The Tales of a 4 Year Old Birthday Party


  • princess
  • dress up
  • rainbow cake
  • park/playground
  • lots of friends
  • birthday song and candles

She shall receive. Last night we celebrated Reese’s 4th birthday and were delighted that so many of her friends and their families were able to join us. We decided rather last minute to move the party to a small park near us that is usually very quiet but super cute and shaded. We started the party right after school was over for the day. Bryan and I left about an hour early with the car packed full of party supplies and picking up the balloons we had dropped off and ice from Safeway on the way. We made quick work unloading the car, setting up a folding table and decorating that with the princess party plates and cups, put up a “Happy Birthday” banner over the monkey bars and a few other streamers on the playground equipment. We had some watermelon and a veggie tray and ordered a bunch of pizzas from Pagliacci’s.

Bryan then left me to finish set up and picked up Brooke (in her princess dress) and then Reese (in her unicorn princess dress) and Reese ran out of the car upon arrival to check everything out. She was pretty excited, to say the least, and loved everything. Party guests started to arrive and the kids kept themselves pretty entertained on the playground equipment, with the cars and wagons located around the park, and putting on and taking off the different dress up costumes we brought with us. Most parents got to enjoy themselves just sitting and talking, maybe with beer in hand. We were there for just about three hours and our last guests left around 4:30 PM when we started to pack up our things. The nice thing about park parties is that the mess gets picked up but there is no mess at the house!

Reese had a wonderful time. Both girls were sweaty and dirty and got in a quick bath once home. Reese crashed pretty hard when it was her bedtime, Brooke however needed some coercing to go down. It was a great party and I’m just thrilled that Reese had such a wonderful time with her friends.



Sweet Summer

This past week and weekend has felt very summery still, very warm still, and yet I still have the knowledge that summer will be coming to an end in the not so distant future and I seriously don’t want it to. I want to hold on to the remaining weeks we have left of summery with all my might!

Last week went by in a flash it felt like. After our camping trip we were facing temps in the 80s all week and weekend. We went to the Volunteer Park wading pool on two afternoons, once with a friend and once in conjunction with the Interlaken park play date combined birthday party for one of Reese’s classmates. Both times was nice to cool off in the water or the shade and spend time with fellow parents. We spent another day in a shaded park after school and the rest of the week Reese chose to go home and play at home for the night.

Bryan took two friends to the Seahawks one and only home preseason game against the Bears. He was not impressed with the quarterback situation we have this year but had fun at the game no less and got to catch up with some friends. This was one of the nights we went “swimming” and then I gave the girls a bath because they were so dirty and sweaty and then did not fair very well putting them down for bed by myself. All four of us were spent come Friday night and opted for just dinner and a movie at home.

Saturday started out nice and slow and we had most of the day free until we headed north to Shoreline for our friend’s son’s first birthday party. We got to play and hang out in their yard and they grilled a bunch of food. Reese had a great time with Eliana and pretty much entertained themselves with all of their fun toys. Brooke crashed on the way home and Reese was not too difficult to put to bed after the party either.

Sunday was a busy but fun day. I took the girls to gymnastics first and then we went straight from there to the nearby Jefferson Park so that Reese could play at the park (Brooke swung in the swings and watched) and from there Bryan took over so that I could go play in my soccer game. We won 2-1 and I headed back with the rest of the crew to home.

Brooke took an epic nap, Reese and I played, and then we had the sitter come over around 5:30 PM when Bryan and I headed to the eastside with our picnic bag to meet up with friends at the Chateau St Michelle winery for the Fitz and the Tantrums and Andy Grammar concert. We had a blast! We had no issues with traffic, parking or lines as I feared. Our friends had gotten there earlier and save us spots with them on their blankets. They had also purchased several bottles of wine for our group to enjoy through the night. With all of us contributing we had quite the epic picnic spread of cheese, salamis, olives, fruit, cookies, and veggies with dip. Fitz fortunately played last so everyone was on their feet to dance in the dark. It was a great concert and we are both feeling it this morning!

We have a birthday party to get ready for this week and one excited nearly-4-year-old who is ready for it. It’s also her last week of school before a week and a half break before the new “school year” starts.



