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Shower, Birthday, Family and Friends

This weekend was happening.  What more could you ask for with beautiful weather, time spent with family and friends, and presents!  It was seriously such a great weekend that went by so, so fast!

It more or less started on Wednesday night when after childbirth class we went to pick up Amy at the Mt. Baker Station who had just landed from a 5.5 hour flight from JFK.  We headed home with her (and Wendy’s for her dinner) and caught up with her for some time before finally getting to bed close to midnight.

Thursday was pretty normal with work and FareStart while Amy worked from our house during the day and got dinner with a friend Thursday night.  Another late night catching up with one another after both of our days.

Friday was the parent’s arrival.  Lon and Trish arrived in Seattle a little before 1 pm and Bryan picked them up with Sue and Phil arriving a little over an hour later.  Bryan and I had to detour for about an hour to attend a memorial service for a close FareStart friend who passed away while our parents caught up with each other at our house.  We checked into their Airbnb near the Arboretum before walking to dinner at Aglio e Olio down the street for a family style Italian feast.  It was a feast with tons of food.  Platters of bruschetta, charcuterie, antipasto, peach and burrata salad, caesar salad, short rib ragu, gorgonzola risotto and finally lamb chops to completely send us over the edge.  We walked back to the Airbnb to talk some more before heading home for the night.

Catching up at home

Saturday was the day of the shower.  The start time of the shower was at 2 pm which meant that everyone got to ease into the day at their own pace.  Mom and I went to the Market to get some flowers and small gifts for the party hosts and I showed her the new office digs.  After changing into our party wear the girls headed over to Tina’s house for the shower and the boys made their way to get lunch at Eastlake Bar and Grill, go to the Chihuly Glass Museum and then visit Oola Distillery for some liquor tastings.

The shower was adorable and so well done by my girlfriends.  They really did a great job with the food and decor.  It honestly resembled the styling of our wedding; vintage garden party in a way.  There were finger sandwiches, wraps, fruit, antipasto, orzo salad, caprese skewers, and chocolate dipped strawberries.  There were mimosas of different varieties and a ton of pregnancy wine.  I had a diaper cake and a slew of gifts with cards coming in the form of books with messages written in them by my friends.  We started with the game to guess how wide around I am.  The parents didn’t come anywhere close.  Then we moved onto the always fun “Guess Who is That Baby” game which I only got 7 of 17 right.  And then we opened gifts with the girls playing a gift bingo that helped me because I don’t like just opening up gifts in front of people.  Polly had an adorable polaroid camera to take pictures of everyone for them to write on to put in the guest book.  It all was just so well done and fun.

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After the shower we all headed back to our house to meet up.  We spent Saturday night taking it easy, talking, ordering Pagliacci’s pizza and then watching I, Tonya on our new projection screen outside.  Highly enjoyable!

Our last day with the parents was an excellent day, albeit a hot one.  We started the day going to church with the whole family.  After service we went to Ivar’s to order from the snack bar and eat on the deck while watching all of the boats on the water.  We then went for a long walk in the Arboretum, soaked our feet in Lake Washington, and then sweated back home to rest for a bit.  Sunday night we picked up barbecue from Woodshop BBQ and ate on the back deck.  Bryan opened his birthday gifts and we had ice cream and root beer floats before everyone headed to bed before the early departure.

We both said goodbye to the parents this morning and Bryan made sure that they got dropped off at the airport with all of their bags in time.  I dropped off Amy at the light rail station before heading to work myself.  I certainly have zero interest in work today and am looking forward to a night of rest tonight but so glad we got to spend some quality time with our family before it becomes one member bigger.

Chelsea

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Summer Outdoors

I love summers so much for being able to spend time outdoors comfortably.  If I could take everything outdoors with me I could, and I try, for instance with dining, watching movies/Game of Thrones/Seahawks games, etc.  Summer officially seems to start here around the 4th of July (i.e. late) and we have tried to take advantage of the early summer weather this past week.

After our early doctor’s appointment on Tuesday afternoon, we spent happy hour on the Eastlake Bar and Grill patio soaking up the sun, the views of the boats on the water and enjoying burgers, fish and chips, and salad and all other things American.  We were ready for the midweek break that happens once in a blue moon.  We walked some of it off in Discovery Park, climbing to the top of the water tower for the first time ever (only in an effort to see if we would be able to watch the fireworks from up there but 8 months pregnant and with a full stomach I could have picked another day to climb to the top).

