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Daddy’s Girl

For the past several days Reese has been daddy’s little girl…and it is so cute. And I have been thankful for it, maybe a tad jealous, but thankful as I went through a few days of feeling pretty worn out. Fortunately, Bryan was wanting some daddy-daughter time and took Reese to a guys dinner at Philipp’s house on Friday night and took her to the Museum of Flight with the guys on Saturday for a couple of hours so I got a little time to myself and a rare few hours at home in peace and quiet. I definitely feel refreshed from the break and Reese definitely bonded with her daddy.

I did have some quality time with her last week when Bryan had to stay at work one day after her bedtime and it was the two of us dining in at FareStart. Bryan also had his Saturday morning men’s group where we had some mommy and me time but I still definitely feel like I have gotten some breaks in the past week and that has been nice. I was able to go to the America’s Test Kitchen 20-year Party, thanks to FareStart, where there were about 15 of the top Seattle chefs and about 5-10 of the ATK chefs each providing a nosh and a bunch of cocktails and wine for the tasting as well. I way overindulged at this event but quite enjoyed Sawyer’s pork belly baos, a babagahnoush topped with lamb ragu and free mini pitas from Manmoon, and many beef tartares and bulgogi beef lettuce wraps all being my favorite of the night. I had quite the tummy ache for nearly 24 hours post event. Worth it!

The three of us also enjoyed a night out of the kitchen at the November Community Dinner at FareStart where they put a Thanksgiving meal inside a biscuit, and it was good! Reese didn’t necessarily want to sit on this occasion however so it was a bit of a wild dinner. Bryan and I also volunteered in the Toddler’s Room this week at church so we didn’t get our church date but put in our service chasing around the littles.

We had nearly a football free weekend (except for Texas winning in a nailbiter to Kansas State) which made a schedule a little freer than usual. We did enjoy watching the Sounders win the FSC championship against Toronto on Sunday afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed the epic overtime game of the Seahawks vs. 49ers for Monday Night Football, breaking the 49ers winning streak. Oh such a good feeling and such a good game. Reese actually enjoyed watching most of it. And I’d like to mention that I am 2nd in my fantasy league with a team that I really like.

I really can’t believe it’s mid-November, which means that the holidays are fast approaching. Not sure I am ready for them but I am looking forward to them this year for sure.

Chelsea

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A Good Laugh

I just have to share this article that my friend Valerie sent me because it is just too funny and literally word for word could have come from Reese’s mouth/pen. I really missed the opportunity of finding this at 11 months but it still rings true now…and the author of this letter is Reese! Read on (source) for some laughs:

MY 11-MONTH-OLD BABY’S HR DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT

by SHANNON J. CURTIN

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to inform you about the recent occurrence of mistreatment I’ve encountered at this establishment. I hope that by alerting you via written correspondence, the appropriate authorities will get involved to remedy this dire situation.

11 14 months ago I joined this establishment to a lot of fanfare. My current position sat vacant for years before my tenure, and since I on-boarded last November August I have been regularly told “you are a dream come true,” and “we are so happy to have you.” While this is flattering, I must note that almost immediately there were issues of inequality amongst my colleagues and me — issues I choose to ignore because I was new and still getting the lay of the land.

In the first few months of my new role, I had a lot of information to get up to speed on, including figuring how to roll over and acquiring a firm grasp on object permanence. Now, I have almost a year of experience completing my primary responsibilities — like sleeping, pooping, and communicating with individuals who are not fluent in my native tongue, and as I’m sure you’ve heard, all my performance reviews are glowingly positive.

I am constantly revered and told that I am “such a big girl” and “so big” and “a sweet, big girl” and yet every time I attempt to partake in certain activities alongside my older, male colleague I hear “that is not for you, Reesey,” or “that’s not for babies.” There you have my dilemma.

Is this truly an equal opportunity establishment or isn’t it? Is my colleague allowed to play with scissors because he’s truly more experienced or is it just because he’s older and a male? Am I a big girl or not?

I find it interesting that while my older colleague is allowed to do whatever he wants (including leaving early to “sleep,” while my commitment to my position includes routinely clocking in at 3 AM — take that as you will) every time I try to do something innovative I hear a litany of “nos.”

  • “No Reese, you can’t eat rocks.”
  • “No Reese, you can’t play in the toilet.”
  • “No Reese, Legos aren’t for babies.”
  • “No Reese, you can’t jump off the couch.”

