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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

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Didn’t See That E.R. Trip Coming…

Yup, you read the title right. The three of us did make a trip to the E.R. this past weekend, but I’ll get to that in just a bit…

Last week went by in a flash, we went to the park, we had great weather (including our first sprinkles in six weeks), we had Lottie and Sarah over for enchiladas, and then we had the eventful weekend. I got my haircut on Friday (too short I might add) and then Bryan and I readied ourselves for the wedding we were attending before picking up Reese. Being our anniversary, I was also presented with new earrings to wear to the wedding, the most beautiful bouquet of flowers, and chocolate and caramel covered pretzels from my love. The weekend started off to a great start!

My beautiful flowers

We picked up Reese from school and headed to the Kirkland Marina at Carillon Point where the wedding was taking place and got Reese party ready in her twirly dress and a refreshed hairdo. The wedding ceremony started at 5:30 pm and was held outside overlooking the lake under tents. It was extremely comfortable and beautiful and the ceremony itself was really well done by the officiant. Reese and Eliana sat next to us and both girls did well through the most difficult part of the wedding. The wedding ended fairly quickly and we were all ready to let loose. The cocktail hour was held outside on the lawn while the catering staff converted the outdoor tent from ceremony to table settings and we enjoyed drinks and snacks while chasing around Reese and catching up with friends. We were finally seated for dinner and what an exceptional dinner it was! The salad alone was picture worthy but I didn’t snap any photos. Reese’s kids meal was presented ahead of our meals and I was starting to worry that there was no way either of us was going to be able to eat our meals in peace. However, Eliana had a babysitter for the night (two actually) and the sitters watched the girls as they played with each other on the lawn while us parents could eat our meals; short ribs with polenta and roasted carrots and salmon with the most decadent crab mac and cheese. This was an amazing surprise!

After dinner we gathered Reese and headed inside to watch the cake cutting and the first dances and Reese marveled at Kati’s beautiful white dress. We hit the dance floor and Reese took a few breaks early on to enjoy her slice of cake but otherwise she remained on the dance floor until 10 pm. The girl is a party animal and had so many of the wedding guests trying to give her high fives and laughing at her dance moves and running circles around everyone. We decided that Reese wasn’t going to make it much longer and Bryan was starting to feel his back hurting (with all the lifting and twirling of Reese on the dance floor) so we set back home. Reese was easy to put to bed and we tried to get to bed right after her. However, after getting to bed after midnight, Bryan wakes me up at about 1:30 am in an immense amount of pain from his back and stomach troubles. He’s obviously not doing good and not able to fall asleep and so I ask him to go to the E.R. We try to call for an Uber to take him there so we don’t have to wake Reese but the Uber driver canceled the trip (understandably so) so I got Reese into the car without stirring too much and we drive Bryan to the E.R. I drop him off so that I can get Reese back into bed but then have difficulties myself falling asleep as I’m worried and anxious about what is going on with Bryan. Bryan gets an Uber back to the house around 4:30 am and I let him. His vitals were checked out okay so he had to wait too long to see an actual doctor and started feeling some better so he decided to come home and schedule a doctor’s appointment for the next day. We all try getting back to sleep for what sleep we can get and I’m just relieved that he’s no longer doubled over in pain.

So Saturday morning starts and I’m not ready for it to start really. I let Bryan get as much sleep as he can and then let him rest all day while I take Reese to my company’s picnic at Magnusson Park. It ended up being a very cool and windy morning to start but eventually got nice and Reese had a great time playing with the other kids in the water, eating a boatload of clementines, cookies and cupcakes, taking a break at the park for about an hour, and then coming back and getting her hands painted and playing cornhole. I couldn’t get her to leave until about 4 pm, after over 4 hours of being there, which I was not expecting and so her sole nap on Saturday was the 30 minute car ride home (not what I needed on this particular day). We got home and Bryan is still resting but was prescribed some muscle relaxers for his back. These apparently worked well but taking one meant he was down and out for the count for a good 12 hours. Bryan did a lot of sleeping this weekend! We spent the rest of the night playing at home and watching a movie.