Wednesday was the 4th of July and we fully enjoyed our Wednesday off of work.  We woke up late, we worked out, we had our usual Saturday morning breakfast while watching my latest obsession (that would be banana pancakes and bacon and the documentary series The Staircase), and then we prepped a dish to bring over to David and Tina’s 4th of July/Housewarming Party.  They had delicious burgers and brats and there was a ton of other dishes, both sweet and savory, that were contributed by others.  The company was really enjoyable and we ended up not leaving until nearly 9 pm. It was a little too late to try to find somewhere to park and get in view of the fireworks and with work the next day we just went home and listened to the fireworks until the wee hours of the morning.

Although we didn’t have our usual Wednesday night childbirth class at Northwest Hospital this week because of the holiday we still headed up there for our hospital tour on Thursday (no FareStart this week because of the holiday).  We toured with two other couples and I swear we were the only two asking any questions.  It was good to see the rooms and know exactly what will be going down in a few weeks.  Even just sitting in the hospital room for 20 minutes though I could feel my blood pressure and anxiety rise.  Hopefully, I can utilize the hypnobirthing to calm my fears on the day.  After the tour, we tried to go to a taco place in Crown Hill but they were closed so we drove all the way south to Rainier Beach to King Philly Cheesesteaks, picked up two cheesesteaks and fries to take to Lake Washington Boulevard to have lakeside in the nice weather.  Gut bombs and amazingly messy and delicious, these cheesesteaks were the first good ones I have had in Seattle.  And they were good!

Amazing cheese steaks, enjoyed by the lakeside.

The weekend was restful and eventful and still largely spent outside.  Bryan went to hit golf balls at the driving range on Friday night with the boys so I had the night off and spent most of it on the deck.  On Saturday, we enjoyed brunch on the deck, after Bryan’s mens group at church, before slowly working in getting a lot of things fixed around the house.  We then lounged on the back deck for a while before grilling dinner and enjoying that on the deck as well.  We went for a walk post dinner to further enjoy the nice weather before finally heading inside.  And our Sunday Funday was mostly spent outside too.  Bryan had plans to go to Snoqualmie Golf Course for 18 holes of golf with some guys and I had a girls event for yoga and brunch on the rooftop.  Bryan enjoyed his golf outing and I enjoyed the views, sun and girl time at yoga and brunch.  We enjoyed a full hour of yoga flow before diving into homemade crepes, tortilla espanola, smoothies and cookies.  I got some bags of mulch and Lowe’s and spread those around the front and back beds before both of us met at home, relaxed on the back deck before showering enjoying a little dinner and TV time before another work week.

The weather forecast continues to be beautiful and I’m looking forward to this coming weekend with our parents coming into town.  I’m sure we will continue to spend as much time as we can outside.

Chelsea

 

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Month 8

What?  That means that we have one month left?!?  Yeah, I guess so, just a tad more than a month.  I mean, my body sure feels like it is time to stop growing.  We are now 34 weeks, as of today, growing quickly and still feeling good.  We have had two check-ins with our doctor this month, now that we are at bi-monthly appointments.  A summary of the past month include:

  • Baby’s heartbeat is still sounding strong at around 120 bpm.
  • My blood pressure still low, the gestational diabetes test came back negative.
  • My energy has been up and steady but I am now getting winded on uphill climbs and sometimes surprisingly short distances (it’s variable day by day).  But I am still trying to walk as much as I can while I still can.  I know there will be some point where I don’t want to do any of it.
  • Have been doing more gentler exercises; mostly walking, prenatal yoga I found offered on ClassPass on Sunday afternoons, barre rarely, and some muscle toning and strengthening of my own at home (I have two 15 minute weight exercises that I rotate between; one arms and one legs).
  • Plenty of, what are now, stronger punches, kicks and jabs from baby.  They feel like more sustained pressures now and even Bryan has felt the firm baby itself (not the padding) a few times.  That always throws me for a curve ball for some reason.
  • Appetite slowing and feelings of constantly being full, requiring more frequent smaller meals, which I’m not the very best at.
  • Returning back pain after long bouts of sitting but still walking at lunch time and the giant pregnancy pillow my coworker passed on to me has helped quite a bit.  Also, some of the exercises I have learned in yoga are really helpful for back aches and pains.
  • Belly is a legit bump now.  No hiding this basketball.  And it feels the largest for some reason after work, mainly when sitting on the couch or if we are out or at FareStart.
  • Really finding our childbirth classes helpful.  What I like best from class is having this time set aside just for connecting with the baby and reaffirming that the labor and delivery of the baby is something of joy and not fear.  I have felt a much stronger feeling of positivity surrounding labor and motherhood and generally more excitement around bringing this baby into the world.
  • We have our tour of the Birthing Center at Northwest Hospital later today so we will be familiar with what the rooms look like, where they are located, and what to expect on the day of delivery.  Having our classes up there too means that we should know exactly how to get to the hospital when that day comes.
  • I am running hotter all day long.  I’m pretty warm at work and Bryan has noticed that I am usually hotter than he is while hanging out at home.  And if it is hot outside my body just wants to physically shut down, so fortunately we have cooler temperatures than normal this early summer.
  • Still no real cravings or aversions.  I would say my appetite and tastes are pretty much the same as ever.  There have been a few times that nothing sounds appetizing but as soon as I start eating I’m fine with it.
  • I had about 2-3 days of swollen feet, during the very hot weather spell, but that has pretty much disappeared since, thankfully, I don’t know why appearance of ankles make me so self-conscious.
  • I personally think that I have been pretty un-moody for a pregnant woman.  Bryan might disagree but I think for the most part my mood and spirit have been up and I haven’t really been short on temper or patience.
  • Based off of our last doctor’s appointment, our midwife believes that baby is already positioned head down.

