Grammy and Grandad…they have already come and gone 😦

It was such a wonderful week spent with my parents and for Reese she really enjoyed the quality time and play with her grandparents that they week just flew by. It’s been awhile since my parents have been at the house for a visit and it was great to be able to show them Reese in action at home, go to soccer, see her school, meet her Lottie, go to her parks and her cookie counter, and just take it easy around town. Bryan was able to spend the weekend with all of us and Monday before he had to head off to South Carolina for hopefully the last time. Because of that, I was especially grateful to have my parents around for company for the remainder of the week, although he won’t be back until Friday so Reese and I will be on our own for a little while longer. It was good while their visit lasted though.

We tried to make the most of the weekend while all of us were there. My parents arrived around 10:30 am on Saturday and we met them at the airport to take them home with us. Once home, Reese immediately started showing them her toys and then we had lunch at home before nap time. In the afternoon we walked to get cookies at Lowrider and then continued onto two of Reese’s favorite parks. We picked up Thai for dinner and my parents got to watch Frozen for the first time ever.

On Sunday we took Reese up for her soccer class and my parents got to see her in action, with all of the mood swings that can occur in a 50 minute class. After class we got in the car and headed to Edmonds to catch the ferry to Kingston before making our way to Poulsbo for lunch at Tizley’s. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we enjoyed the ferry ride and arrived hungry for our late lunch. We sat on the balcony at Tizley’s and feasted on pretzels and the family platter until we couldn’t finish anymore. We headed down to grab something sweet from Sluy’s Bakery and then walked along the waterfront to the little park for Reese to play. After quite some time we headed back to Bainbridge to catch the ferry back to Seattle. Unfortunately the ferries were unusually delayed and we missed one so we had to wait for a good deal of time until we finally got on one. We got back home around 7 pm and had popcorn for dinner while watching The Greatest Showman. It had been a relatively busy weekend and unfortunately I think that was about to set us up for a rough night ahead.

We woke in the middle of the night to Reese, who was sleeping with us for the week, throwing up in bed. The poor girl threw up three times over the course of the night and once we were up (early too!) and downstairs she threw up a fourth time. Reese has really never thrown up like this in her short lifetime. She took a bath with me and the bath seemed to rejuvenate her enough to the point that she was ready to play with my parents. We were going to keep her home from school Monday, Wednesday, and Friday anyways so that she could spend some time with my parents so fortunately that was already the plan and I was able to work. She played for a good while and then took a long nap on the couch in the afternoon. Monday night we picked up marinated black cod from the Seattle Fish Guys and had that and soup dumplings for dinner but poor Reese was still not able to eat anything.

On Tuesday the entire family (Bryan included) walked Reese to school and she was excited to see her friend Lottie. We dropped her off and she still seemed a bit subdued from being sick. We headed home and shortly thereafter we said goodbye to Bryan and he left for the airport. My mom went for a run and my dad joined her for lunch in the Arboretum at Belle Epicurean while I worked at home. We all cleaned up in the afternoon before setting back on foot to get both girls from school. They shared the stroller on the short walk over to Cal Anderson park to play at the playground for some time. The girls were on different wavelengths though so it was fortunate there were three adults to supervise them. After some time we walked over to Poquitos to snag an outdoor table for an early Cinco de Mayo dinner. Sarah joined us a little later and we had a delicious meal of crispy Baja fish tacos, Mexican street corn, carnitas, and margaritas. It was a really good dinner but the girls were loose cannons after being there for nearly two hours. We walked home and pretty much went to bed shortly thereafter.

Wednesday was another day spent at home. I worked in the morning while they played and then it was time for our hour long drop in at the Gymnastics Academy for their toddler indoor playground. Reese spent the first 15 minutes running on the running trampoline and jumping off before she had a meltdown and took some time to pull herself together to continue playing. We tried to get her to jump on the trampolines and she spent some time on the rings. This place was right up her alley and I would love to bring her back to try it again. After the hour we stopped at Emerald City Fish and Chips on the way home for some cod fish and chips and crab hush puppies. It was a delicious lunch and we could only manage a light dinner at home later on. Reese played with my parents after another long nap and finally seemed to be getting her appetite back.