Going on a Camping Trip

Although some might find this past weekend’s camping trip not resembling camping all too much, that’s still what we are going to call it. We spent two, successful, nights in a tent with the girls, didn’t shower, and had a fire and laid in a hammock. We did not cook any of our own food however, haha, but why would you when there is such good food to be had on Orcas Island!

Bryan and I packed, rather quickly, Friday morning to set out on this weekend’s adventure, and by noon we were ready to buckle in Brooke and pickup Reese early from school. Reese had the morning at school featuring a visit from a magician, which sounds super fun, but she was ready and eager to get to the ferry for our trip. We had about 90 minutes to drive up to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal, Reese watched a movie and Brooke took too short of a nap. We got to the ferry extra early so we explored the terminal and the nearby beach before the ferry was ready for us (it was also late to arrive). Our scheduled 3:45 PM ferry set off and we walked around the boat taking in the views.

Our 50 minute ferry arrived on Orcas and we drove the 15 minutes to Eastsound to have dinner at Mijitas, a Mexican restaurant that is very popular and features a huge serene outdoor space. We placed our order pretty quickly, the fresh chips and salsa arrived, the margarita, and not too much longer our food. And it was delicious. Both Bryan and I got the dungeness crab enchiladas that were super meaty, buttery and had just the right kick of spice to them. Reese got a quesadilla that also concluded with ice cream and she was happy as well.

After dinner, we drove the short drive to West Beach Resort to set up camp for the weekend. We were site 49A and it was a quiet shaded spot at the back of the camping sites. I had received a free 6-person tent recently off of Buy Nothing which was a great item to have on this trip. We had tons of space and being able to stand up in the tent to change was super nice. We got everything all set up and then walked to check out the amenities. Reese found several kids already playing on the small but cute playground. She spent some time there while Bryan got a drink at the little shop. We were approaching sunset so the entire campground seemed to migrate to the shore to catch it. The resort has a big bonfire each night at sunset and puts out free popcorn, which the kids all loved. We got another bowl of ice cream since they carry the really great Lopez Island Ice Cream at the store. We spent some time down by the water before it was getting to be too late for the girls. We headed back to our site and Reese met the four-year-old girl who was camping next to us. They played for a bit while I put Brooke down and then not too much later the rest of us retreated to our tent for the night since it was well past dark.

We woke Saturday morning after a pretty good night of sleep. I had picked up some pastries before leaving Seattle and we had those plus a latte from the camp store and some fruit for breakfast. Reese played a bit more with our neighbor but she was getting ready to head back to her home so we had to quickly say our goodbyes too. We packed up the car and headed to Moran State Park with the intention to hike Mt. Constitution with the girls. We made pb&js in the parking lot and filled up our water bottles.

Bryan carried Reese the whole way and I had Brooke. We made it the full 7+ miles and 1,200 feet of gain up to the top, despite Reese’s protest as she was not enthused with this day’s event. Once to the top though, Reese enjoyed the views and walking up to the top of the stone tower a few times. Once we had a snack and some water we headed back down and truly made great time.

Back to the car we first stopped at the main camp at Moran to play at their little playground. We then drove to the tiny town of Olga to get lunch/dinner at Buck Bay Shellfish Farm. It was busy but we ordered our food and received after not too long, and Brooke was able to get a nap in during this wait and the majority of the meal. We had a truly fantastic seafood meal under a giant wheeping willow tree with several other tables and it was just perfection. We got the halibut fish and chips and the taco trio, featuring cajun salmon, grilled halibut, and grilled shrimp tacos, a large house salad with all of the greens grown in their own garden, a local huckleberry soda, and an Island Hoppin’ kolsch from the on-island brewery. Again, perfection. You could also view Buck Bay from the tables.

We drove back to our campsite, with a stop at the store to get Reese candy as we had promised her on the hike, and once back all rested in the hammock or the tent for some time. We then decided to make use of the resort’s hot tub to soak our muscles and all changed into our suits to do so. This was fantastic as we had the hot tub to ourselves and it felt so good on our backs, was slightly cool this day anyways, plus we had views of the beach and the setting sun. We changed and then picked up a pizza from the shop as well as a brownie fudge sundae that we ate back at our campsite as Brooke was already sound asleep. We made a fire at our campsite with the wood found around us and then Reese soon after was tired and quickly fell asleep. Bryan and I got to enjoy the fire for another hour or two, along with a drink in hand, before Brooke woke up and we all made our way into the tent.