I feel like I’m being unfairly stifled. Today I attempted a scientific experiment with yogurt drops and the dog’s water dish, and my research was callously wiped away before I even started recording my observations. I feel this is a gross injustice and I’m not convinced it isn’t based on age and gender discrimination. My colleague not only gets to feed the dog, but he also is allowed to drink from cups without lids. Where does it end?

I have attempted to deal with this on my own by being very vocal about my feelings. I routinely collapse onto the floor and cry whenever I am denied my right to play in the fridge or eat garbage. Every once in a while I am placated. Sometimes I get to slowly rip up drawings my colleague leaves on the floor. Once I ate a bug. But more and more I find I’m being denied even these limited opportunities. As I become more practiced in navigating the floorplan, doors are being closed and there is talk about gating the stairs. How can I be expected to shatter glass ceilings when I can’t even climb into the dishwasher?

This establishment is supposed to function with a growth mindset and I am disappointed to find it so lacking. At 12 months — a full year into my position — certain privileges must be granted or I will be forced to elevate these complaints. For one, anything my colleague is currently playing with should be mine, regardless of the so-called “age-appropriate” designations. I also want to eat his food (from his plate — this is important) after I throw mine on the floor where it belongs. It would please me to pull his hair at every opportunity, but I understand this might be a champagne dream. It goes without saying that I should be allowed full access to all company water features — toilets and water dishes and wet shower stalls included. I also request that I should be the sole person responsible for holding my mother’s phone. She is old. She probably doesn’t even know how to operate it correctly. I strongly believe it functions better when I can chew the upper left corner. I could present my findings on this theory if only I were allowed to put it into practice.

I expect to see a marked change in the management system immediately upon my first anniversary — if not sooner. I am prepared to take these concerns all the way up the chain. I am not afraid to go over your head to tell Grandma. I’m sure she would have some choice words about how her “best girl” is being treated.

Pleased…

Thank you for taking the time to address this issue.

Sincerely,
Reese
“Employee of the Month” for 11 14 months and counting

Chelsea

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That 14 Month Old

Fourteen months and growing…though she should be growing in size. The past month has surely seen more growth and maturation for Reese but maybe not as blatantly obvious as months previous. But she definitely has a few new tricks up her sleeves:

  • She will fetch things around the house when we name them (balls, bubbles, moose, Wubba, books, etc)
  • Loves to dance! Twirling in circles, stomping and head bopping
  • Likes to carry her shoes around the house and also likes getting into our shoes
  • Has at least three teeth coming in on the top
  • Is in a more observational period when it comes to playing with other kids and playing on the playground
  • Is done with the bottle permanently (and has been for the past month almost)
  • Loves having her hair brushed
  • She is starting to learn to stack things and use nesting toys as they are meant to be
  • Is terrified of animals right now
  • Prefers to walk herself when outside, in lieu of riding in the stroller
  • She likes to have us walk/slide her backwards A LOT
  • Likes sparkling water, still not into cows milk
  • Has a new scream; she can go from 0 to 60 in a second
  • Our easy napping phase may be temporarily over
  • She loves stuffed animals right now; moose, lamb, fox, monkey, etc
  • She’s being super sweet…most of the time
  • She hasn’t been sleeping as well at night
  • Is a fan of chocolate
  • She’s a goof ball and definitely knows how to make people laugh
  • She’s phenomenal in a social setting so getting her around other kids is ALWAYS a plus
  • She is really starting to dig books
  • She still loves her Lottie…

She knows what she wants and what she doesn’t and sticks to her guns on it. I wanted to look at pictures of me as a baby again just to see any comparisons and differences. I think she looks a lot like me when sleeping and when smiling. Reese has lighter hair than I did around this age but I’m not sure if she is going to get the curls because it looks like I already had quite the curls on top at this age. Size-wise we look the same, although it looks like I went through a stockier stage at a younger age and Reese never really had that. These are the pictures that I found that I can really see the resemblance with Reese:

Chelsea

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Our Second Halloween

Reese’s second Halloween was a great success in my book…or at least my Halloween was a great one from start to finish:

Work went all out for this year’s Halloween. We had a Reese’s Pieces candy count guess for a prize, a spooky Halloween potluck for lunch with tons of sweets and treats and a costume contest with a $100 prize which pretty much got all but about five employees to dress up, and to dress up good everyone did. I wore my Elastigirl Incredibles outfit to work, wig and mask and all.