We all dropped Reese off at school on Thursday, walking there and back, and then my parents took the “day off” to try out some of the E-bikes around town. It sounds like they had a blast, albeit the whole trip ended up being a pretty long and tiring one, and I wish that I could have gone with them. They picked up some bikes nearby and had them reserved for the day. They hooked up to the Burke Gilman trail and headed north, first stopping at U Village for lunch and then continuing on with a stop at the Magnuson Brewery for a few beverages. They made it all of the way back to Capitol Hill to pick up Reese from school and walk to the park. Maddie and Lottie ended up being at the park after school as well and I met the whole crew there after finishing up work. We walked home debating dinner and saw the Wood Shop BBQ food truck was stationed at Chuck’s Hop Shop so we made an impromptu decision to pick up food on our way home. They were already sold out of the sliced brisket so we settled for a full rack of ribs, slaw, potato salad, and the kale Caesar salad. We headed home, with one more stop at Lowrider for cookies. We watched the live version of Aladdin while eating the BBQ and it was all delicious and plenty to feed us all. And for the first time of this trip Reese requested Grammy to lay down with her in bed and Grammy successfully put her to sleep with rubbing her back!

Friday was the last full day with the parents here and another day off of school for Reese. The morning started off with playing with toys and cookie baking with Grammy while I did some work (with plans to take the afternoon off to spend with the crew). We did an easy lunch at home and then let Reese take a nap. We were going to walk to Madison Park for Reese’s haircut but had to settle on taking the car due to Reese waking up right before it. Reese got her first haircut and it was quite the experience; a very good experience fortunately. The haircut went quick and the cape she got matched her mask which was so cute. I like the haircut quite a bit. For doing so well Reese got to pick out a toy from the store and picked out a yellow school bus. We went across the street to the park for a while and then headed to REI as my mom was shopping for a gift for Terry. The school bus went all over the store with us. We spent the night hanging out back at home and picked up Pagliacci’s Pizza for our last dinner together while watching Moana, another Reese favorite. On this night both Grammy and Grandad got called in for bedtime duties.

Saturday morning was a sad one for me as I was neither wanting to say goodbye to my parents nor be alone again without others in the house. We did as much playing as we could and exchanged early Mother’s Day gifts and then headed out to the airport around 10 am to drop them off. We said our goodbyes and my parents made their long trip home back to Michigan. Reese and I did our usual on airport drop off day (this is becoming routine since Bryan’s flight always leaves the same time as theirs on the weekend); we got fast food French fries (something you can’t do near our house) and then drove to a new to us playground. This time we went to Wallingford Playfield and I’m not kidding, we were there for two hours in the surprisingly sunny weather. I picked up food for me on the way home and we got home to settle into a movie and then before I knew it both of us were sound asleep for a nice long nap, which I definitely needed.

I am already counting down the days to the next time we see the family in Michigan and for our next visitors. It was a wonderful week and I will have some very good memories from it.



Bryan’s Return…For Some Time!

Bryan is home, and this time for a longer period of time and I couldn’t be more happy. Especially since I thought he was already going to be having to head back today or yesterday. It’s just so much better when he is here. I have been happy to have him here too as I got my second shot last Tuesday and was nervous about what side effects I would have since I’ve heard so many others struggles the immediate days after. Fortunately for me I felt some fatigue but not so much as I have had in general lately. It was still nice to take it nice and easy on Wednesday, taking a little bit of time away from work in the afternoon and just enjoy having Bryan with me on the couch.

Sharing a morning bowl of cereal.