On Sunday morning, Brooke woke me up before 7 am so I put her in the Ergo to go for a walk not to wake anyone else up. We walked down the lengthy dock over some beautiful still water, along the beach, and back to the campsite where the other two were now awake. We started to put away our camp to go ahead and check out and explore the town of Eastsound a bit. I had wanted to get brunch at New Leaf Cafe and we sat on their covered porch overlooking the water and it was pure bliss, at least once I got my coffee and Brooke got a banana. I got the crab cake benedict, Bryan the pork with mole and fried eggs which was like a build your own breakfast taco plate, and Reese the kids waffle which was excellent. After breakfast, we strolled through town and stopped in the main park area to check out their play structure but to our delighted surprise there was a big band concert setting up in the pavillion. Reese made a new friend from Georgia and we watched her play, Brooke napped in the stroller, and we sat listening to the music sipping our coffee.

After quite some time there we decided to start our voyage back home. We tried to get on the 12:20 PM ferry but that was full so we settled on the 2:20 PM ferry like we had booked. We took a quick drive around Westsound and Deer Harbor and then drove back to the ferry terminal to check in and park, got out, shopped in the gift shop and bought a chocolate chip cookie and then chips and water from the grocery store before sitting by the terminal for awhile. When the ferry arrived, Bryan drove the car on and I walked on with the girls. We had another beautifully scenic ferry ride, but one that slowed due to whale sightings, so we arrived back to Anacortes a bit late. We got in the car and Brooke immediately fell asleep for the whole duration home and Reese watched one movie and then was D.O.N.E. with the car. She then took a quick nap and both girls woke up about five minutes from home in not great moods. It took about an hour to get both girls better adjusted and fed and took Bryan equally long unpacking the car. Brooke got her first bath from the weekend and then took forever to go down. Reese was bone tired but also took forever to go down. Sometime after 10 pm I was done putting both girls to bed, showered, and done picking up stuff.

It was a wonderful weekend with some great memories. It was a good first weekend camping with both girls and now we know we can do it. We still love Orcas Island very, very much. Not looking forward to a week of work and these next two weeks are still fairly busy but the weeks themselves not so much so that is good.



Six Years Married

This past weekend marked the weekend of Bryan and I meeting and Bryan and I saying “I do”. It is always a special weekend when SeaFair comes along and honestly, the weekend is just one big party in town, whether we are celebrating with friends or alone. We had a great, hot, weekend, filled with a lot of water play, friends, and enjoying one another and summertime.

After another Thursday night concert in the park with Latin Jazz this time and being joined by adult friends of ours, Bryan and I worked Friday morning and then took Friday afternoon off. We had tickets to the Seahawks Training Camp practice down in Renton and it was a beautiful day. Our nanny asked for the afternoon off so we took Brooke with us, picked up poke bowls, boarded the school buses, and got dropped off at the Virginia Mason Athletic Complex to mainly focus on who is going to be our quarterback this year. After a beautiful afternoon spent contemplating this question, the answer is still out. We drove back to get Reese and caught the first official show of the Blue Angels while driving on the freeway. We spent the night with Reese at Montlake Park before heading home for dinner.

Saturday was our planned day to watch the air show and float but first we had to start with 8-month pancakes. We spent the morning playing at home, Bryan got me six roses in celebration of our anniversary, and in the afternoon we packed up our stroller with tubes, towels, and snacks and walked east towards Lake Washington and Madrona Beach. The beach was packed and the lake was rocking from all of the boat activity but we found a spot on the sand and took turns taking Reese out in the tubes, playing in the sand, snacking on chips and hummus, and then our friends (Georgie’s family) joined us, whom live just a short walk away from this beach. The girls played a lot in the water and then the sand. They opted to watch the airshow in the tube on shore with their headphones on. After watching the Blue Angels from the shore we walked up to their house (which is on our way home) and had some drinks and snacks on their back deck, Reese played and had dinner with their two kids, and then before it got too late we walked back to our house so Bryan and I could have our own dinner. Both girls were quite tired but still hung in there until pretty late.