Reese throwing rocks with my coworker’s daughter at the company picnic

Bryan was starting to feel some better on Sunday but still immensely drowsy from the muscle relaxers. He held off on taking one until we walked over to Lottie’s for the morning to spend her birthday with her. Sarah picked us up some pastries from Bakery Nouveau and we sang happy birthday to her and gave her a balloon from the store. The girls then tried out Lottie’s new balance bike and scooter outside on the sidewalk while Bryan was able to help Sarah finish putting together Lottie’s new doll house that is at least 4′ tall. We headed home for nap time and Reese gave me a good nap time this time. Afterwards, we let Bryan get some more rest and I took Reese to a playground to play for a while and then picked up burgers from Red Robin thanks to a mystery shop. I was relieved the weekend was over as it was not the most relaxing weekend for me but I was more relieved that come Monday morning Bryan was much improved and more or less back to himself. We didn’t get to go to Training Camp for the Seahawks but otherwise we still did a bunch of stuff just not with daddy and we missed him!

This week has been busy at work but also busy trying to get things cleaned up around the house and ready for the party this upcoming weekend and the visit with Lon and Trish. I feel much better about the status of the house and was finally able to get our carpets cleaned. We are expecting another heat wave and it already feels too hot for me so we might be spending some time at the splash parks or Lon and Trish’s hotel room lol.

Playing in the splash pad, might be doing more of this during this heat wave

Chelsea

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San Diego Respite

Back in Seattle after our 4 night trip to San Diego and I already want another vacation. We all thoroughly enjoyed our quality time spent just the three of us, without attention to what day of the week it was or what schedule we needed to follow. We had fun in the sun and did some sight seeing and overall it was both relaxing and whirl of activity. Reese was thrilled with the red car that we had and excited about our hotel while we were there and didn’t seem to have any problem with letting her hair down…

We picked Reese up from school just after noon on Wednesday to head to the airport. We made it to our gate without a problem but then had to wait some time to be able to board the plane which was the most difficult part of the entire travel since Reese was mightily due for a nap by the time we got on the plane. She promptly fell asleep as soon as she was in her seat, before the plane even took off, but it was a short nap. We arrived in San Diego a little after 6 pm, took the bus to get our red rental car, and made the short drive for dinner #1 of the trip; a return trip to the very nearby Lucha Libre for their amazing California style burritos (i.e. no rice or beans but fries and avocado instead). We shared two burritos and their chips and sat outside the little restaurant where music was playing and Reese spent the entire duration shaking her booty (quite literally she did this). We walked across the street to get gelato and shared some chocolatey goodness before heading to the hotel to check in. We were upgraded to a suite room which was an excellent upgrade for us with Reese. This also put us in the separate Suites building instead of the high-rise at the Hyatt Regency in Mission Bay. Our room was great with a room with two plush double beds and a separate living room. We had a small balcony that overlooked the marina which was also amazing and lent itself to quiet at night but some lively boat and sea lion activity during the day.

Thursday morning began our first full day in San Diego. Also thanks to Bryan’s Globalist status with the Hyatt, we were able to get free breakfast every morning at the sit down Red Marlin restaurant at the hotel. We dined here all four mornings; sitting outside twice and inside twice, all chosen by Reese. Reese had the kids pancakes every single morning and ate them all on two occasions. Bryan and I tried a few of their omelets, avocado toast with poached eggs, crab cake benedicts, breakfast salad, yogurt parfait, and steak burrito. The food was good and filling and a really great savings for both time and money.

Thursday was our beach day so after breakfast we set out on foot with the stroller to walk the 1 mile to Mission Beach. We set up our spots with our new beach blanket and had fun in the water and sand for some time. After we got our fill of the beach we walked to the neighboring Belmont Park to ride all the kids rides. We rode the carousel, the spinning ice cream cones and the submarine ride to our hearts content without ever having to wait in line. Reese was all about the rides and had an absolute great time on them. After 1 pm we knew we would need to break to get Reese some lunch and head back for a nap so we walked to the neighboring Zozo’s Pizza for a few slices of pizza before walking back to the hotel where Reese took a long nap. After nap we decided to head back out to the beach area, getting in a few more rides at Belmont Park, including the car race ride that Bryan happily rode (!!) then walked across the street to an expansive playground for a while before driving to Pacific Beach to dine at another return destination: Oscar’s Mexican Tacos for their amazing breaded fish tacos. We got our fill of tacos before heading to the store for some snack/lunch essentials to have on hand and beer and then returned to the hotel for the night.