I cannot believe how the time is just flying by.  It is amazing to me that we are now six weeks from our due date but only about four weeks away from when it is more than okay to go.  From 40 to 4.  I continue to feel so lucky with what my experience has been up to this point.  With speaking to other women, not all pregnancies go as smoothly as ours has.  I can only hope and imagine that the rest of the pregnancy continues this way.  I can’t say that I’m ready to pop though, even with my belly’s current size, I’m still glad that I have some weeks to go.

Chelsea

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18 for 2018 – 2nd Quarter Update

My 18 for 2018 is now half over so it is time to see the progress that I have made, or not made.  This quarter has been a pretty good quarter, aside from taken into account progress made, but just thinking about the energy and health I have had and the freedom of no longer studying and being able to get away for a few vacations.  So here is where I stand.

  1. De-clutter the house and organize the garage.
    • In the past three months we have made more great progress around the house.  We have all the large furniture set up and ready in the guest room/nursery and have made a few more trips to Goodwill to get rid of things hanging around the house.  We had made a ton of progress during the first quarter that has allowed us to worry less about this of late.  We got the yard all prepped for us to enjoy this summer which was another big project, mostly accomplish by Bryan.  We still have some clutter in the workout room and will of course have to find places for the baby goods that will be coming in the next month or so.  In addition, this past weekend Bryan installed the window AC unit for our bedroom to keep us (really me) cool this summer.  It works really well.  And my garden pots are continuing to grow, albeit not that quickly.
  2. Cook 20 meals at home every month.
    • Our average for April – June was 19 meals/month and that is even with the very low number of 13 meals in May while we were gone for a full two weeks to Europe.  We still have FareStart a night every week and still do take out from time to time, especially now with the childcare classes early on Wednesdays.
  3. Revamp my wardrobe, making it easier to pick out outfits by getting rid of what I don’t like and storing away seasonal stuff. Focus on buying quality pieces in the store versus cheap items online.
    • Wardrobe has expanded at the same time it has diminished.  I have essentials that I can wear now that I am at 33 weeks pregnant, so what I fit into and is comfortable is rather limited.  However, this has required purchasing a bit more clothes as of late to add to what I can wear right now.
  4. Visit my grandaddy.
    • This trip is planned for November with baby.
  5. Buy a family car.
    • Bought a car!  My first car ever.  And bought a brand new and nice one too.  After much research (by Bryan) and two weekends of test driving, we made our pick…and I’m happy to not have to do that again for some time.  It’s smooth, comfortable, has great technology settings and features, and now Bryan has decked it out with new floor mats and cargo protector mat for the trunk and well as we have bedazzled it.
  6. Prepare with organization and structure for the SE exam. Prioritize this for the first three and a half months of the year.
    • I am still debating whether or not I will be taking the test this fall.  I’m really uncertain how much time I will have to study for it, yet, at the same time, thinking that having something to put my mind towards while being at home with baby could be a good thing.  Rather than looking at Instagram all day…
  7. Have fun learning guitar.
    • Need to do.
  8. Make at least six girls nights happen.
    • We’ve had a measly one.  I’ve tried organizing a few others but none have worked out for various reasons.  We have our second planned for this upcoming weekend though and my baby shower will more or less be another one…I’m counting it as one.  Total (after two more weeks) = 3.
  9. Maintain a healthy skin routine.
    • Have been doing an okay job with this.  Still a work in progress.  Pretty regimented about using face wash and toner and now have incorporated Clarins Double Serum to the mix.  I think my skin has been looking pretty good, few breakouts on the chin which I blame on increased pregnancy hormones.
  10. Re-learn our lindy hop choreographed dance from the wedding.
    • Need to work on that.
  11. Pack five picnics somewhere.
    • We’ve only done the one in Discovery Park back early in the year.  Now that the weather is nice and I’m starting to look for more low key ways to spend time outside, I imagine we might have a few more in the next few months.
  12. Work through my devotional book and pray nightly with Bryan.
    • Definitely slipped on this.  It is something that I would like to get back but I have had books to read for our childbirthing classes and have been spending much of my free time at home doing my cross stitch project.
  13. Read ten books for fun or learning.
    • I’ve successfully read two books for fun while we were traveling or on vacation.  I imagine in the next few weeks I will be finished reading the three on babies to total five.  That isn’t too shabby.
  14. Swap reading/music/puzzles for TV one night a week.
    • Not too good with this still but I am at least working on my cross stitch project while watching TV.  Plus we have been busy on many nights.  And we are trying to listen to our relaxation music when going to bed instead of falling asleep to the TV on a nightly basis.
  15. Cross stitch something.
    • Yes!  I have started it.  There are three pieces that all go together that I plan on finishing before baby and so far I love it!  I forgot how much I enjoy cross stitching.  It is so therapeutic and for some reason just so much fun to me.  Similar to my enjoyment with coloring.