Sunday morning began and we started like normal with gymnastics. Bryan took the girls so that I could play the first half of my soccer game and then we all met up at Madison Park playground to celebrate Lottie’s 4th birthday. Sarah got together a group of Lottie’s friends, we were the only ones not from her school, and the kids had a good time playing on the playground before the day got too hot. Sarah ordered some pizzas and we sang “Happy Birthday” to Lottie and shared some cupcakes before the party started to wind down. We gifted Lottie a kid’s digital camera that ended up being a big hit amongst the kids as they walked around the park taking pictures of various things. Reese heard the ice cream truck and ran it down to get a snow cone and then we decided to cool off in the lake for a bit, since it was right there, before heading back home. We took turns swimming with Reese while Brooke napped in the stroller and once cooled off headed home. We got home in time to catch the Blue Angels from our back deck, which was equally exciting this year.

We had dinner then both girls took a bath to clean off all of the sand and water from the weekend and shockingly Reese went up to bed herself and fell asleep around 7 pm. I cannot tell you the last time this has happened or she went down that early. She actually beat Brooke, who went down just after her, so Bryan and I were alone with each other at the early hour of 7:30 pm and didn’t even know what to do with ourselves. It didn’t take long though and we opened a bottle of wine and actually had a conversation and treated this night like our real anniversary. I was worried the whole time that Reese would be waking up either before we went to bed or in the middle of the night but neither happened, she slept until nearly 7 am the next morning!

We obviously had a lot of sun and fresh air and the swimming and playing I think took it out of all of us this weekend. It was a lovely summer weekend during what is always a very busy month for us. August still has a lot in store for us but fortunately we are getting a bit of a break with the hot temperatures. Especially since we will be camping in a tent this weekend! Happy SeaFair and Happy 6th Anniversary to us!



Brooke is 8 Months!

We have an 8-month old. Brooke has many of her own personality traits, which I will get to, but I just reread Reese’s 8-month post and there are too many similarities! Take a look:

“Two thirds of the year done, oh my! In the past month our girl has gone from taking her first crawl to zooming around the house, even climbing her first stair or two, has gotten her third cold, prefers snuggles to actual sleep, yields a cheesy smile more often than she should, pulls herself up to standing anytime she can, has gotten way more into eating solids (minus the dreaded peas), currently hates getting her diaper or clothing changed, finds the vacuum and washing machine fascinating, is delighted when she hears Raphi music, shrieks when excited, still loves her walks, adores her friend Lottie (and all babies young and old in general), loves to swim, would play with a soda can all day long, loves swing sets, enjoys real silverware in the form of spoons, has begun giving great big hugs and sometimes will rest her head on my shoulder (love!), enjoys going for a run with her parents but only when they are moving fast enough, thinks its now funny to remove her bow, also enjoys removing her own and other’s socks, prefers a plastic bag to most toys, likes live music, has been saying “mama” even though we don’t think she knows what that means, and has now been on 14 different planes and in 6 states. “

Chelsea (5/6/19)

Now there are noticeable differences. I think Brooke has only worn a bow (and socks) like three times in her life, but the last time we had her in socks she took them off. Brooke has not said “mama” at all. Brooke has been on 8 different planes and 3 states. She is still not crawling but is just starting to pull up by herself, still adamantly walks around the house holding onto our hands, and has climbed the stairs with our assistance so gets the concept of steps. She has always liked food but is starting to get a bit more fussy when getting her diaper and clothes changed. She does love babies, baths, water in general, hugs, spoons, soda cans and beer bottles, swings, music, shrieks when excited, plastic bags and wrappers, and the washing machine.

Brooke is already excellent at finger foods, finds my hands (for walking assistance) before my face, is already starting to pinch my arm skin like her sister, has had the grossest runny nose for two weeks now, and loves to cuddle in bed. She gets excited when we pick up her sister from school and I feel like her first word is going to be “Reese”. She also loves to wake Reese up in the morning. She has started crying when I say goodbye to her and leave in the morning but like Reese, the cries are short lived. She’s a super loving and happy go lucky kid full of lots of smiles. We are still so lucky to have her and love what she adds to our family.