Friday was SeaWorld day so after our breakfast we loaded up the stroller again and set out to SeaWorld which was a little more than a mile from our hotel. This ended up being a pretty warm day and although it was a weekday, SeaWorld was packed. We headed straight to the dolphin show first and although we found it entertaining I don’t think Reese was as amused and was just plain hot. After the show we went and saw the sealions and a few other sea life before trying our hand this time at the orca show. We got closer this time and I think that helped and we also got a slushy drink for Reese that she was all about. This show was great, in my opinion, but again I think Reese was more into her “juice” and “going to the park” than anything. We left and set out for the Sesame Street fun zone. This is where the rides for kids are and we did get a chance to ride three of them although the lines where much longer and less thrilling than Belmont Park the day before. Reese did thoroughly enjoy seeing Cookie Monster dance on a ship and seeing Elmo take pictures with other kids. Reese also could have spent hours (and probably spent nearly one) in this toddler bounce zone with foam blocks. We were okay with this as we got a chance to sit in the shade.

We left SeaWorld at about 2 pm and Reese surprised us both by staying awake until we got back to the hotel. We had PB&J sandwiches and then finally got Reese to take her nap. Bryan ended up having to wake her up just before 5 pm because he was wanting her to be able to enjoy the pool slides that close at 6 pm but Reese was none too happy about being woken up from her nap. We managed to get her to the pool where she was able to go down the slide a few times before it closed and then we hopped from pool to hot tub to keep warm. Around 7 pm we headed back to the room where we had Middleeastern food delivered to us as we settled into the hotel’s showing of Frozen and enjoyed a nice night in.

Zonked

Saturday was primarily the zoo in the afternoon so the morning we had free to our leisure. After breakfast we set back out for the playground we enjoyed briefly a few nights prior and here Reese spent about two hours checking everything out. She made a few friends and really enjoyed her time her, surprising no one. We finally convinced her to head back to the hotel for more sandwiches around 1 pm and once Reese was down for a nap Bryan and I took turns using our free one-hour paddleboard rental to spend some solo time on the water. We each explored the marina and the nearby bays, finding the wind and current to be a challenge at times, and each enjoyed this time on our own. After we were both done and Reese was up from her nap we set out in the car to the San Diego Zoo. This zoo is phenomenal! I’ve always heard this but seeing it for myself definitely confirmed that. We were there for a little over two hours and really tried to hit all of the major exhibits. It was so peaceful just walking around the zoo setting and we definitely got our steps in. Going when we did we found the crowds a little quieter and the temperature just perfect. We took the skyway train out and back just for fun and that was enjoyable and again got Reese a slushie.

Once we had our fill of the zoo we headed to the nearby Balboa Park. Our plans were to meet up with our local FareStart friend at a place in the Park called Panama that had live jazz in an outdoor setting but upon arrival they were fresh out of tables and reservations. Totally a bummer as the place looked amazing and I’d love to go back. She recommended a trendy Italian place just over a half mile walk away from Balboa Park so we walked the distance to meet up with her (Reese literally ran most of that distance). I was worried that Reese was in quite an energetic state for this dinner, which she was, but once she got her kids pasta (a gigantic bowl of rigatoni with red sauce) she sat quietly and demolished the whole bowl, of course then resuming her climbing and other late night agility acts. Meanwhile we got caught up with our friend who moved back to her hometown of San Diego just under three years ago. We split a great arugula and wild mushroom salad, a spicy calamari and octopus dish and the short rib ravioli that was excellent. We also enjoyed their fresh complimentary focaccia with an herb oil. It wasn’t a lengthy dinner, thanks to Reese mostly, but it was a nice fancy dinner out with some company. We walked back to our car and headed back to the hotel for our last night.

Walking the bridge from Balboa Park

Sunday was our last day in San Diego but we had most of the day to enjoy it with a flight at night. We wanted to spend more time at the pool and did so right after breakfast and as soon as the slides opened. From 11 am until about 1:30 pm Reese was pretty consistently going down the one kiddie slide over and over again. We suspect she surely went down at least 100 times. We would go warm up in the hot tub about every thirty minutes and towards the end one of us got to lay in the sun for some time. It was a nice time at the pool and Reese was having a blast at the slide with the other kids. Some of the other parents there nicknamed her “Champ” and “Starfish” due to her untimid nature going down the slide and the star on her Puddle Jumper floatie. We finally managed to convince her to head back to the room and we had one more day of sandwiches and a nap while we packed to get ready to leave.