Reese has been excited to have daddy home as well, although, she likes to give him a hard time too and knows how to push his buttons. On Friday we celebrated the end of the week and the last of the nice weather we’ve had before the rain hit this weekend and took Reese to Cal Anderson park after school and then got dinner at Redhook Brewlab in Capitol Hill before walking back home through a surprisingly bustling night on the hill. We managed to get Reese to soccer on Saturday and she was excited to go, although it was our fault that we got there about 20 minutes late. She still had energy to burn at the end of class so we spent a few minutes running around the field and jumping on the blow up dividers like she likes to do. The rest of Saturday was drizzly and rainy and we hung out inside except decided to talk a walk up to Plum Tree Park after dinner with Reese in her rain gear for the first time in what feels like forever.

Sunday started off rather lazy but we finally got ourselves together in the late afternoon and headed towards Seward Park to walk around the park, hit the playground and get back for dinner and a movie. It was a glorious walk in the sunshine and with spring in full bloom here right now it was absolutely gorgeous and the water was calm. In addition, this weekend was our first true attempt at working on potty training. Bryan and I have not been pushy about it at all but we think Reese is now ready and we had mostly success this weekend. Reese is perfectly capable of going potty and did so often this weekend but only when we are telling her to go. If we don’t tell her to she still doesn’t tell us when she needs to go and did have a few accidents in her undies. It’s something we will still continue to work on over the weekends until she can start to initiate it herself.

Back at school and work today which I don’t think any of us were all too excited about although I think Reese was beyond thrilled to find Lottie ready and waiting for her at school this morning. She got to sit next to her at breakfast and the two started catching up with one another like mature adults. They are just too funny together.



Holy Hot

It felt darn right hot here this past week and particularly this weekend. It got up to 80 both Saturday and Sunday and I finished the weekend off with a sunburn (Bryan did too but his came from South Carolina). This weekend felt like straight summertime which was glorious and included a lot of lunches with friends but otherwise a lot of hanging at home in the backyard. I couldn’t really convince Reese to do much else but be outside in the backyard exploring all of the toys and the pool that have been abandoned all winter. And of course a majority of this time was filling up pails of water to water the pots, of which I must participate in Lottie’s absence.

Friday night was actually eventful and glorious. I learned how to hook up Reese’s bike trailer to my bike and I set out a tad early to pick up Reese from school with the bike. We then took the long way around Lake Union, going through downtown and then hitting the Burke Gilman trail, before ending in Eastlake at a playground we have never been to. It was a good playground that had a play airplane that kept Reese interested in for practically the entire time there. Before it was going to get dark we walked the block over to Pecado Beuno for a San Diego burrito and chips eaten on the patio. It was busy and they had Friday night jams on that Reese was all about dancing to. After finishing dinner, we retrieved our bikes and set back home through the peace and quiet of Interlochen which even Reese announced on the bike she liked. In total it was only about a 10 mile bike ride but I felt pretty fatigued by the end but also pretty pleased with myself for the trip.

Saturday morning was supposed to start with soccer but I cannot convince Reese to do anything other than play at home come Saturday morning. We are going to try to officially move her soccer class to Sundays from here on out. Instead of soccer, we broke out the kiddie pool and all of the toys in the backyard. After quite some time we changed out of our swimsuits and headed over to see Polly and Ryu before they have their new baby girl. They picked us up a slew of tacos from El Camion and we ate in their backyard, Reese solely focused on their dog Momo in mild fear all through lunch. We saw the baby’s nursery and then walked the block over to the park next to their house for Reese to run around. It was great catching up with Polly and I am just so excited for them and their new baby who should be here in just a few short weeks. Reese and I went back home for the night were we essentially Netflixed and Chilled.

