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One Month Shy of Two

And then we will officially stop counting her age in months, I guess. I can’t believe she will be two in a month, and yet I can. She seems so grown. She speaks in full sentences from time to time. She is extremely agile, strong, and impressive in her physical capabilities. And now she is going to “school”. It’s all a little much a little too soon if you ask me. But we continue to love her to death, more every day.

  • Singing the “ABCs” is her new thing. She definitely can hum along to it and knows when to sing a few letters, “A, B, C, and P” mostly and then finishes off with “me”. It’s a work in progress but both her and Lottie are obsessed with the song currently.
  • Her favorite number is still 2 and I am trying to get her to at least count to 3 but it’s still basically just 2. But she gets the number 2 in its meaning.
  • She can follow directions pretty well when she wants to. I’m always impressed when she actually does exactly what I say to her.
  • She’s really into pizza, pasta, Thai food still, chocolate of course, cookies, blueberries (!), cheese, popcorn, cereal, yogurt cereal, spoonfuls of peanut butter and chocolate milk. But apparently whatever is served at daycare she will eat so there is definitely something about peer pressure and environment in getting this one to eat.
  • She knows, turn for turn, how to walk to Lottie’s house and can walk there without help.
  • She is walking up and down the stairs, one stair at a time and upright these days.
  • She really likes getting into the Jeep for some reason lately. According to her, it’s “new car”.
  • She loves doing the splits, handstands, cartwheels and climbing over everything. Also jumping!! We need to get this girl into gymnastics. She can do full splits without struggle and has never seen me do them, she just does them and then says, “splits mama”.
  • Everything is “My, do”. She must do everything by herself unless she asks for help or you better expect her to do whatever you did for her all over again.
  • She’s finally letting me do her hair before we leave in the morning (most days). Hallelujah!
  • We lay with her in bed still as she goes down every night. She requests hair brushing, back scratching, and stroking her wrists (she’s had a bit of eczema for some months now, it’s getting better but her wrists have always been the itchiest spots).
  • She’s helping me more and more with cooking. I was actually pretty impressed with how she cracked three eggs by herself the other day and she also knows the ins and outs of making coffee in the morning.
  • She’s scared, yet still fascinated, by big trucks lately. For some reason their noise now causes her to run over and ask to be picked up. Same for the vacuum…
  • She’s getting much better at saying “I love you”. She’s also pretty cute saying “Dr. Pol”.

Chelsea

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One Week In

We have wrapped up our first full week with Reese at daycare and I have to say that I think it was a success on many levels. Reese has transitioned well and seems to be really enjoying her “school” and there is so much more quiet in the house, I can work downstairs which is better with Bryan and I often being in calls or meetings at the same time, and there is so much less to clean up around the house. Bryan and I still miss having the girls here though. It is definitely different around here now.

I don’t know if my expectations were so high with Reese and daycare that I just didn’t think there would be any issue with the transition at all or what, but I was definitely conflicted during drop off and pick up the first two days. Reese didn’t really want me to leave in the morning and although she didn’t cry she did give her pouty face and it broke my heart. She seemed so timid and shy those first few days and it didn’t help that Lottie always got dropped off after we were already there so her confidante wasn’t there to greet her yet. She seemed a little reserved at pick up those first few days as well, though the teachers all said she was eating well, napping, and seemed to be enjoying herself, they just also said that the transition can be hard for the kids.

First day excitement

I believe we hit our groove on Thursday and the whole day lifted my spirits and I knew she was settling in and enjoying her “school”. Thursday morning she was eager to get to school. She jumped down the stairs to her classroom and once inside and once she saw they had just sat down to breakfast, she practically ran over to the sink to wash hands, motioned me over for a quick kiss, and then found her place at the table. There was no attempt to delay my leaving and she looked so much more confident and at ease. It was much the same when I returned to pick her up. She was excited to show me the cars she was playing with. Then as we were getting ready to leave, Lottie came over and Reese said, “Bye Lottie. Love you.” She then said “Bye!!!” enthusiastically to all of the teachers and left with a huge smile on her face. As did I. And Friday morning was the same when she saw the kids that were already there had just sat down for breakfast she literally ran to wash her hands. You’d think we have been starving this kid.

Pretty hunky dory on Thursday afternoon after pickup.