This was just the group onesie photo at work.

After work, the three of us got ready in our costumes quickly (I was already in mine) and headed over to West Seattle for a party with a bunch of 1-year-olds +/-. There had to have been at least 10 kids plus their parents at one point at our friends Kelsey and Joe’s place. We had some snacks and drinks and the kids played and then we headed out to hit about eight households for Reese’s first trick or treating experience. Which she loved! Reese got the hang of walking up the steps, knocking on the door, grabbing as much candy as she could to put into her bag, and then trying to enter each person’s house, which was pretty funny. She would then yell and run (literally run) to the next house. We came back with a good amount of loot for having only been to a handful of houses. The decorations in West Seattle were quite impressive which made it even more fun for us!

We headed back home a little after 7 pm and Reese got to enjoy one Reese’s peanut butter cup before bed, which she loved. Thankfully she was still able to fall asleep without a problem…though not sure she slept all that well.

The rest of our week has been good. Both of us have been busy at work but work has been good lately. We had a lovely weekend last weekend with a hotel shop stay at the very nice Hyatt Regency at the south end of Lake Washington, right next door to Bryan’s old workplace. We went on Friday night, walked to the Renton Landing from the hotel to get dinner at the new Korean place, Take Five, then picked up a bottle of wine, put Reese to sleep in the hotel room and then enjoyed the wine on the sofas overlooking the lake with a thunderstorm rolling out over the lake. It was awesome!

Saturday morning was Bryan’s weekend shift at work so Reese and I walked to the damp playground next door in the morning, messed around in the very nice fitness facility in the hotel, rode the elevators a bunch of times, walked to the Landing and went to the toy shop just as they were starting Toddler Craft Time (just a coincidence), made a sensory jack o lantern in a Ziploc bag, then headed back to the hotel to meet up with Bryan and go swimming/hot tubbing in their saltwater pool. It was a wonderful start to the weekend!

Sunday was spent with church date, then I played soccer in the sunshine before Bryan and I got to enjoy the start of Seattle Restaurant Week at Sawyer in Ballard while Tina watched Reese for us. It was a wonderful dinner and we thoroughly enjoyed a night out, without having to get a sitter! We each got two cocktails, pork bao buns, wood grilled artichokes, pan seared rockfish, their take on a dilly bar and their tres leches cake. It was all so delicious.

Yum yum!

We’ve had a few nights at home this week, watching the World Series in the background between dinner and games of chase. I had my second week at my women’s life group at church and really do enjoy the night out midweek. And we had no FareStart this week so it was a real unusual Thursday for us. Reese has been solo for the past two weeks as Lottie has been in Indianapolis so Reese has been adventuring to visit cats, go to the zoo, went to library store time once and the tot gym once.

Thankful that it is the weekend again and thankful for the continued sunshine. I’ll take the cooler temps every single day for the amazing sunshine and picturesque views it brings during this time of year. I’d be thankful for the time change this weekend and the extra hour of sleep but I’m not expecting to get any as Reese has woken up at or before 6 am the past three mornings. I have no idea why.

Too early for mommy to function…don’t know how daddy does it.

Happy Halloween and Welcome November!

Chelsea

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Thirty-Three

Birthday week is now over and it was a good one overall. I feel well celebrated and pretty relaxed from the week which is a good thing and an unusual feeling for a Friday.

The weekend leading up to my birthday was filled with time spent with friends. We had Phillip, Anne and Rosalie over to watch the matchup of Texas vs. Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown. With the early start of 9 am we made breakfast tacos, fruit salad and mimosas to watch the game with. At first Reese and Rosalie weren’t really getting along all too well (sharing problems) but by the end of the day, and after both had much needed naps, the two girls were back to playing well with one another, which nothing makes Reese happier than having friends! Anne and I tried to take the girls to the one tot gym that is open on Saturdays but it was closed for this date so we took them to the playground for awhile instead. After the narrow defeat, we finished the night with Thai takeout and TV.

At this point they liked each other.

Sunday was a very full day for all of us. Bryan and I were the leaders in the Toddler Room at church so we put in our service while Reese played happily with all of the kids. After that we headed home to get some lunch and relax for a brief minute before preparing for more friends to come over Sunday night. Bryan got set to making my cake and I helped set the table before leaving for my soccer game. We got beat horribly and it wasn’t all too much fun but I returned home to a sleeping baby, my husband in the kitchen and the house smelling like chocolate!