      Current progress of #1 of three patterns.
  16. Make at least two recipes from three different cookbooks.
    • I really haven’t opened a cookbook in a while.  But we have cooked.  Some kit meals from various delivery companies but I think that I am already transitioning to cooking more time-friendly meals (i.e. spaghetti, tacos, etc.).  I have branched out a bit for a few potlucks but definitely want to break open my cookbooks at some point.  Although I am proud of myself getting several freezer meals prepared during the dreary weather this past weekend.
  17. Travel to visit a friend.
    • We will be visiting Grandaddy in November and then Amy in April.  Don’t know if those count, probably not, but maybe something else will come up.  We could always go to Italy for Marika’s wedding (which I would love to do)…
  18. Dine at five new-to-me restaurants.
    • Marine Hardware, Rumba, and Outlier were all new restaurants to us that we dined at during the first quarter.  I’ve tried a ton of new restaurants using my MealPal lunch subscription including Mamnoon Street, Mr. D’s Greek Delicacies, Chip and Drew’s Filling Station, Athena’s Street Food, Sprout Salads and PokeAlice.  Bryan and I also tried a Middleeastern place in Capitol Hill for take out late one night after class and I also made it to Bent Burger for the first time (Bryan had already been).  And we took the intern to lunch at Lowell’s Seafood in the market which I had actually never been to before.

So far there has been progress for the first half of the year.  The second half will sure be interesting as we finalize our preparations before baby and then begin our lives as parents.  One of our goals as parents is to still be ourselves and still do the things we love to do, just now introducing those things to baby.  We don’t want to go cold turkey on things we currently love…at least, not in the long term.

Chelsea

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Great Summer Weekends

We have really been enjoying the nice weather and our weekends so far this summer.  As each weekend comes to a close I feel like both of us have especially felt like we haven’t wanted the weekends to end.  This past weekend was again highly enjoyable!  We were invited over to Polly and Ryuhei’s for a grill-out dinner on Friday night.  We enjoyed a delicious dinner and then walked with them to get ice cream at Full Tilt and play some pinball before heading home.

Saturday morning Bryan had men’s group and then when he got home we enjoyed another round of homemade eggs benedict.  We corraled a group together last minute  to go on an impromptu hike in the afternoon.  We left Seattle with Luis and Bryan’s intern a little after 1 pm, arrived at the Lake Twenty-Two trailhead at about 2:30 pm, hiked the 5.4 mile hike with 1,300 feet of gain in a total of 3.5 hours, returning to the car at 6 pm and were back in Seattle a little after 7 pm to a very sunny evening.  Bryan and I showered and then drove to get burgers and tots at Bent Burger near Seward Park.

Sunday morning we had a bit different of an agenda for church.  It was the annual summer BBQ at church so instead of service at 10 am we had a BBQ potluck at 11 am.  We had volunteered to make a side and brought an Asian cabbage salad.  There was quite a bit of food and all very delicious.  After more burgers (salmon burger for me), salads, fruit and dessert, we headed home to another sunny afternoon.  I was groggy (food coma) but Bryan had enough energy to go for a bike ride with Luis along Lake Washington Boulevard and around Seward Park for another Bike Sunday.  I spent my late afternoon at a very gentle Prenatal Yoga class in Capitol Hill that was all about posture and stretching but good for me to attend.  There were three women at 14/15 weeks, myself at 32 weeks and another woman at 33 weeks.  After class, Bryan and I made dinner and settled into typical Sunday night relaxation before the start of the week.