We’ve driven twice to pick Reese up and walked home three times this week and both methods have been nice. Reese enjoys the walk but it is a little too long for her so she ends up getting carried half the way. She also demands a cookie or milkshake (caca milk) on these walks home, which we have obliged this week. Monday and Tuesday were so warm that we had a family swim in our bigger pool in the back yard once we were home and she really enjoyed those swims. Bryan and I have been able to spread out during the day, I’ve been able to tackle more household chores like laundry that hopefully will free up more time on the weekend, and there is about 20 minutes less work in tidying up the kitchen and living room by not having the girls there all day. I have more a sense of freedom now at home as before I literally had to time when I left my one room all day long. It’s also deathly quiet and that’s good for productivity but I think might need to be fixed in a few weeks.

First day after school milk shake treat

I’d say so far so good on this new routine. I’m relieved and happy and have full trust in her daycare teachers. That’s a very good feeling.

Chelsea

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Endings Bring New Beginnings

Last week was an eventful week. We celebrated mid-week for Bryan’s birthday but then the day after we had to make a bittersweet goodbye to our nanny of the past year and a half for the girls and the day after that we dropped Reese off at daycare for her first half day to transition her. It felt like anything but a normal week. Thursday felt like Friday, with us celebrating the end of our nanny’s time with one last happy hour cocktail of negronis and snacks on the back deck. And Friday felt like Monday because we were starting in on something new.

It did NOT feel like Friday that is for sure. However, Reese led me on a walk in the afternoon, straight to Lottie’s house (I had plans on going for a run with her but she led me on a walk, turn for turn, straight to Lottie’s) so I stayed and visited with Sarah for a bit before finally getting a short run in with Reese much later than planned before heading home and having pizza for dinner. Bryan joined us at home for dinner but he had a busy afternoon of a run in the Arboretum and then going to the driving range with Mark and Jeff and hitting the crap out of the balls!

Thankfully, the weekend felt like the weekend and was both parts relaxing and fun. We had beautiful weather the whole weekend through and it’s finally starting to feel like summer is here. We had pancakes outside (per request of Reese), played in the backyard for a while Saturday morning, and then Reese and Bryan took a nap together while I went for a solo run. On Saturday afternoon we took Reese to Seward Park to walk and sit and splash by the water. Soooo many boats out and Reese always has a good time with water.

On Sunday we got ready to go pick up Sarah and Lottie for an out-of-town adventure. We set forth for Henna Blueberry Farm in Carnation, WA (about 40 minutes drive away) to go pick blueberries. Since the girls ate two pints of blueberries in two days a little over a week ago, I thought they might enjoy it and we would enjoy getting some delicious fresh berries for a fraction of the cost. It was a toasty day and Bryan and Reese both got pretty hot. One had to retreat to the AC in the car while the other retreated to shade of the John Deere tractor. After over an hour of picking the berries, and eating quite a bit as we went along (particularly Reese had quite a few), we paid for our berries before heading home with the AC blasting. 4.5 lbs of berries were in tow for our one household. I’d say it was successful.

Once back in Seattle, Reese took some time to go down for her nap and didn’t do so until after 3 pm. This gave Bryan and I the late afternoon to share some sangria and beers on the back deck and we filled up the “big” pool for the next several hot days ahead of us. Once up, Reese was hungry so we had an early dinner and a movie night and wished for many more weekend summer days instead of getting back to work.

Cheers to summertime and nap time

This morning started Reese’s first day at daycare and I was a little anxious dropping her off. She was shy and timid this morning and I just wanted to hug and sit with her forever but I also knew if I stayed awhile it would make it that much more difficult. She didn’t cry when I left and it’s tough having to give her kisses through the mask but I’m still thinking that this is going to be good for her and that she will settle in quickly. Lottie wasn’t yet there when I arrived so I think Lottie will help the transition as well, I know Reese does for Lottie at least.

And back in Michigan, “Grandma”, as Reese said for the first time this morning is tackling one more step in her journey. I’ve heard surgery has gone well and is more or less as was to be expected so far. Like every moment already this year, I wish I could be there to help and support locally but I’m very grateful for the help and support she has without me.

Here’s to more new beginnings…

Chelsea

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Three Five

Yesterday we celebrated the most amazing father, husband, friend, brother, son, engineer, cyclist, hiker, and many other descriptors. I think Bryan was a little anxious turning 35 this year but I don’t know why. To me he seems completely in his own these days; enjoying his time spent with Reese at home, going for long bike rides as a family or solo, learning to brew and tapping into his mechanical self, running now at lightening speed, looking good with a full beard and lush head of hair, not having to commute into work, and seeing only our closest friends for moments that seem even more special during these crazy times.

