past her due date but I’m also keen not to go the full two weeks past my due date this time around. I’m still patiently waiting and letting nature run its course for now but its the strangest feeling wondering when and where it will happen!

Picture from a week ago

While we have been waiting, we had a nice low key long weekend at home over Thanksgiving. We had pretty much four straight days of drizzly dreary weather and spent the majority of the weekend at home. We did go over to our friend’s house on Thursday for the big dinner and that was enjoyable, delicious, and most importantly hassle-free for me in terms of preparations of the actual dinner. There were five adults and one Reese and she really did quite well sitting at the table with the adults and entertaining herself and others while we were with our friends. For dinner we had the necessities and they were all well executed: heritage turkey with caramelized onions, green bean casserole, cornbread muffins, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and a delicata squash, feta and candied pecan salad. The dessert, featuring a chocolate pecan pie and a bourbon “pumpkin” pie with fresh whipped cream and Washington Dairy pumpkin ice cream, were some of the best pies I have had ever!

Thanksgiving dinner

After the big meal, on Friday morning, we decided to use the break in the rain to get our Christmas tree from City People’s down the street. Bryan is great at picking out the perfect tree and we brought home a brilliant 6-7′ noble fir and a wreath. The whole event took no time at all. We got the lights strung on the tree Friday afternoon before having Lottie and Sarah over for homemade beef stroganoff and apple pie a la mode. The girls played so well together and it was nice to have some more company on an otherwise quiet day.

Saturday and Sunday were again quiet and rainy and spent indoors doing both holiday activities, enjoying lots of cuddles, and Bryan tackled a lot of items around the house. But first, we had the Michigan vs. Ohio State game to watch and what a game! Michigan came out actually pumped and prepared and with a lot to prove and it was wonderful to see. Even if they hadn’t won I would have been proud of their playing. Fortunately we got the victory, the first in ten years time! Throughout the game Reese and I put up decorations on the tree and Reese really enjoyed doing this (so much so that she wanted to take them off and put them back on on Sunday, which we did not do). We needed to get out of the house Saturday evening so we decided to use our BOGO dinner at Eastlake Bar and Grill. We were essentially the sole table in the entire dining room (a few parties in the bar) so it felt like we had the restaurant to ourselves. We had a great meal and got to watch a little more football.

Reese broke out her train set this weekend

Sunday was more playtime and things around the house but Reese and I did take her scooter out for a spin to walk and get Lowrider Cookies after her long nap. Reese enjoyed her cookie sitting outside with me at the cookie counter and we brought Bryan one home. Bryan helped Sarah and Lottie get their tree, which was eventful enough for his day, and we had homemade mole chicken enchiladas for dinner to round out our long weekend.

Quick cookie run (I mean scoot)

Being that Monday was our due date, Bryan came with me to my midwives appointment. There was nothing really big to report from the appointment but we left knowing that we would keep patiently waiting, at least until next Monday, before deciding anything else. We got to hear baby on the non-stress test and baby was sounding alert and active. Since we weren’t presented with baby yet, Bryan and I took one last opportunity to go out for a date night dinner. This time we walked down the street to sit at the bar counter at Harvest Vine. We had another amazing meal of their roasted cauliflower with salsa verde, sea bass with peppers and crispy jamon, and the now famous cuttlefish with aioli and squid ink fideo pasta. We also had bread, some complimentary serrano ham from the kitchen and I stole a few sips of Bryan’s wine. We talked more about names, although still not settled on a boys name so it could be anyone’s guess.

Due date dinner date at Harvest Vine

And taking advantage of slow days at work and still waiting for baby we ventured south to our friend’s new house in Kent for dinner at their house and to enjoy their company. We picked up Reese early and arrived just in time to see their yard before it was too dark. We got a tour of the new house and Reese had a blast playing with their two girls. We had a fabulous meal and good entertainment with a full on dress up show by the three girls during dinner. We didn’t leave until nearly 9 pm but somehow Reese stayed awake the whole ride home.

Three Annas from Frozen

We have zero plans now these next several days so just still waiting and seeing…I give Reese a big hug every morning when I drop her off at school and have been prepping her that it could be mommy and daddy picking her up or she might get lucky and get to go over to Lottie’s house. Time will tell…but if there is any better sign, my one and only pair of maternity jeans ripped through the crouch pretty good last night and are now in the trash.

Chelsea

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Down to the Wire

I can feel the inevitable is near. Am I ready? I think so. Am I impatient? No. I would have thought I might be impatient this time around just knowing how long I waited for Reese the last time. However, that’s not the case. I’m not uncomfortable. I know that we are about to be thrown into the thick of it again with little sleep and little social. I know that we still have the transition for Reese to help her adapt. And I know that my one-on-one time with my first born is slowing ticking away. It’s bittersweet. When it comes it will be great, but until then, I can wait.