Marika, Randy, Polly and Ryu all came over at 5:30 pm to celebrate my dinner. Bryan made us all steak and mushrooms and the girls brought over a salad and pasta to share. Bryan concluded the dinner with his epic dessert presentation of chocolate flourless cake topped with vanilla ice cream and a milk chocolate dome and finished that all of with a peanut butter cream sauce that melted the dome. It was rich and so heavenly!! Our group stayed until about 11 pm talking before heading home to get ready for a week of work, we didn’t finish cleaning up the kitchen until nearly midnight but it was worth it.

It wasn’t too bad for me come Monday as I spent the day at home with baby girl. Bryan, on the other hand, still had to wake up before 5 am to get to work. Sorry babe! Reese and I had a good low key morning. We shared some banana pancake and then got dressed and drove to the Capitol Hill library branch for the 10:30 am Toddler Story Time, our first time ever going to this. And it was a blast! Lottie and her grandma were also in attendance and sat next to us. Reese and Lottie loved the song and dance, the stories being read to them, shaking their maracas, and later, playing with the board puzzles and box sets. They also both just loved wandering around the classroom and taking all of the other kids in. There is no doubt that it was loved by all…and was a pretty hands off hour for me!

The rest of the day was spent of us walking a bit around Capitol Hill in the fall sun, Reese napping for a bit (but not long enough), and playing around the house. Bryan got home a little after 4 pm to relieve me and allow me to go to my company’s happy hour at the office. I was hesitant to go at first but it was actually a lot of fun and good that I did. I got to meet some of the senior management and some of the coworkers that will be on the Michigan board with me. Not to mention there was a huge spread of food and delicious wine, beer and White Claws to boot. The attendance was large and lively in the office. The rest of the night was spent very low key which was alright by me.

The rest of the week has been pretty typical. We’ve had a few nights at home. We have been picking away at the rest of the chocolate cake which is heavenly and Bryan and I got in a workout together on Tuesday evening and I got to my usual Wednesday afternoon class in Redmond (maybe one of the last that I will be attending). I got to volunteer for FareStart this week and enjoyed a low number night with yet a very delicious meal.

Glad its already the weekend upon us again and happy to have a few more friend events to keep us busy this weekend (since it is going to be cold and rainy). Here’s to 33…which I don’t think will be as much of a year of growth as 32 was but maybe I’ll prove myself wrong!

Chelsea

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19 for 2019 – Only Three Months Left YIKES

I’m running out of time for this year as it is literally just flying by! I need to make great progress in a few areas if I want to accomplish some of the items that I had set out for myself this year, others have maybe been even easier than I would have originally thought…

  1. Run a 10k in an 8:30 pace.
    • I have not really been running, and I certainly don’t have any idea what my current time might be but its not fast. I actually think this may be an attainable goal before years end. Try to get me in running shape of some sort before we start any legit triathlon training next year.
  2. Break 140 watts in my 45-minute cycle class.
    • Haven’t been to a cycling class in ages but I’m overall stronger so I am hoping that I might be able to do this anyways. And now that I am not going to be able to go to my Wednesday strength class in Redmond when I move back to the Seattle office, I might take a spin at spinning again.
  3. Read 10 books.
    • Do kids books count? They should. There is no way that I am going to be able to get through eight more books before years end so I will make myself a deal and try to read four…that would still be a major achievement! And I just picked up four from the library.
  4. Learn to play a song on the guitar.
    • Yikes!
  5. Make 6 girls events happen.
    • If I do count PEPS meetups (which I should because it is solely me organizing them) then I have actually met this goal. I have plans for one or two more girls nights to happen so I’m gonna say we are good on this one.
  6. Be able to do 5 pull ups/chin ups (if not at once, at least in the same day).
    • I can easily do these assisted with bands now but without bands I max out at three isolated pull ups. I am still working on strength so maybe this goal is achievable. And I am still proud of the noticeable progress that I have made in this area.
  7. Visit or spend time with Chad.
    • Chad came to visit us and we spent some time together at the cottage. Would still like to visit him in Cinci but not sure when we can do that.
  8. Do 10 hikes.
    • We’ve done five hikes now; one in Arizona, one in Colorado and three in Washington. We got out last weekend to do some fall hiking so maybe we can get in a few more before the end of the year. We’ve explored a few local parks we have never been to before too so I feel like that should count towards the tally.
  9. Go on a vacation just the three of us (at least a total of 5 nights throughout the year).
    • We went to Portland just the three of us, if that counts as vacation, lol.
  10. Visit 5 new restaurants to try.
    • There have been six we have tried: Cantina Lena, Red Cow, Nue, Junebaby, Due Italiana, and Central Smoke. We are doing fine.
  11. Baby proof and de-clutter the house.
    • Done as far as I am concerned, for now.
  12. Go to a concert.
    • We went to the Fitz and the Tantrums concert.
  13. Re-learn our lindy hop dance.
  14. Get in one self-care day/night per month.
    • I’m feeling good on this one.
  15. Get in one date day/night per month.
    • We’ve done pretty good. We had a bit of a hiatus but now that we have the Seattle Rep back and moving into fall I think we will get in some more.
  16. Limit social media and cell phone usage to 30 minutes every night after 5 pm.
    • I’ve done pretty good on this, now I just need to drop TV for a bit to read.
  17. Become more involved with our church beyond attendance
    • We have been volunteering in the toddler room and we have both signed up for life groups this fall.
  18. Get Reese a passport
  19. Eat dinner at the table at least once a week.
    • We’ve done great this one. Now we just need Reese to sit there for more than three minutes.