Birthday kisses. Not pictured: Reese’s nakey butt

I was all about Bryan’s birthday this year. I think I had just as much fun as he did. Unfortunately, neither Reese nor I got to see him until nearly 4 pm because he had to go in for a mandatory training at work (?!) but after that it was all play, no work. We had plans to bike to meet up with Billy and Valerie (who we haven’t seen for four months) and their kids at the park for takeout BBQ. We biked the 12 miles to Briley’s BBQ, just off of the Burke Gilman Trail, to place our order before heading back about 3 miles to Matthews Beach Park to enjoy our dinner. It was a day with a high of 80, the warmest of what we have been having, but on the shaded Burke Gilman it felt perfect! We had our picnic steps from the water and Billy and Val treated us to delicious and refreshing froses (frozen rose slushies). We had quite the spread with a chopped brisket sandwich, a full rack of amazing ribs, slaw, greens, fries, and brussels. The BBQ was delicious and Reese managed one rib and some fries before deciding the ducks and the water were more interesting.

Reese chasing ducks

Reese had an amazing time, as she always does with her friend Ainsley. She followed her around the whole time and they were pretty cute playing in the water. I got to catch up with Val and Bryan with Billy. We didn’t end up leaving the park until just before 9 when we decided we couldn’t stay any longer in fear of it getting too dark for our 8 mile bike ride back home. We made it in time, getting home around 9:30 or a little later and Reese and I got Bryan’s cake ready while he put the bikes away. We sang him “Happy Birthday” (Reese was saying “Happy Birthday” all day long and it was so cute) and Reese got to steal a few bites before going to bed.

It was a day that felt NORMAL, a day that felt like summer; a bike ride, BBQ, friends, water, picnic, cake, warm weather. Definitely one of the better days we have had in a long time and I’m so glad that Bryan was able to celebrate his day this way. Happy Birthday Bryan! The only picture I have from the celebration is Reese chasing ducks and her giving her daddy a nakey butt kiss…

Chelsea

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Roller Coaster of a Week

What goes up, must come down, and then hopefully goes up again…

That’s what last week felt like for us. We were coming off of the high of a weekend at the coast with friends, sun, good food and fun and had to start working again. We were already feeling the effects of transitioning to work from a fun and eventful (and long) weekend and then we were hit with another speed bump. At the end of the day it was discussed that Lottie’s dad would be visiting and the nanny expressed concern of people flying in and possibly being exposed and this led to a dramatic confrontation in our backyard that ended there but then picked back up with two long phone call conversations between myself and the nanny first and then with Sarah second. It was midnight and Bryan and I were still all wound up and anxious about what decisions lay ahead and how all of this would roll out.

Girls playing kitchen

We made the group decision to sit on the conversation from Monday for a few nights to make sense of it all and sort it out before coming together to talk about it again. Needless to say, on Tuesday I was tired! The week went more or less normally but we had some long talks with Sarah to discuss our options and opinions in the evenings. Sarah and Lottie joined us for a spaghetti and meatball dinner at home on Tuesday and continued the conversation Wednesday with a walk around the neighborhood. By Thursday, Bryan and I were making excuses to leave the house in the middle of the day to tour the daycare in Capitol Hill that have spots (miraculously) for both Reese and Lottie, before picking up brunch to go from a cafe around the corner and have one last “meeting” with Sarah to discuss plans and how we were going to present this to the nanny.

Girls playing train

Thursday was the day, the day where we were going to lay out our options on the table and either start Reese in daycare soon or in the fall. Fortunately the meeting went calmly and without any debate. Also fortunately, the nanny stuck with her decision, making our plans easy to solidify. We ended the conversation on good terms and I felt a huge sense of relief, but also a great sadness as Friday marked the last day the girls would be together by themselves in the nanny share that we have had going for nearly 18 months. It all happened so suddenly that prevented much grandeur for the last day or really gave any time for the nanny to say her goodbyes to Lottie and the mighty duo. I did walk with the nanny and the girls to get donuts from Raised in the morning. And we had our weekly Friday happy hour with the drink the Bootleg and cheese and crackers on our back deck. But then Lottie had to say goodbye to Joie and it was sad and sweet. The girls don’t know an era is ending but we do. They also don’t know what is in store for them. They will both start daycare on Monday, July 20th.