Photo in the big chair at the Hyatt

Reese woke just before 4 pm and we were able to extend our checkout until 4 pm. We packed the car and set out for one last round of fish tacos from the other Oscar’s Tacos location before returning the car and heading to the airport. We got Reese food in the airport and had no problem on our flight; Reese was extremely well behaved for this late flight and watched both Frozen movies throughout the length of the flight. We landed a bit early but then had complications being able to pull into our gate so we didn’t do so until over 45 minutes after landing, at this point it was past 10:30 pm. We ended up pulling into our driveway after getting our bags and the car at 11:30 pm and Reese had literally only fallen asleep ten minutes prior but was so easy moving from car to bed (a rarity).

I got to spend a little time during naps reading on our little patio

Back to work today after getting home so late and neither of us are thrilled about it but I also feel refreshed and have so many good memories from the trip. Plus we have a lot of exciting things on the calendar in the next month: a wedding to attend, our 5-year anniversary, Lon and Trish visit, Reese and Lottie’s joint birthday party (still planning), Seahawks Training Camp, my company’s picnic, and then heading out to Michigan at the end of it all.

Chelsea

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Wonderful Weekend

I think Bryan and I are both majorly living for the weekend these days. They are glorious! This past weekend was an especially good weekend spent with some activity, some friends, some projects accomplished around the house, and some down time. It can’t get better than that!

We started the weekend with the playground in Capitol Hill and a visit to the bookstore for a gift for the baby shower that I was attending and then headed home for a movie and delicious pizza (thanks to over-ordering of our first back-in-the-office staff meeting). Saturday morning began and Bryan made him and Reese pancakes and bacon, like usual, but I had a Baby Sprinkle to attend to and left on my scooter to pick up a friend and take her with me. The Sprinkle was at a salon in Ballard for mani-pedis and some brunch fare and I mainly chatted with Polly while getting my hands and feet both beach ready for our upcoming San Diego trip and hopefully still looking good for the wedding we have coming up to attend. I headed back home and Reese and Bryan were back from the playground and Reese was quick to take a nap.

How casual can our pizza nights get?

While Reese napped, Bryan began the installation of the new hitch on the CR-V and I was on a mission to finish painting the new “nursery” room. I got mostly down when Reese found me and we waited for Bryan to finish so that I could finish my project. Both of us got our projects done, Bryan’s was a fair bit more elbow grease with cuts to prove it but all of the painting that I had left were way up high and no fun either. Glad we were finished with our respective projects, we started up the grill and had dinner of burgers and fries on our back deck. After dinner we walked up to Plum Tree Park for a quick playground session and then walked over to Feed Co for a chocolate shake that we split on their patio.

Sunday was our planned fun day and we had plans to test out this new hitch that Bryan had put on. After egg sandwiches at home, we piled up the car with all of our gear and headed north to Snohomish. Our agenda was to play at the playground for a bit before getting on our bikes and hitting the start of the Centennial Trail for at least 12 miles out to Cassady Lake. Our plan went to plan and Bryan pulled Reese up the gentle incline on the way out, stopping just past Cassady Lake before we turned around and swapped Reese out to my bike and I got to pull her back down the gentle decline back to the starting point. The 25 miles took us just under 2 hours and was a lovely ride on a very flat paved railroad grade trail. There were no bugs and not many people and it really was so nice to just ride and not worry about cars or traffic or anything else really. We got back to the starting point and Reese hit the swings one more time. We hit the Pilchuck Drive In a block away for some fries, fried mushrooms and a strawberry shake (we tried to walk there but the indoors is still closed and a drive-thru only) and took these snacks to the gazebo at the river that I spotted on the way into town. This was a lovely spot to have our snacks at before leaving town.

Polly and Ryu asked us over for a BBQ at their house earlier in the day and since we were already north with no plans for dinner we took them up on it. We stopped on got beer and watermelon to bring over and then Ryu treated us to delicious steak tacos off the grill with his own homemade mole sauce and pickled red onions. Everything was delicious and Reese enjoyed their company and eased her way into throwing balls for Momo to retrieve. After dinner, Reese even got to hold baby Niko which was really something to see. We got back home pretty late and Reese had barely a nap on the bike ride so she hit the sack pretty quick.