Plus, there was a brief little scare this week when Bryan came down with a cough and achy feverish symptoms on Tuesday. The worst was playing through my head. What if he has Covid? Would he be allowed into the hospital? To hold the baby? To be with Reese? If its not Covid, how am I going to manage a newborn, Reese and a sick Bryan all at once? What if he’s too sick to enjoy the birth of the new one. Fortunately, it tested out not to be Covid and come Thursday morning he was feeling much, much better. He spent all of Wednesday resting and fortunately his work hasn’t been too busy lately that he was actually able to take time away from work to get better. I’m so relieved that I didn’t go into labor this week and that Bryan is on the mend.

I did have my 38 week appointment and the baby’s heart sounded good and strong and I have still been having plenty of movements. I walked Reese to school twice this week and walked to pick her up twice as well. I’m still moving and still feeling good. I don’t have the swelling of the ankles like I had last time and in general I’ve been feeling pretty great and with good energy. I was able to rake up the leaves in the yard one more time given that we had two and a half days of no rain. I finished the baby’s new mobile above the crib (Reese was a big fan) and finished and pressed and framed the last of the three cross stitch patterns for the nursery. To put that in perspective, I didn’t finish the last of the three for Reese until she was about 9 months old. Hoorah for working at work sometimes!

We got the house cleaned one last time on Thursday and I have started making some double batches of food to put leftovers in the freezer; beef enchilada bake, Indian chicken curry, chicken and dumplings. I have a few more ideas in mind next week to get some more in the freezer. We have the infant car seat installed in the car and the hospital bag is nearly finished.

This weekend is supposed to be rain free and I am ready for it. I don’t care if it is slightly cooler out, no rain is great in my opinion. We still don’t have much on the calendar between now and the due date. Reese has been asking to go swimming, she knows that her two good friends at school just started swim lessons, so we took her to a rec swim at one of the community centers in town this morning and she had a blast.

We finally got an offer from a friend to join them for Thanksgiving. I wasn’t really thrilled about spending the holiday alone and all of our friends now have family in town or are traveling to see family this year so our opportunities were slim. I’m hoping we make it through Thanksgiving before baby’s arrival, I’d be good with getting to our due date because then we could take Reese to the holiday lighting at Pike Market and get our Christmas tree. Whatever the date is it decides to arrive though we will be ready for it!

Chelsea

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The End is Near

I feel it. I feel the impending doom of freedom and rest and sleep but also the how close we are to meeting baby #2. I think Bryan and I have both felt mixed feelings of readiness as of late but we had one more date night last night where I feel like we both felt better prepared and ready for the adventure ahead. We’ve had a pretty good week all around and I still feel good under most circumstances, ticking away items on my To-Do list, and getting in a little social interaction while I can.

Reese and I had a great time at the gymnastics academy on her day off. I am so relieved that I had schedule it awhile ago as it was really busy on this particular day and it was very rainy all day. Reese burned her energy off though and did EVERYTHING they had on offer in the gym. She really enjoyed it and has been talking about going back. Fortunately, we finally got her in a class that will be starting December 5th and I can’t wait for her to have that to go to.

We had an enjoyable weekend despite more rainy fall weather. We couldn’t talk Reese into going to the park on Saturday but that meant that I got to watch the whole of the Michigan vs. Penn State game and then I picked up Sarah and Lottie from the airport and brought back BBQ while we had our friends Phillip and Anne and their two kids over for the yucky Texas vs. Kansas game. Their daughter Rosalie took awhile to warm up to Reese but they finally started playing well together right at the end. Unfortunately, the game did not improve at the end so that left all viewers in disbelief.

On Sunday we decided to check out the inflatable zone at Arena Sports in Magnusson Park. We picked up Lottie on our way to give Sarah a break and let her get some things done around her house. The girls really enjoyed all of the inflatable structures on offer, although at very different paces. Reese was a mile a minute and not the teeniest bit timid while Lottie needed a full hour before she was comfortable going down some of the larger slides. The girls were wiped after nearly two hours of running around and Reese made it home before taking her nap but Lottie passed out in the car. We had another horrible Seahawks game to watch with a bad outcome and finished the night with Frelard Tamales and cocktails (not for me but I got a few tastes and it was delicious).

The week has started like the rest. Reese and I walked to school yesterday and I felt pretty great. We are enjoying watching the construction trucks that are doing work on Madison on our way. I’m at the office today and trying to tie up all of the loose ends before I leave. Bryan and I had the night out that I mentioned at the beginning of the post. We decided to go to one of our old haunts in Belltown; List, for their all night Monday happy hour. The restaurant was only about a quarter full and made for great ambiance, food, and conversation for what could be our last date night out in some time. We had such a good time and a great talk. We also got their excellent gnocchi with truffle cream sauce, grilled octopus salad, bacon wrapped shrimp and the hanger steak with potatoes. Reese wasn’t too happy we went out but didn’t seem to harbor any hard feelings towards us this morning.