Girls drinking their smoothies “juice” before the splash pad

The three of us continued the night with a walk to the neighborhood farmers market to get a few flats of berries before heading home for a movie in the backyard and burgers and fries on the grill. Everything still seemed rather normal.

Saturday was supposed to be our good weather day of the weekend so after banana pancakes we got ready for our long bike ride of the weekend. We left in time for Reese’s nap time in the Chariot and set out for Alki beach, past the beach and to Lincoln Park on the west-side of West Seattle. It was a 15 mile ride one way and we enjoyed a long time at the park, having a snack, throwing rocks in the water and playing on the animal sculptures before walking our bikes back about 1/2 a mile to a small park where a lone swing awaited an unknowing Reese. Reese had forgotten the word “swing” as it had been that long since she last swung. March 4th to be exact, the day we got back from New York. The smile on her face was priceless and she didn’t want to end the swinging. Finally she agreed to and we set back for home, with Reese getting another short nap in on the way home. We arrived home and ordered the family meal from Soi to enjoy at home with a movie.

Sunday was supposed to be the less pleasant day and so we did our usual Sunday morning grocery pickup run to Safeway and treated ourselves to donuts (Reese can put down a full chocolate bar no problem…then refuses to eat anything else the rest of the day and I still call myself a good parent). We played around the house and were generally all in a stupor until after Reese’s nap was over and we decided to head out for a walk since the weather had cleared and was glorious. The walk did us good and we finished the weekend at home with a Southern feast of sorts, ending with bread pudding with bourbon caramel sauce and ice cream.

Mid donut

To top off the week with stress on Reese’s childcare, work was killer for me. I went into the week with little to do but once I was asked for help on some tasks from the East Coast offices on the Catskills project, my entire work week flipped on its head and was nothing short of overwhelming. Fortunately I got it done and don’t expect the same out of this week.

Reese is flying solo with the nanny for her last week and we actually will be bringing her into daycare twice this week to help with the transition into daycare, so it’s even shorter than normal. I’m very curious how Reese will react to all this newness. Before she was so confident and eager to play with new kids and experience new things but she has (either naturally with age or unnaturally with what’s going on in the world) become more reserved and shy around strangers and the outside world in general. I don’t blame her, she’s spent now nearly a quarter of her life just in our small house with people she knows well. I’m excited to expand her horizons and hopefully find more friends and renewed confidence in herself. We will be watching closely that she just doesn’t lose her zest for life.

Nearing the beginning of a new chapter for us…fingers crossed.

Chelsea

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An Oregon 4th

This year’s 4th of July was spent at the beach, in the water, with fireworks and BBQ, enjoyed with friends and a few drinks in hand. Sounds rather normal and oddly, it felt rather normal. It still wasn’t the same but I’ll take it. I was so appreciative to get away for a few days with friends I hadn’t physically been near, eaten dinner with, had a drink with, and a new couch to sit on. Reese was equally excited and didn’t sit still for a single second of the weekend, she had to take it all in, for every waking moment.

Polly and Ryu invited the three of us down to her family’s beach house at Cape Meares, just outside of the small town of Tillamook, OR (known for their dairy farm where usually you can visit the factory and sample their cheeses and buy their ice cream but is now temporarily closed). It’s a 4.5 hour drive from our house, usually hitting some traffic at Tacoma, Olympia and Portland on the way, and here is a little map for reference.

We were mostly packed up Wednesday night so we could get a few hours work in before leaving midday on Thursday. We packed a nap-ready Reese into the car and set south, getting Burger King drive-thru on the way down and Reese enjoyed her fries between short naps. The traffic wasn’t bad and both our car and Polly’s arrived right around 5 pm. After settling in, we made our first short walk to the beach and Reese immediately found the ocean waves, sand and beach fascinating. She’s a water babe for sure. It was their dog, Momo’s, first time experiencing the ocean as well. We walked back, had a delicious steak dinner at the house and Reese didn’t go down to bed until 10 pm!

Polly and Ryu were up early to take Momo to the beach to run free with the beach to themselves. We needed sleep and Reese didn’t fully awake until nearly 9 am (after a lousy night of sleep) we were greeted with Ryu’s omelets for breakfast. Reese’s favorite activity of the entire weekend was following Momo around, doing some petting, ordering her around, and fetching her toys. Bryan and I took Reese back to the beach and we walked much of the length in the cool but refreshing air. We came back and put Reese down for a short nap so I got to read for some time on their deck under a blanket and with the sound of the waves in the distance. It was glorious!