  • And creating this slideshow has me realizing we’ve done a downright horrible job of taking photos of Brooke in the past month. I vow to do better this month!



Hot and Home Alone

We are at the tail end of one hot week in Seattle and I’m not sad for the heat wave to take a break for some time. We spent nearly a full week with the highs in the low 90s and that is hot for here. Fortunately we managed to keep our house fairly cool and comfortable and it was a nice respite from the outdoors. We also have broken out all of the water toys in the past week; the baby pool, the bigger pool, the splash pad, the squirt guns for the wading pools, etc. We’ve had fun and now we can return to the typical Seattle 75 degree sunshine days.

So for our hot week we spent most evenings (three to be exact) at wading pools, once to Peppi’s Playground and twice the short walk up to Volunteer Park. We spent the remaining two nights at our house cooling off, first with Sarah and Lottie, and the second just as a family while Bryan first got drinks with a coworker and then I got a solo dinner with Polly at U Village. It was a fast and furious week, one still managing the anxiety surrounding our nanny share Covid exposure, and then our nanny took Thursday off as a safety precaution (?) so I had a day with Brooke. We spent one more night with a picnic and concert at Volunteer Park on Thursday which was fun and an ode to Earth, Wind and Fire. Then Bryan left us girls home alone for the weekend while he went to Leavenworth with the guys for their annual guys trip.

I was flying solo for two nights and Brooke and I retrieved Reese from school and immediately headed to the wading pool so all three of us could cool off. This was a successful outing and Reese’s friend Clara from school was there. We spent an hour in the pool, got a popsicle from the ice cream truck, and then picked up pastries on our way back home to take for our next day’s excursions. We spent the remaining time having dinner and watching a movie at home. I finally got Reese asleep just before 10 pm and was pooped!

Then Brooke woke up extra early at 5:30 in the morning. Reese was not too much after her, so all three of us bummed around the house until we were ready to head out to the Seattle Center, via bus, to meet up with our friends for the day. We had a day planned with the other abandoned ladies and met first at the Seattle Center playground to play, eat pastries and catch up. We then headed indoors to the AC-cooled Seattle Children’s Museum where we spent the next 1.5 hours exploring everything they had to offer while catching up with one another and keeping cool. We got lunch upstairs at the Armory, at this point Reese and her friend Eliana were going a bit crazy and so we headed outside to the fountain to play, get wet and burn off some more energy. It was so hot and we all just got barely wet that after about 1.5 hours at the fountain we decided to make use of our full day ticket to head back to the children’s museum just to cool off. But the girls were enjoying the museum and each other so much that we were here for about another hour and a half before we headed back home via the bus. By this point it was nearly 4 pm and both girls fell asleep on the bus! The rest of the day at home was dinner on the back deck, all three of us taking a bath together because we had all gotten so sweaty, and then both girls were asleep by 9 pm and I fell asleep at 10! We were tuckered.

Sunday morning we woke more at a normal hour, 6:30 am. We had another bus adventure to take so around the same time we headed south for gymnastics, via the bus and then the light rail. We made it with plenty of time to spare, Reese got to enjoy her class while Brooke fell asleep in the stroller on a walk around the block, and then we headed back towards Capitol Hill via the light rail. We stopped for snacks and a cold drink at the store, walked part of the way home, stopped for a snack break and some shade, and then were home just after noon. Lottie and Sarah came over a little later and the two girls played for a long time in the splash pad in the backyard while Sarah and I sat back to relax, although Brooke was trying everything she could to play in the splash pad too. We made some nachos and margaritas and Bryan returned from his trip in the late afternoon. Reese and Lottie played so well with each other on this particular night and didn’t even stop to eat. Lottie left and Reese had dinner and then both girls were worn out and asleep fairly quickly.

August has snuck up on us. We still have to settle on plans for Reese’s birthday party, figure out our anniversary and SeaFair plans, and so many other events. It’s a crazy time of year for sure for us, but so much fun.