We have two full days at work this week and then a short day before we head down to San Diego for our first solo family vacation in quite literally forever. We are all so excited and I really am looking forward to moments of relaxation but also the fun we will have at SeaWorld, the zoo, and the other things we have planned while we are down there. Almost there!

Chelsea

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Half Way

Last week marked my halfway mark through this pregnancy, hitting 20 weeks last Monday, and we also had our 2nd ultrasound that gets into the nitty gritty details of baby’s development so far. Our ultrasound went smoothly, as we were told that there are no causes for concern, and so far everything is still looking good for baby #2 (aka Mellow). Although the radiologist said, and I quote word for word, “Wow, this is one active baby.” at which point Bryan and I looked at each other in legit fear.

As far as how I’m doing, I feel like I am in that sweet spot in pregnancy where my energy is back (most of the time), nausea has subsided (most of the time) and the worst pregnancy symptoms have yet to come. My visual appearance I think still makes it difficult for other’s to notice at times. I have a good way of disguising the belly I guess but if I wear form fitting clothes its hard to not notice the bump. I love reading the weekly pregnancy updates that get sent to my email. It’s all rosy and sweet when talking about the baby forming and all the progress the baby is making during development and then it starts talking about development for mom and it’s not the least bit positive. For instance, this week it’s:

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 20

Now if that doesn’t make a woman want to have a baby I don’t know what will! But like I said, mine aren’t too bad right now. I have gotten more moody at times. I’m still moving and that’s good for me. Reese and I are still walking to school in the morning most every morning. I’m still doing the occasional Fitnessblenders each week and I’ve still gone on some good bike rides. We did our first hike this year which was an 8 mile hike (but with only 1,500 feet of elevation gain) but Bryan was lugging Reese along the whole time so I had it easy (honestly the hardest part of this whole hike was the mosquitos without bug spray as my legs continue to feel on fire). I started doing yoga once a week at the studio next to our office now that I am back at the office and that is a great addition to help me safely stretch out my muscles and take a little time for centering myself.

I do feel about twice my size post-dinner. There is something about the evening meal and the evening time period that my body both feels and looks way bigger. I’m sleeping well and so is Reese so that is a plus, although, Little Miss has been sleeping with us at some point in the night every night lately. Knowing these feel good days aren’t going to last forever, I did start painting the new “nursery” two weeks ago. It’s a bear to paint with the angled walls and high ceilings plus the fact that we are and will still be using it as an office for some time but the progress is slowly coming along. I have about an hour left of work until I am done with the first coat and already got another gallon plus of paint needed to finish the project up. I’m ready for the paint to be done so I can get the furniture and get all of the clutter out of the hallway. I’ve also started my cross stitch project for the room, quickly finished the first of the trio (as I picked the easiest to start with) and am making slow but good progress on the second much more time intensive pattern.

Fingers crossed I keep feeling good and things keep going well. Reality of it all comes and goes but we still have over four months for it all to sink in.

Chelsea

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Happy Birthday Stinker Bryan

Yesterday we got to celebrate the most important man in the house; Bryan. Bryan’s birthday may have not been all pleasantries for him workwise but after he was able to put work aside he went on a solo bike ride around Mercer Island (our favorite ride) while I finished preparations for his birthday dinner. Billy, Valerie and their two girls were able to join us for a birthday dinner for Bryan featuring seafood and Italian food and it was absolutely wonderful to have them over again. I haven’t done many “fancy” dinners lately so it was really fun coming up with the menu featuring things I know Bryan would like and executing them and we ended up with one big spread. Bryan’s Italian dinner menu:

  • Caprese with heirloom tomatoes and fresh local mozzarella
  • Green salad with apples, pecans, and gorgonzola
  • Pasta carbonara
  • Grilled salmon with pesto cream sauce and grilled asparagus
  • Pan seared jumbo scallops
  • Bread and butter
  • Chocolate whiskey cake with chocolate chips and a salted caramel whiskey cream cheese frosting
  • Vanilla ice cream

We enjoyed dinner outside and then moved dessert inside. Reese’s enthusiasm for the entire night was out of control. She is sandwiched in age by the two girls, one having just turned 5 and one having just turned 2 and so they both knew how to play with Reese. It was pretty entertaining to see and when our guests left at just about 10 pm Reese was finally EXHAUSTED. We were able to catch up with Billy and Valerie and just really enjoy their company. It was a great night and I am just still so appreciative that this year we are able to reunite with friends, see people indoors, and share food with those we care about.