She ran most the length of the beach

Once Reese was up we decided as a group to head out for a short hike to the Cape Meares light house nearby. It was a short drive to the “trailhead” and we set out for what ended up being just under a 4 mile hike with not too much uphill. Reese was a little difficult in her pack but we got our views in and a few pictures before heading back to the car and back to the house for the night. Ryu made us butter chicken for dinner and we spent the night catching up and watching movies.

Saturday, the 4th, was a beautifully sunny day on the coast. We woke earlier and had breakfast duty, making sausage and waffles for the group. Bryan and I drove out to the spit for a run with Reese in the BOB. We ran 3.5 miles before stopping to walk to the end of the spit and then running back for a grand total of about 6 miles of running and 2.5 miles of walking on the gravel road of the spit. Reese got in her one and only catnap on this run for the day. We went back to the house to catch up with the group and packed up to head to the beach for the rest of the afternoon.

We found a great private spot where the temps felt like 85 degrees instead of 65 degrees somehow and we played in the water and the sand, taking in the sights of the crowds on the beach and enjoying our drinks and snacks as you should on the 4th. Reese was getting tired and thirsty as we had run out of water, so I headed back to the house with her to clean her up from the beach and maybe see about getting her a nap in. Nope, no nap. The rest joined us shortly after that and we had the ribs that Bryan had going all afternoon in the oven. Reese got to light up some sparklers for the first time and was thrilled with them. We then got her to bed, with Bryan falling asleep next to her thanks to the sun and the brewskis. Meanwhile, I had the luxury of sitting with a glass of wine, under a blanket, on a deck, with a friend, while watching the fireworks firing off from the beach. It was the best!

Sunday was our departure day and our crew was trying to leave early morning. After a quick breakfast and coffee we helped pack up our stuff and clean up as best we could. We hit the road, after saying our goodbyes to our hosts, just after 10 am. We moved with some traffic the whole way home but pulled into our driveway just before 3 pm and it was a nice 75 degrees and sunny in Seattle. We set out for a nice walk to stretch our legs before heading home to have pizza while watching Hamilton with Reese (she loved both the za and the movie).

Back home Reese needed a change of clothes for the warmer weather and I thought the Team Krupp shirt was more than fitting.

We are on the struggle bus this week after coming off the high of the weekend with friends. Add onto that any additional drama and I just want to throw my hands up in the hair. We are also still having odd July weather for Seattle with highs ranging from a measly 61 to sometimes a rare 75 with a little bit of rain here and there. Usually by this time of year we are in the clear without a drop in the sky and temps to keep us relatively toasty but no one can predict a single thing about what this year is going to behold and bestow upon us. Our one adventure was a great one and has certainly left me wanting more!

Chelsea

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Our 22 Month Old!

22 months!! Wow wow wow. Reese has legit long hair, is speaking in phrases now, remembers stories and can recount them often, and is one smart cookie. I got to spend a large chunk of this month with her for her every waking moment so I really got to take in all she has learned and all of her quirks, obsessions, looks, etc.

  • It’s all about phrases right now; stringing two to three words together that actually make sense. She does continue to learn new words on the daily but I guess these are less striking to me. Some of her favorite phrases: “big booty”, “flower cut”, “touch flower”, “back up”, “no Lottie, no”. But my absolute favorite is when she now says “I love you.”
  • She is uber bossy. She directs Lottie and me (sometimes Daddy) to follow her exact steps or movements on walks, smell particular flowers, touch certain things, etc.
  • While I was “nanny”, she was my mini me and felt the need to give Lottie the same commands that I gave, “No Lottie, no” was apparently one because she says it often. “Lottie, eat” was another when I was trying to get them in their high chairs.
  • Both Reese and Lottie are starting to hum/sing the “ABCs”. They also obviously know portions of their favorite songs that they dance to.
  • The girls started making and drinking smoothies for afternoon snack. They were also big fans of chocolate milk, even though Reese still doesn’t like cow’s milk.
  • Reese has started to snooze on some days, which is a blessing since she hasn’t been going to sleep so early. Maybe it’s also a growth spurt.
  • Reese spent most mornings while I was “nanny” walking the whole way up the hill and often the whole way to Lottie’s. She can walk a mile for sure but I’m very impressed with her uphill walking skills.
  • The girl likes sand and beaches in general. Can’t wait for the weather to warm up to spend some more time at the beach to see the “big wawa”.
  • Reese is big into watering plants right now. I sure hope these tomato plants produce because I want her to see what she helped grow (both her and Lottie did help plant them as well).
  • Reese loves helping in the kitchen still and so I have been giving her more kitchen tasks. She has assembled many a salad for us. I just need to convince her that she doesn’t need to macerate the cucumbers before putting them in the salad…But she LOVES the Kitchen Aid mixer.
  • The current best things are the balloon that we got at Safeway for $2 and cardboard boxes. Also obstacle courses.
  • She still won’t really let us read books to her but she wants to bring us books and she reads them on our lap.
  • She has been a cuddle-bug lately and I kind of love it.
  • She could play open and shut doors forever. She will literally shut the upstairs doors for an hour if we let her, just sometimes we also need to be playing the game by “knock knocking”.
  • She’s super funny and makes us laugh all of the time. She’s a goof ball and I love it.
  • She’s gone on many a bike ride and does so well on them. She’s pretty content in there with her snacks, her water, her Wubba, and her sunglasses.