Summer Full

Summers are a busy time, in a good way, but in a very full way too. Especially here, where our summers are amazing but so short, everything is condensed into a too-short season. This past week left both Bryan and I a little bit spent but still reveling in the feel good summer atmosphere.

We had some friends over for dinner and bouncing. We went out for a date night, dual mystery shopping and belated birthday dinner. We went to the second concert in the park with Reese’s school friends. Bryan had an interview. We went blueberry picking and then attended my company’s summer party. I played soccer. We played at the spray park and then the Lake Washington beach for some time. All in a weeks time.

Georgie’s family came over for some grilled steak fajitas and we thoroughly enjoyed their company. Georgie and Reese and their younger kid Sam all played really well together throughout the night. It was a lovely evening and the margaritas had us all in a good mood.

Bryan and I got a rare date night out on Wednesday when Reese’s old teachers came over to sit for us. Bryan and I had a fantastic dinner at STK in downtown Bellevue (a place we rarely go). We started with some amazing burrata and a classic bacon-y wedge salad before Bryan moved onto to the New York strip with chimchurri sauce and I went with the miso sea bass. And they brought us out a slice of chocolate cake in celebration of Bryan’s birthday. It was a lovely night and a perfect one sitting outside in the shade.

Thursday night was the monthly park play date at Volunteer Park followed by the weekly concert at the park’s amphitheater. Reese and her friends all spent the full hour plus duration in the wading pool as it was a hot day (Brooke played in the pool as much as she could too). We then all moved over to the grass lawn for a picnic dinner and the kids ran around the fields and danced at the front of the stage to some folksy music.

I took the girls with Sarah and Lottie to a very nearby unmanned blueberry farm to harvest our own berries. We managed to get a few pounds, Brooke ate a ton before taking a nap in the Ergo, and Reese managed to pick quite a few herself. We then drove over to Jefferson Park where we met up with Bryan and my company for some lawn bowling at the local lawn bowling club. We played a few games but mostly sat, ate some delicious tacos and popsicles, and watched the kids. It was a good time but we were tired by the time we got home.

And Sunday was a pretty free day aside from Reese’s gymnastics class and my soccer game. I am sore from the game and was pretty spent afterwards but after Brooke’s second good nap of the day we packed the girls up and first headed to a park and spray park to cool off (the ice cream truck had just pulled up when we got there) and then headed down to Lake Washington to play some more in the water and sand before picking up some Chinese food to have at home for dinner.

We are expecting a hot, hot week ahead here in Seattle. Feeling fortunate that we have this second air conditioner unit in the house to keep things cool and so far it is working. Unfortunately, the nanny share family we are working with has a case of Covid so we are playing the waiting game right now to keep them at home and make sure that none of us get it (please, please, please).



Bryan’s Birthday ’22

In typical Seattle summer fashion, the weekends are a blur and in general just too darn short. We spent the good majority of the weekend out of the house and with friends and wouldn’t have really wanted it any other way. And of course we spent a lot of it celebrating Bryan’s birthday! We hit the weekend running on Friday and never looked back.

For Bryan’s actual birthday we had to work 😦 but I still managed to pick him up a mocha in the morning and Thai for lunch and I made Bryan’s birthday cake at intervals throughout the day and we left home on foot to retrieve our two children from their respective places and then walked over to Mother’s Place, Reese’s old school, for their closing carnival. Reese was a bit shell shocked for nearly an hour when we first got there, without hardly a word leaving her mouth. Despite being a deaf mute, she proceeded to get her face painted in the Preschool room by her old teacher Alice, her hair painted rainbow by her old teacher Tiara, decorated a cookie in the Toddler’s room with her old teacher Karen and got an Elmo tattoo on her hand. She then finally broke out of her shell and played with her friends Georgie and Mika for a while outside by the water tables and Brooke enjoyed the water tables as well. Georgie’s family was going next door to Rhein Haus for dinner and drinks so we tagged along for about an hour for drinks and conversation, which was great fun, before walking back home to get our own dinner of homemade mole and bourbon bread pudding. We were all pretty tired at this point and had the next day to continue Bryan’s birthday celebration.