Bryan’s Sunday ride with Luis

Our weeks are currently pretty full.  With classes on Wednesdays, FareStart on Thursdays, and generally happy hour for Bryan on Tuesdays, the weeks are flying by.  I had my SEAW end of the year banquet and presentation this past Tuesday night.  The presentation on the Seattle Seawall was very interesting and I won four Mariner’s tickets to boot.  I’m ready for another glorious weekend.  Weather may or may not be as great as it has been but I’m pretty indifferent at this point.

Chelsea

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Office Move

Essentially this title should be replaced with “Chaos”.  That’s basically the limbo our office has now been in for a few weeks.  My company has been in the Watermark Tower for the past 8 years (I’ve been there over 7 years) and we have outgrown our space and have been ready for an upgrade for some time.  We moved literally kitty corner to Waterfront Place, the corner southwest of us, so now there is nothing that stands between us and the Sound.

Last week we were delivered boxes to pack up our belongings and instructions to dismantle our monitors.  Friday was essentially a completely unproductive “overhead” day and some coworkers came in on Saturday to help the movers with giving them directions and to answer questions.  Now that it is Monday we are spending our first day in the new space, unpacking our boxes, and still essentially unproductive from the adjustment period.

The space is good, with all new furniture, adjustable height desks to go from sitting to standing, a much larger kitchen (with kegerator), a larger lunch room with flatscreen TV and our lunch table is actually a ping pong table, and my group scored prime real estate with views of the Sound and a lot of natural light coming in.  Additionally, there is a designated lactation room and much larger locker rooms for pre or post-work exercises.  I was actually assigned to buy furniture for the library, lobby and lactation room…of which I pretty much got all from IKEA.

I think this is going to be good for our company.  The space is a lot more open, yet my group are now all seated together, which I think will make things a lot more productive and cohesive.  I am giving up my desk right next to the window but am still getting a lot of natural light so I am okay with that.  I’ll essentially be there for seven weeks max and then will be out for up to 14 weeks so hopefully I still have my same desk when I return.  Although the new space is much nicer than the old, it is going to take a little more time to get everything working like normal.  Printers have been an issue.  We are waiting for the fridges to come in for the kitchen.  The moving boxes are everywhere.  And the front lobby and library areas are basically holding places for things right now and don’t have the furniture in them that I am responsible for ordering.

It feels super weird to be in a different space.  Since beginning work I have moved around quite a bit; to Sound Transit in the ID, to Capitol Hill to work on site, to Redmond to work in the project office.  But this is different.  The whole office moved and it will not feel like home base for some time I believe.

Chelsea

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Father’s Day Weekend For the Dad-to-Be

We had a great weekend, technically the first weekend of the summer in my opinion, and Father’s Day too.  We made the most of it this weekend and had a great time both with friends and just the two of us.

Friday after work we were able to catch up and get together with Billy, Valerie and Ainsley at their place.  They made a great dinner for all of us and we inevitably talked mostly baby stuff.  They were nice enough to let us use a few of their newborn items for the first few months which was really generous of them.

Saturday we were unable to get the landscape crew to the house to help us tame our front and back yards so we took what we could into our own hands to gear up for our first hosted party in a very long time.  This meant we spent time getting our back deck ready for the summer; cleaning the patio tables and chairs, bringing out the fire pit, heat lamp and corn hole boards, and restringing the lights.  Bryan really went to work scrubbing the inevitable algae and other growth Seattle can’t live without, off of everything, and the back deck finished looking much better than it started.  I made a large batch of my mom’s low country boil for the crowd and Bryan brought out the whiskeys for all (there were about 15-20 bottles out for people to try).  We had a great turnout with a lot of our closest friends and it was a beautiful day and night to enjoy outside on the deck.

Sunday was Father’s Day and after church service we headed to our first-date-place, Both Ways Cafe, for a delicious brunch outside in the shade.  We enjoyed their famous biscuits and Bryan opened up his Father’s Day present of two Texas onesies (one for 0-3 months and one for 3-6 months knowing that they will most likely be needed right away).  After brunch we walked down to Lake Washington and around Seward Park and back, with a few breaks here and there to cool off with our feet in the water.  The weather was warm and beautiful and it was so nice to be outside and really just take it easy the whole day long.  I talked to my dad for a good while on the phone on our way back home.

The rest of Sunday was very relaxing as well; both of us feeling at peace that we have our house and deck cleaned and ready for the summer, have bought our car, and are really settling in for the home stretch.  Frozen pizza and salad along with a few movies with the windows open and I finally started my long-awaited cross-stitch project.

Chelsea