I can’t believe we are only a few months from this little one’s second birthday. I don’t know how that can really be. Still not sure what her 2nd birthday will look like at this point but Reese still doesn’t seem to mind the whole social distancing thing as much as the rest of us.

Chelsea

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What the Doctor Ordered

Set aside the first week that I watched the girls and my time “away” from work and spending my days as the girls’ nanny was just what the doctor ordered for me. I needed a mental break and I don’t mind the physical expense that comes with playing, walking, singing, reading, feeding, and monitoring them. I shifted my mindset from one of being their nanny and to just having fun with them. It’s summer and the weather during the week has been nice, I don’t have to sit at a desk all day, so let’s go out and play.

This screams summer to me; bare feet, shorts, dazing off, green grass, crazy hair, snacks on the go.

Certainly, it was the pressure lowered from work that made the second two weeks wonderful, but we also had glorious weather and the girls and I fell into our own routine, which wasn’t so much routine to begin with. Reese and I would walk up the hill, me pushing the double stroller, in the morning to go get Lottie. Reese has a whole routine with this walk; smelling particular flowers, sometimes requiring lifts in the air to smell the tall ones, saying “hi” and “bye” to the neighborhood chickens, etc. But Reese also walks all the way to the top of the hill and sometimes further, sometimes all of the way to Lottie’s. On the way home, the girls walk about half of the way and then I pop them in the stroller. By the time we are home, they are ready for breakfast, generally this being yogurt, sometimes oatmeal. We’d play inside for a while, reading books, doing puzzles, obstacle courses, etc. We’d go outside for a little while before lunch and with the nice weather we would enjoy lunch outside listening to jams. The girls would go down for their nap anytime between 12 and 1 pm and that was my time to check work emails, get my own lunch and on two occasions I actually had enough energy to work out.

The girl’s naps range from 90 minutes to 3 1/2 hours, generally, so sometimes they are up early enough for an afternoon excursion and sometimes they are up just in time for a snack and for a walk home to return Lottie. But these girls love walks and generally when asked, that’s what they would choose to do. The double stroller served me well during this time and I used it often. If we didn’t walk home we would play in the backyard; singing and dancing to music, playing with the water, testing out the bikes that are still a tad too big for them to ride themselves.

We did a lot of things during the three weeks though. I took them to the beach at Lake Washington to play in the sand and water one afternoon. We walked through the Kubota Gardens in South Seattle twice and that was glorious. We got drive-thru fries for the girls to share on the way home. We had several picnics on our picnic blankets, finding shade in quiet parks. We made cookies and smoothies in the kitchen. I had the grand idea to walk to a dog park one afternoon, thinking the girls would find it fun to watch the dogs play. This was a good idea until Lottie immediately darted towards the dogs to chase them because she has absolutely no fear in animals. I took them to a secret playground twice to play on the “big slide”. They loved this and it was impressive to see them go down the tall slides on their own now and even exploring more difficult structures like rock climbing walls.

I was honestly a little sad that my time with the girls was coming to an end last week. I really enjoyed getting to know Lottie better and I have wanted to adventure with Reese during the weekdays for some time now. They are so fun right now, learning new words and new things on the daily. I’m back at work now and back at my shared office space with Bryan and that is also good, but I’m really grateful that I was able to take some time away. And I think Reese is excited to have her friend Joie back too.