Chelsea

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Fall Fun

What a great weekend we three had. It was filled with friends, football, a hike, some animals, and great fall weather. It really was an all-around great weekend that I wish continued for a few more days.

We started off the weekend with a dinner at our house to discuss how our nanny share is going with all three parties involved. We had some pulled pork and a mac n’ cheese bar (plus wine) to help our conversation. It was a good discussion on how to make the share even better for the girls and parents in the months to come and was good to check in on one another on how everything has been going up until now.

We had two football games to watch on Saturday; Michigan at 9 am and Texas at 12:30 pm so we weren’t done with those two wins (!!) until about 4 in the afternoon. Meanwhile, Bryan had his first men’s group of the fall season and Reese slept more than 3 hours at her nap (which she has been doing the past few days). But by 4 pm we needed to get out of the house and the highs in the upper 60s and sunny skies were calling for us to do so. We met up with Billy, Val, Phillip and Anne and all of the kiddos at Carpinito Brothers Farm in Kent, WA at their pumpkin patch. None of us bought pumpkins but we did enjoy the fall fun yard. Reese was in absolute awe of the mama pig and her piglets. She was also interested in Willy the goat, the chickens and the cows. She played in the sensory corn bin, went down the hay slides a few times, found her way through the hay maze and really enjoyed just wandering around outside. We enjoyed catching up with our friends a bit but then had to head home to get her to bed. We picked up Chipotle on the way home for ourselves before calling it an early night…

Because we had plans to go hiking on Sunday! Bryan was up and at it early Sunday morning, making a powerhouse brunch for us to fuel us for the hike. We got all of us dressed and our bags packed and ready to go and were out the door around 8:30 am. We decided on Mt. Pilchuck, as the only other time I have done this popular hike was in the fog years ago where I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face. We got to the trailhead, after a very bumpy forest road jog, just after 10 am and Bryan donned Reese and we started up. The hike is supposedly 5.5 miles and 2,300 feet of gain but Bryan’s watch clocked in at 7 miles of hiking so I am not sure what to believe. This trail does take some time thanks to it being so rocky and slow going. We made it to the lookout tower at the top just before 1 pm, after one short break about midway up, and Reese enjoyed socializing with everyone else resting in the tower. Great 360 degree views on such a clear day!

After some snacks, water and a breather we started to make our way down the rocky path. Reese fell asleep for a good portion of the bumpy trek and we made it back to the car around 3 and got back to Seattle at exactly 5 pm. Next up was our date night with happy hour at List followed by our first play at the Seattle Rep for the 19/20 season. Our sitter arrived around 5:45 pm and we made it to List to get four delicious dishes (sea bass, octopus, mozzarella salad and truffle gnocchi) and wash all of that down with their $20 bottle of wine. This stop sure brought us back to our mid 20s when it used to be one of our favorite spots. Ambiance might not jive 100% with our likes now but we remembered why we liked it so much. We made it to the play just in time, absolutely loved the Yiddish musical of Indecent, and picked up Menchies on the way home to round out one stellar weekend!

Can’t wait for the next weekend already!

Chelsea