Sunday morning was our new soccer day. Again, I tried to get her ready for an 8:30 class but to no such luck. She didn’t have any interest in getting ready for that but after a bowl of cereal she announced at 8:45 that she wanted to go to soccer. Uhhh, we will try. We got dressed and ready to go and arrived early and were able to get into a 9:30 makeup class. Five minutes in and Reese was not wanting to follow directions or the group and I was planning my escape route. However, as soon as the warm up started, where they run back and forth on the field, her eyes lit up and she participated. She actually did great at following directions on this day much to my surprise.

After soccer we picked up a few friends with their new baby and headed up to Luis and Carina’s house for a BBQ lunch. They graciously included me in their plans and Reese and Eliana are finally starting to get to know one another. We had burgers off the grill and various salads we all contributed and to my shock Reese ate her whole mini burger, although in a deconstructed fashion. She was pretty hungry after all that running at soccer. She was pretty amused with the 4-week old baby; not when it was asleep she didn’t care about it then but when it got it’s diaper changed and took a bottle she was straight up laughing?!? We had a good conversation and it was nice to again see friends and be social. We headed home and Reese’s only nap was again in the car (this was the case on Saturday too so needless to say I didn’t get much of a break this weekend). Once home we were back in the backyard, breaking out all of the toys and me needing to participate with everything. I was exhausted and finally convinced Reese to come inside for dinner and a movie around 6 pm.

I felt relief dropping her off at school this morning. We received an email last night that the first known positive COVID case was found at daycare in the preschool room so preschool and pre K rooms are quarantined for 10 days! I don’t know what I would do. Reese probably wants that to happen, at least while Lottie is still away in New York. It’s still supposed to be beautiful through Wednesday and then start to cool off but that’s okay because at least Bryan is coming home on Wednesday!



Enter Spring

I feel like spring is in full swing over here. We are having a stretch of very nice weather, lots of sunshine, flowers and trees blossoming, and it’s glorious. It makes our basically nightly playground rendezvous more enjoyable and our morning walks that much more sweaty. Reese and I are on our own again with Bryan originally gone for just a week this time around but this trip just got extended until Wednesday… It was nice to have him home for a week but I wished it were longer. He basically had to go back to Charleston so that he could get his second COVID vaccine as we weren’t having any luck scheduling here in Washington.

While Bryan was home we celebrated Easter, twice actually. We had Sarah and Lottie over for our second annual Easter benedict brunch and Easter egg hunt at our house. After we all got our fill the girls napped and then we walked over to a fellow PEPS and daycare friend’s house for a massive Easter egg hunt in which we brought home way too much candy. Fast forward a week and this past Saturday we were invited over to Luis and Carina’s for another brunch and Easter egg hunt (thankfully no candy this time) along with Philipp and Sara and the three girls. It was a sunny morning with a delicious quiche and Reese being unusually quiet around the other girls.

Aside from Easter festivities, our family dined at Tavolata for Seattle Restaurant Week one day last week on a rather overcast and cool day. We had a delicious dinner and Reese demolished the bread. Reese practiced with her new scooter and spent afternoons at the park. We had several movie nights at home and basically Bryan and I could barely stay awake past Reese who required to be the last one downstairs every single night.

Since Bryan has left I’ve tried my best to keep us entertained and active to fully enjoy the weather. After a great nap on Sunday we met Lottie and her mom and grandma at the park for a playdate and we joined them again at the park after school on Monday. On Tuesday, Reese and I headed north by car to a new to us park that had massive swings and one of those zipline swings that Reese is now obsessed with. After a while we walked to the nearby Whole Foods that has a Next Level Burger inside and I had a Yelp perk (first one in awhile) to try one of their signature burgers and cookies and cream shake. I knew nothing of this restaurant before and learned that it is vegan and honestly the absolute best vegan/veggie burger that I have ever had and honestly one that could rival some true beef burgers. I kept looking at the burger in disbelief because it was that good. Reese wanted chicken wings from the hot bar at Whole Foods and after finishing two we had to go back in and get some more. This girl does like wings.