Saturday morning started like usual, Reese has been sleeping in though. Bryan made pancakes, although we did not shape them into 37, and then Lottie came over for a play date while Sarah had an appointment. Lottie left around 1 pm and we started prepping for the next portion of the day’s events, the birthday dinner and bike ride. We had five other families that were available to meet up with us at Briley’s BBQ up in Lake City and were shocked that that many could and would join us for the dinner. We wanted to take turns biking there since it’s right off the Burke Gilman Trail so Bryan set out with Reese by bike and I left a little later with Brooke to play briefly first at Matthews Beach Park, before ending at the restaurant at 4 pm to meet up with everyone. We had one giant table to ourselves and ordered family style which worked really well. The staff was great and we had 10 kids in our party who all managed to be on great behavior throughout dinner (I’m thankful the food came out so quick). We moved to their outdoor space with picnic tables so the kids could play and we sang happy birthday and had cake outdoors there. I brought the cake, a black forest cake that came out pretty darn tasty. After all our friends had left I got the turn to bike back with Reese and Bryan drove home Brooke. It took me just over an hour to bike the 12.5 miles back, I was really trying to get under the hour mark though. It was another great summer day.

Sunday we packed up the car to head to gymnastics like normal but didn’t get back home until 5 pm. We had Rosalie’s birthday party to attend in West Seattle so after gymnastics we stopped at a West Seattle park called Highland Park to zip line, swing and slide for a while before the party was ready to start. We were the first party guests and Rosalie and Reese hit it off again, immediately getting the bounce house broke in and all of the rest of the toys. The birthday party was fun even though we didn’t really know anyone there but met a few fellow Boeing employees and another girl from Michigan. Both girls were exhausted and fell asleep on the drive home. We settled in for the night with leftover BBQ and movies and Reese didn’t wake up until nearly 8 this morning!

We have lots more summer fun planned in the near future and this week but it’s always sobering in the summer when the weekend is over!

Happy Birthday again Bryan!



No Time to Rest

I don’t know why exactly but both Bryan and I have been completely wiped since being back from Michigan. Neither of us felt exhausted upon our return but since being back it seems like we have been running from thing to thing or just fully occupied with kids or work at all times. It’s hard to catch ones breath at times. A lot of it has been due to rare occurrences (a multitude of appointments), starting up the full time nanny share, and random summer happenings and outings. Also throw in a nearly four year old who went without naps for over a week back to naps while at school and not the least bit tired until nearly 10 pm every night.

It all kind of kicked off with our summer release wine party at Novelty Hill the first full day we were back. We had no problem getting the girls and making it to the party in time but Reese was not in the mood for the party on this particular night (which is a shame as they had sweet corn and a live band for dancing and tons of cookies) so essentially we filled up on delicious BBQ and a few swigs of wine, caught up with some FareStart friends we haven’t seen in forever, and then headed home, tired from trying to entertain an unenthused Reese.

Friday began the first of three days of appointments. First up was Reese’s first Covid shot after her early dismissal from school. Reese did great and they gave her a popsicle, which is one of Reese’s favorites, then headed to get Brooke, and then met Bryan at Montlake Playground to play at one of her favorite parks. I’m super proud of Reese with how well she handles shots. She never flinches, cries, or gives any trouble and that makes it so, so much easier on me. Next up was Brooke’s six month well child visit on Monday morning. We dealt with the aftermath of Brooke’s vaccines for about 48 hours after. She still hasn’t been sleeping superbly at night but is not sore or tender to the shot area anymore. And finally, I had a dentist appointment on Tuesday after work which was no big deal but another thing to do and another place to be.