Following up on Bryan’s birthday, we are looking at doing a hike at Mt. Rainier tomorrow. Reese has been asking to ride in Daddy’s backpack and thinks that will be fun and we have yet to do a hike this year. It’s ironically about the same time in my pregnancy as I hiked with Bryan and his intern at Lake Twenty Two, when I was 22 weeks pregnant. I will be 21 weeks pregnant Monday and feeling good so now is the time to get a hike in under our belt!

Happy Birthday Bryan. We love you each and every day.

Chelsea

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Parties, Picking, and Picnicking

This past week has been an enjoyable one. It sure feels like summer around here and the temps are back to perfect (nearly 75-85 degrees every single day) and I have once again forgotten how it just doesn’t rain in Seattle during the summertime. I think the last rainfall was early June and there is no rain on the forecast for the next ten days. This means prime weather for outdoor fun and that we do every single day.

Since the holiday weekend, we’ve of course gone to the playground lots, Bryan and I each went for a solo bike ride last week, and Reese and I had tons of outdoor fun while Bryan did as well with the guys on their weekend away from the ladies and babies in Leavenworth, Washington.

For Reese and I, the weekend started with a walk to our favorite playground and pizza afterwards. Saturday morning we had our first official birthday party in forever and probably one of the few that would actually be meaningful to Reese considering her age. Rosalie was turning three and we were invited over to her house in West Seattle for a bouncy house in the backyard, cake, and lots of other goodies. There were tons of kids, tons of people, but neither Reese nor I really knew anyone. Reese does not care. We were one of the first to arrive and Reese was busy bouncing or playing for nearly three hours. I tried to meet people but its difficult with those you don’t know now post-Covid. It was still good to get Reese out of the house and having fun. We got fast food on the way home to keep her awake in the car (the drive to West Seattle right now is long thanks to the bridge under repair) and Reese managed to do so until home when she gave me a good nap. We met up with Sarah and Lottie on a walk to Volunteer Park that night. Even after the eventful morning Reese was all about the swings, slides and wading pool with her friend and I was glad to actually get to converse with someone.

Sunday morning we hit the road north to go blueberry picking at Argobliss Farms. We picked up Sarah and Lottie on the way who kept us company on the car ride and met up with the other single moms for the weekend; Tina and Carina along with their babes Jack and Eliana. We beat their car somehow by nearly 40 minutes and already had a ton of berries in our bucket when they arrived. Our girls by this point were losing steam so they had a picnic in the shade of the bushes while we continued picking for some time longer. We ended up spending just shy of two hours at the farm and our car’s combined weight of berries by the end of it was about 12 lbs (and only $24!). We stopped at a local burger joint for fries and burgers before heading to a wonderful park on the nearby small Silver Lake. All of us picnicked on blankets until the girls were too antsy to play on the large playground. We stayed until about 1 pm when it was getting hot and all of the kids were needing a nap. It really was a fun and worthwhile outing for the morning. Lottie passed out in the car but Reese was again a trooper until we got home and then took about a 2.5 hour nap at home!!!!!!!!!! She woke up just in time for Bryan’s return.

Although I had a good time around town, Bryan had a great time enjoying the company of friends, adult freedoms, and the beautiful town of Leavenworth in the Central Cascades. David picked Bryan up Friday afternoon to hit the road for their 2.5 hr drive. They enjoyed a night on the town on Friday night that left all of the guys, all in their 30s, suffering the consequences Saturday morning. They rallied for their 10 am tee time at the nearby golf course. After their game of golf, they spent a more low key night getting dinner at one of the many Bavarian joints downtown before heading back to their condo for a guys night in. Sunday morning, after checking out of their condo, they hit the Wenatchee River for some river floating which I am super jealous about. After they got their fill of sun and cold Rainiers they set back home. Bryan admits that he had a great time and enjoyed the weekend being with the guys again.

We were happy to have Bryan back home for the rest of the night on Sunday. After such an eventful weekend it’s nice to have a few days to ease back into work. I’m officially starting back at the office Tuesday through Thursday starting this week and I will be happy to have more of my coworkers back in the office now that the official return to the office is starting.

Chelsea