I’m trying to spring clean around the house and yard. We are trying to rearrange things and trying to create more space. I have cleared out the backyard shed that didn’t have really anything of ours stored in it and after nearly seven years it was time to go through it. I’m also trying to whittle away the various things that we have stored in the workout room. Yes, it would be easiest to just throw it away or donate it all, and I probably will, but still trying to sell a few items. Reese has been sweet and currently enjoys naptime only on the couch so I get some sweet shots of her sleeping.

Those naptime sleeping shots

Trying to keep us busy this weekend since its going to be absolutely beautiful and so we don’t feel Bryan’s absence too much.



Chelsea Lately Q1 2021

What’s new with me so far this year?

  • I’ve been single parenting quite a lot and I don’t like it quite a lot.
  • I’ve been enjoying getting back into the Fitnessblender routine with lots of inspiration to do so from my mom.
  • Far less running for me lately but quite a bit of walking. The spring flowers and scents and of course sunshine has made the walks even more pleasant.
  • Got my bike out for the first bike ride of the year two weeks ago and it was glorious. Then got caught in a downpour on my return home.
  • Have still been reading; read LaRose for January’s book club, which I didn’t care for, then read Becoming Ms. Burton for March’s book club and loved this one, then read Killing Women which wasn’t the best written book but was fascinating as it takes place in my hometown and I have heard some of the stories of Donald Miller growing up, and I’m now nearly finished with Untamed for April’s book club and it is the best book (for me) that I have read in quite some time. Love it!
  • I take Reese to the playground pretty much every single day after school. One, she likes it quite a lot and two, I’m better at parenting at a playground then finding fun things to do around the house.
  • I just got my haircut and got a good amount taken off. We will see whether I end up liking it or not.
  • Work since the beginning of the year has been rather slow. There was a few weeks push to get a bid project out for Toronto but then we didn’t end up winning that job so that slowed things down. A new big bid project for Sydney Metro starts in two weeks though and that is supposedly fast and furious until August.
  • I actually enjoyed cleaning up the yard for the spring and Polly’s birthday. I do enjoy working outside, however, I’m also happy to not have to worry about anything else to do with the yard for the rest of the summer and most likely won’t be gardening anything but herbs unless I snag some tomato plants from a friend or neighbor giving them away (this happens a lot). Our yard just can’t grow much. But our backyard no longer looks like white trash yard.
  • We’ve rehired the housecleaners who come once a month and this is literally the very best day of the month for me each and every month.
  • I got glasses for the first time ever. I only wear them while working, and when I remember to do that even, but I actually really like them.
  • I’m half vaccinated and it feels so good. I’ll be fully vaccinated on April 20th.
  • I did literally the worst I’ve ever down in the March Madness tournament this year. On the other hand, Bryan won for his first time!
  • Inspiration for cooking is at a pretty low spot right now. With Bryan gone so much Reese and I are all about easy convenient meals and then he returns home and I find myself reaching for meal boxes delivered to us a lot of the time.
  • I just upgraded my scooter helmet. Truth be told, our two old helmets were old and scratched and one was starting to get some mildew on the inside from the wet environment that is Seattle. I’ve since cleaned them but took the opportunity to get two new helmets, one for each of us in the same style but different colors. Reese, in the meantime, loves having us all put on the helmets.
  • I snagged a free pair of Apple air pods off of Buy Nothing and I am a fan. Since, I have been listening to a lot more podcasts on the way to get Reese. Mostly true crime podcasts (?!?).
  • Guilty pleasure shows while Bryan has been gone include: Bridgerton, Good Girls, Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, Real Housewives of Orange County, and now 90 Day Fiance the Other Way. This show gives me the utmost appreciation for Bryan and for living in the USA, more than probably any other single thing I know of.
  • I’ve been trying to go through things around the house in my annual spring cleaning effort. Trying to sell items but may just need to start running items to Goodwill which I believe has reopened.
  • I really enjoy my morning and nightly cuddles on the couch with Reese. She is especially cuddly during these times.
  • I cannot stomach anymore Easter candy right now.