I have a few appointments the next few days as I’m trying to fit things in before go time. Tomorrow is my 38 week appointment with the midwives and everything hopefully will be reported as still looking good. Baby is still very active so I’m not too worried about that but I have been feeling different, can’t explain how but I can just tell that my body is getting ready. I still can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week, especially since we have no plans for the holiday. Let’s see how the rest of the week ends up!

Chelsea

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Birth Month…Maybe

How is it November? How are we already in the month of birth, or will it be December? I’m still thinking December but who knows. Bryan thinks its going to be on the due date, I think he just wants both kids to have birthdays on the 29th as that’s one less date for him to remember. That would still mean post-Thanksgiving so maybe we will be having a solo Thanksgiving this year. We will see.

Last week was a lot of rain. A lot of castle building out of tiles. A lot of movies. We brought down the easel to do some coloring downstairs. We did a little dancing. We got a tattoo (on her belly as requested?). Lottie and Sarah came over in what felt like forever since we had seen them. We picked up a dumpling and noodle feast from Dumpling the Noodle in Wallingford which was another Seattle Restaurant Week special going on. The girls played well throughout the night and capped the night off with a nice little dance show which was especially funny. Bryan drove them to the airport on Saturday as they were heading to D.C. for the week.

After what was such an eventful Halloween weekend, this past weekend was one that was not so eventful. We’ve had pretty wet weather the past few weeks and this weekend was no different. Saturday rained pretty much all day and the only time we got out of the house was to hit up our last Restaurant Week meal at Haymaker in Eastlake. Reese was on pretty good behavior for what ended up being a bit longer of a dinner, in a nicer restaurant, and being stir crazy from a day spent at home. She also got an amazing bowl of “kids pasta” which was homemade fresh pasta with a delicious tomato cream sauce. She finished it mostly by herself. Bryan and I got to share the appetizer course, which was a variety of dishes including tallegio cheese arancini (rice balls) with aioli, hamachi crudo, burrata with roasted pumpkin and crostini and some delicious crispy brussel sprouts with some sort of amazing pesto and nuts on them. Bryan got the hanger steak and I got the seared rockfish. Both entrees were amazing! At this point our waitress also offered to take Reese to see the kitchen and meet the chef and I was proud of her for wanting to go on her own and without us joining her (we could see the kitchen from our table since its an open air kitchen so we were definitely okay with this little reprieve). We finished the night with an almond cake with blackberries and whipped cream and a chocolate torte.

Sunday was another mostly rainy day but there was a break in the showers so we hit the “blue slide” with our friend Mika for a bit. It was the first time that Reese actually got a little timid on the slides with the speed of her pink pants on the still-wet slides. Back at home, Reese took a very long nap while Bryan got to read and I got coffee with Polly. We found an outdoor café that was covered with space heaters and got to catch up for some time which was lovely.

This week has been spent at home for both of us. I’m trying to tie up loose ends with this New York job that I have been working on and Bryan has been working to transition his team to take over the project in his absence. Bryan and I had a lunch date on Monday when we went to the bank in Capitol Hill to get a few items notarized and picked up tacos and burritos from Carmelo’s tacos which turned out to be AMAZING (which sticks true to the reviews they have received). We were able to hit the park together on Monday night and then spent Tuesday at Reese’s friend Georgie’s house which was lovely. It’s been great getting to know the parents of Reese’s friends better because we like them all, they are all very down to earth, caring, and close to us in terms of location which is a huge plus as our friend network continues to move further and further outside of the city. After a few hours at their house I dropped Bryan and Reese off at home and headed to Oddfellows for my “baby sprinkle” dinner that Polly organized for me.

I had seven girls come out for my dinner, late on a Tuesday night, and it was great to see them and catch up with so many of them. I was grateful that they were comfortable eating indoors as the original plan had us eating in the back private patio but the high winds and rain deterred that. We had a large table in the back and had an excellent meal with each other’s company. We closed the place out, leaving sometime after 10 pm and I didn’t get home until 10:30 pm, which felt really nice and was exactly what I was wanting before having this baby. A luxury that I know I will miss in the coming months. I’ve seen about half of the girls recently but the other half I hadn’t seen since July! It’s such a different experience, this time with my second, as when I had my shower for Reese, I was the lone pregnant woman or mother in the group. Now, all but one of the attendees has at least one kid which makes it even better. Five of the seven are guessing it’s a boy but we will just have to see. I feel like I look the same, feel the same, and Reese wants a girl so I’m now convinced it’s a girl. But I was wrong last time! Can’t believe we are less than 20 days away from the due date. I was eager for the baby to come a few weeks back but I think now that its so near I just want to hold on to Reese and this time for a little longer.

Taking most of the day off tomorrow as Reese’s school is closed so we will have some good mother daughter time. Other thank midwife appointments coming up we have literally nothing scheduled on the calendar until the due date. We might sneak in a date night next week but we are currently playing everything by ear.

Chelsea