We had really no plans for last weekend so a lot of it was just go with the flow. But first, we had to start off with Brooke’s 7-month waffles. We played at home for a bit on Saturday morning and then packed up the stroller and headed off on foot to downtown for the day. I had snagged free tickets to the Aquarium thanks to the Seattle Public Library over a month ago and it sounded like a good idea to all of us. We hadn’t been for quite some time with Reese. We walked through the Market, stopping at a candy store for Reese real quick, and then found some cool air relief at the Aquarium. Reese really seemed into the exhibits on this occasion and we enjoyed ourselves there for about 90 minutes. Well worth the free tickets. We continued on foot to Pioneer Square and picked up an early dinner from Halal Guys to take up the hill the short distance to one of Reese’s favorite parks; Yesler Terrace. It initially was too hot to play but there was a nice breeze and we enjoyed our dinner first. We then found sweet relief in their great splash park and Reese found a new friend Elliot to play with and was playing so well with her that I actually had to head home with Brooke around 7 pm and Reese and Bryan didn’t leave until nearly 8 pm. Reese was at the park for nearly 4 hours! It was a great day and one that left us with sore feet and some extra sun on our faces.

Sunday morning started with gymnastics and then from there we all headed to Jefferson Park. Reese played at the park and surprisingly met up with a classmate of hers and I headed to my soccer game. The crew came to cheer me on at the end of the game and we headed home for lunch and play at home. Bryan went for a solo bike ride Sunday afternoon around Mercer Island and Reese requested to go back out to a park and so I packed the car back up to head to Volunteer Park for about an hour. We ended the night and weekend with dinner and a movie at home.

And this week has still felt like a lot going on. I’m usually at work Mondays and Wednesdays but we had a CPR training on Tuesday morning that I wanted to attend and glad that I did. Then our nanny called out sick on Wednesday so I spent a rare solo day at home with Brooke. We dropped off Reese at school by foot. I got caught up with a bunch of laundry and made the mole sauce for Bryan’s birthday dinner at home for tomorrow. We played outside in the backyard and took a long bath together and then took the long, detoured way to Reese’s school to pick her up.

We spent Wednesday night at Volunteer Park for awhile until Bryan could meet us after his work day and then we all headed to Redhook Brewlab in Capitol Hill for a mystery shop dinner. To our surprise Top Chef Shota was working their pop-up menu and we had a fantastic meal of smash burgers, tempura fried broccoli, the most interesting cabbage salad, tator tots and a delicious blooming onion, all with a hint of Asian flavor. It was a nice night out at the restaurant and the girls did alright. And tonight we were back at Volunteer Park for Picnic in the Park and a piano concert at the new amphitheater. We went right after school and played at the park first for awhile before heading over to grab a spot on the lawn for our picnic blanket and Paseo-esque homemade sandwiches with some of Reese’s friends. The music was great and they even had free ice cream for the night to help seal the deal.

Tomorrow and Saturday we will be celebrating Bryan’s birthday and I’m excited to spoil him for his big day. Should be a nice weekend and I’m ready for it!



Brooke’s 7 Months!

Brooke hit 7 months at the tail end of our Michigan visit and we celebrated her birthday this past weekend with 7 month waffles. And thanks to us being behind schedule (still from February’s Covid) we just visited the doctor’s office on Monday to get 6 month vaccines and have our well child visit. The doctor remarked that she looks so happy and healthy, is vocal and strong, and predicts an early walker. Brooke is usually all smiles and makes lots of cute sounds.

  • Brooke’s favorite activity is walking around with the assistance of our hands. She loves to explore and lead the way. This may not be our favorite activity on our backs.
  • She still loves water and her bath time. She beelines to the bath tub once I have her undressed and it’s so funny.
  • There is nothing much this girl doesn’t like at meal time. She has just discovered being able to blow or spit so sometimes the food comes right back at me but all for play and not for distaste. I am actually super impressed with her ability to pick up small objects and bring them to her mouth to eat. I feel like Reese was a full fist eater for her full first year.
  • Brooke still loves to watch kids and her sister at the playground and riding the scooter but she also wants in on the action. She loves the baby swing and if there is any sort of water fountain or spray she’s all in.
  • She is starting to reach further for things and rolls back to front and back without issue. I see crawling in her near future but just not sure how soon.
  • She’s still sleeping with us as we didn’t want to transition her with trips ahead of us and now her vaccines but hoping to get her in her own crib soon.
  • Per her doctor’s visit this week she is in the 7% for weight and 60% for height and looks super healthy.
  • She’s gotten quite ticklish and you can usually get some good laughs out of her.
  • She’s the most vocal pooper that I know.
  • She still gets an insane amount of comments about her eyes.