To Charleston and Back

Reese and I ventured to Bryan’s land for a long weekend this past weekend. It was a short but sweet trip and was so good to see Bryan and see where he has been living for weeks at a time while he has been away. Reese was so excited to see her daddy in the Charleston airport and also really enjoyed getting to play and explore around town. It ended up being a perfect trip, just the right length with us staying in the hotel, and nice to be able to spend time with Bryan during this extra long (3 week) stint he is doing this go around. Here is a recap:

Thursday morning Reese and I finished packing our bags and had breakfast at home before leaving with one small suitcase, the car seat in the car seat backpack, my backpack filled with books and my laptop for movies, and the BOB stroller. It was manageable for me to carry but I was thankful to not have anymore than that. We packed light, or as light as we could! We first took the bus to the Mt Baker Station light rail and then to the airport. Getting through security with the large stroller and car seat was no easy feat but we passed through with about an hour before our flight took off. Reese got some chicken nuggets from the McD’s in the airport and then we boarded the plane. The first unsettling moment for me of the trip was when we had a third person in our row. I wanted to raise my hand and ask “aren’t you blocking out the middle seat” but realized that that initiative must be over. I started hyperventilating a little bit with the close proximity of this other person and a rather full flight. Then we sat at the gate for nearly an hour with no message as to what was going on. Finally, the police boarded the plane and escorted someone off from the very back row who was wearing a neck gaiter and refused to wear a mask. Meanwhile, two strangers sitting in the row behind me could be overhead that they were going to Charleston with several friends scattered throughout the plane to live it up and are done with masks and don’t think we should be required to wear them. Gulp! At this moment I was second guessing this trip.

But nevertheless, the plane finally pulled out and took off for our long flight to the East Coast. Reese did relatively well although only gave me about two 20-30 minute naps during the flight. She watched movies on my laptop but refuses to wear the headphones so she just watches them and doesn’t listen. She pinches my hand/elbow about 90% of the time (this is her safety routine). The flight took even longer than it should as we were having to fly around some tornados in the middle of the country but finally we landed! Bryan was there waiting for us with a purple spinner for Reese and we were off to the hotel with takeout BBQ from Rodney Scott’s which closed at 9 pm. We had a delicious BBQ dinner while Reese explored the hotel room. All of us were pretty wiped by this point.

Friday was a day for Reese and I to explore on our own while Bryan had one last day at work for the week. We slept in until about 9 am and then headed downstairs to grab some breakfast from the hotel. We then got dressed and explored on foot with the stroller and set out for two different playgrounds. We found a quaint neighborhood park first and then headed to a larger and newer park. It was pretty toasty out and Reese gets quite warm in the heat. We stopped at a store for a snack and to cool off and headed back to the hotel where Reese napped on me on the couch. After the nap we set back out but this time for the waterfront park. We only made it to the park entrance when we found a pretty great fountain where other kids were playing. Reese was all about this. Like I said, Reese gets hot so I think this was a huge reprieve for her. We stayed here for a LONG time. Finally I was able to convince Reese we needed to get a change of clothes before dinner since she was completely soaked. Bryan picked us up, we changed and then headed back to dinner at Slightly North of Broad. We were seated at the chef’s counter to a fully packed restaurant and live music playing. We had a great dinner and great service. We tried the local fish of the day with a white chowder and the shrimp and grits. When we left dinner it was just starting to rain so we took shelter in the nearby candy store (convenient). As we were checking out it started downpouring. We rain across the street to the city market and walked in the covered market as far as we could. Back on the street the rain had lessened but made for much less crowded sidewalks on the rest of our walk home. Now we were ready for the weekend together.