Chelsea

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To the Dads

This year’s Father Day weekend is not one I will probably forget anytime soon. As with everything during the times of Coronavirus, each is part bizarre and part special in its own way. We went into the weekend without any concrete plans; part my fault and part what every weekend has been like since the beginning of March. Plans or not, we had a great weekend celebrating Dadda and dads afar and celebrating the beginning of summer.

We started off with our Friday weekly happy hour with BBQ takeout from Cask and Trotter and an outdoor movie screening of Mary Poppins for Bryan the girls. We had our weekly pancakes Saturday morning and after a low key relaxing morning we took a nice long walk in the sun after Reese’s nap, came back home to make steaks and drink delicious Bourbon on the back deck and finished the night with ice cream.

Sunday morning presented the most special present yet; Reese sleeping into until nearly 9 am!!! The slow start on the weekend morning was wonderful and unexpected. We set out to pick up breakfast burritos from Agua Verde and enjoyed this pre-bike fuel in West Montlake Park, watching the boats go through The Cut and strolling along the waterfront waving to the boaters. We set back home so Bryan could do a million things to get us ready for a long bike ride.

Greeting daddy in bed

I was going to be using Bryan’s old bike for the first time which meant that I had to learn how to ride with clip-in pedals with my new bike shoes, learn new brakes and handlebars, and learn how to shift on his bike. There was a whole lot of new and I was nervous about it all. I spent only about five minutes just before leaving on our ride practicing clipping in and out a few times and we were off. I did surprisingly well with all the newness, at least after the first two miles in. I never did fall though. Reese immediately fell asleep, as we expected her to do since we set out at 1 pm, planning this one through her nap time. She slept for the first 40 minutes, waking up after we had crossed the 520 floating bridge and had made our way through Kirkland on the eastside. We continued north until we hit the Sammammish River Trail and then heading back to the west, riding this along the north edge of Lake Washington before meeting up with the Burke-Gilman Trail to head back towards the U and eventually home. In total we biked 31 miles and kept a pretty good pace. We ran into some church friends about half way through and caught up with them, which is just so good to see someone you know these days. We took a break shortly after seeing them at a tiny little park that had a platform on the lake with a bench that we could enjoy our snacks, water, and watch Reese feed the ducks (she loved this!).

We got back home right around 5 pm and Reese was ready to try out her own bike in the backyard. She is still just a touch too short for it. We each took turns talking to our dads on the phone and then made a delicious Blue Apron dinner and watched Little Rascals before heading to bed. Definitely the highlight of the weekend was the bike ride and we are both feeling it today. But we also enjoyed a lot of good conversation which I feel is the most valuable present during these times.

Our trip summary

Our social circle is slim these days and we both miss friends and family dearly, something neither of us are afraid to admit. It’s great to be outside and enjoy something that feels normal during this season but there is the looming anxiety and anger about the whole situation right now. I am so incredibly worried about the lack of caution and concern the country is taking towards the virus right now. I fear for those I love. I am desperate to get back to Michigan and don’t see that happening anytime soon considering the current circumstances and spread of infection we are seeing on the rise again. Why we can’t, in the present day, be a unified community on one dire issue and come together on this, have a leader safely lead us through this, and do what other countries have been able to do, baffles and infuriates me. I’ve cried too many times dreaming of being with family again and thinking of the time that we are wasting and the lives we are losing with our lackluster approach to all of this. I really hope that we can get this thing under control because I know that we all want to resume life as normal. I’m fully preparing myself for the rest of the summer being in quarantine.

Chelsea

Uncategorized

Life Lately – Some Time in the Year 2020

I had created and titled this post last week and had planned on talking about what has basically become our “new normal” (hate the phrase but no other way I know to phrase it) for the past several months. For a while things weren’t too much different then they were a week ago, a month ago, or three months ago, other than we have settled into this routine. Work has been much the same. The house looks much the same. The routine is much the same. The weather is the same (gotta love Seattle this time of year…eye rolling). And I was going to talk about what that look like for us:

Weekdays:

  • Bryan wakes up at 6 am and rolls out of bed and heads straight to work.
  • Reese usually wakes up between 6 am and 7:30 am so that is when I wake up too.
  • Reese knocks on the office door between 7:15 am and 7:40 am to get in a shared bowl of cereal with her daddy before Bryan’s 7:45 am daily meeting.
  • We get ready, brush teeth, get dressed, vacuum the play area downstairs, make coffee.
  • Reese and I go for a short stroll or play outside while we wait for Lottie and the nanny to arrive usually around 8:30 am.
  • I greet nanny, discuss the girls, and then head up to my torture chamber (office).
  • Bryan and I work upstairs, 18″ apart elbow to elbow, from about 8:45 am until 3 pm. We usually go downstairs to get lunch while the girls are napping. If it is nice outside we each try to eat or get outside briefly to get some fresh air.
  • Around 3 pm, one or both of us might work out. I have to make sure the girls are either outside or occupied if I want to escape the house and go for a run or do a cardio warm-up outside. Otherwise, we can work upstairs because hey, we are already in that room. Yippee!
  • At 4:15 pm, we relieve the nanny and usually chat and hang out for a bit, sometimes go for a toddler-paced walk around the block.
  • Dinner around 6:30 pm, Reese’s bedtime routine starts around 7:30 pm, and she is now not falling asleep until between 8:30 – 9 pm, with one of us in the room with her.
  • We crash on the couch for an hour or so before heading up to bed ourselves.

Weekends:

  • Not too much different. Reese wakes up at about the same time and I get up with her.
  • Saturdays are still pancake mornings and she somehow knows they are.
  • Sunday mornings are now Safeway pickup order mornings in the car where we also grab donuts from Safeway and a Starbucks coffee as a treat.
  • We try to get outside when the weather is good; long walks, runs, bike rides, swimming in the backyard, etc.
  • We still have been doing weekend movie nights with dinner. We’ve watched most of the Disney movies and many of the Pixar movies already.

That’s all good and dandy and what a good routine…

Post donut disaster

HOWEVER, our nanny dropped a big one on us last Friday in telling us that she is going to take three weeks off, unpaid. We essentially told her she couldn’t do that to us, that she has three paid days she can use but three weeks?!? What were we supposed to do? Both Bryan and Sarah’s work has been stressful and chaotic. Both companies are in their own sorts of jeopardy. I’m the only one that could possibly take this time and I also was feeling a need for a break from work. Adding to that, my company qualifies for the FFCRA which would allow me to get paid 2/3 my salary for up to 6 hours per day, for several weeks if I so needed. After explaining to HR our situation and getting approval on whether this qualifies for this leave, then breaking the news to my supervisor, I’m full on ready to commit to watching the girls full-time for the next three weeks. I’m looking forward to. I’m ready for a break from work, even to just be eager to go back and appreciate work in the aftermath of this all.

So begins our “new normal” for these three weeks…now that I am a full week in. I have enjoyed stepping away from work and definitely the torture chamber this week. I like playing with the girls and doing things with them and for them. This week has continued to be on and off nice and miserable. We’ve made the best of both weather conditions. When it’s nice out, Reese and I have been walking to Sarah’s in the double stroller to get Lottie, and doing drop offs the same way. When it’s not nice out, we still go pick up Lottie but in the car. We’ve been able to swim one day, took a bath one day, went to the park twice, done a lot of puzzles, dancing, snacks, play-doh, obstacle courses coloring, and trains. We’ve gone on many walks. There have only been a few moments that have been stressful, when the girls aren’t sharing and acting up. For the most part, they have been pretty great and definitely a great reprieve from work.

But there hasn’t been a reprieve from work. This is the final week before our submission of the Catskills project to DEP. I’ve still been expected to do what I would normally be doing. Which means that I have had to have my phone on me more than I would like to field questions via chat messages or phone calls. I’ve worked straight through the girl’s nap times and I have worked until 11 pm after Reese has gone to bed the past two nights. I’m over all of that for sure. I have had ZERO time to do anything else. A part of me feels like super mom and a part of me just wants to go nap. I’m definitely ready for the weekend and hoping maybe to get a few work related items done this week so next week is not so stressful.

We have another happy hour tonight with our current “family” and another weekend of meh weather to get through. Maybe we will get a break like we did last weekend and get nice enough weather to go for another long bike ride or dip our feet in the lake. We had a great weekend last weekend with a 24 mile round trip bike ride to Juanita Beach Park and back, a long walk through the Arboretum, picking up our wine, and this week we were able to grill burgers outside once and picked up poke bowls to enjoy along the Sound waterfront one night.

Chelsea