Saturday and Sunday both started much the same. We slept in a bit, got breakfast downstairs, went swimming in the hotel pool which Reese absolutely loved, and then got some lunch before nap time. Saturday Bryan picked us up a delicious lunch from a place called Leon and on Sunday we walked and ate outside at the Charleston Beer Works for lunch. Sunday morning I also dipped out for a run on the running route Bryan does on the beautiful bridge in town but I about died from the heat and humidity that I’m not used to.

Saturday afternoon we packed up the car and headed to Sullivan’s Island, a quick 25 minute drive to a great vast beach. We parked at the local elementary school and walked the lengthy boardwalk to the beach. Reese loved playing in the sand and splashing in the water. She spent about 20 minutes just running back and forth on the beach by herself and I don’t know how she didn’t collapse from exhaustion after this. Leaving the island presented a lot of traffic and very busy restaurants. We tried going to two places with hour long wait times and a few other restaurants either wouldn’t quote us a wait time or were upwards of 1.5 hours. Finally we find a restaurant that had a table available immediately and we rushed to get to The Mill Street Tavern, overlooking the Shem Creek with an outdoor table and ordered a slew of appetizers brought to our table: crispy brussel sprouts, fried green tomatoes with pimiento cheese, crispy oysters, bang bang shrimp, and pork wontons. All of the appetizers looked better than the entrees and we were not upset with our spread. We headed back to downtown and walked to get fresh baked cookies from Insomnia Cookies that were just what we needed to finish the night.

Sunday afternoon we set out towards the market to board our horse drawn carriage ride through town. When Reese had seen the horses with me on Friday, she at first didn’t want to ride them but when she learned that she wouldn’t ride it but ride in the carriage it was pulling, she wouldn’t let up on doing it. We had booked a 4 pm historic carriage ride. Reese was pretty excited as we got started. Unfortunately, they had us sitting in the back so she didn’t have the best view of the horse but she did well on the hour long ride. We got a fill of mostly the houses and architecture around town; somehow the tour completely leaves out all of the historical context to the city (I’m sure on purpose but this was highly disappointing and surprising to both Bryan and I). Our tour guide was obviously also highly pro-South and pro-Charleston and made some interesting comments throughout the hour long ride to a carriage full of people from the North. After the tour was the start of the Michigan basketball game so we found an outside couch with a screen at a place called the Brick. We watched the first half there until Reese became too antsy so we walked over to the nearby quaint park again for a bit while I listened to the game on my phone. With the victory sealed we set out for our dinner reservation at the Spanish tapas restaurant called Barsa. We ordered a variety of tapas and Reese required us to order a second serving of the asparagus to our disbelief. It was a good meal and close to our hotel for the walk back.

Monday morning came much too quick and we all woke up much earlier than previous days. Our flight departed at 8:30 am and Bryan had to be to work (which is right next to the airport) at 7:30 am so he was able to just drop us off with all of our luggage on his way to work. Our flight back to Seattle went off without any issues and we got back to the airport in Seattle at 11 am local time. We had the light rail, to the bus, to our neighborhood where we picked up a slice of pizza from our local store and walked it and our luggage home. We were back home at 1 pm. Reese inhaled this massive slice of pizza and then we both were pretty useless the rest of the day; jet lagged and lazy. I needed the weekend away and it was great to visit Charleston. It’s been sunny in Seattle since our return which helps spirits too and Bryan will be home in three days!!

Back home and she finished this whole pizza.



Reese Lately (as of 2021)

I realize that we are already about a quarter of the way through the year and I have yet to really just dedicate a post to Reese and her development, personality, and what she’s been up to lately. And we have been spending so much time together that you would think I have a lot to report.

  • Reese was much improved in the bedtime department for awhile but as of this past week she’s demanded popcorn, goldfish and water to have in her bed. She’s also just tested my buttons right before getting in bed, exclusively for this first week that Bryan was gone, and I’ve had to lay with her for quite some time before she falls asleep. Before Bryan left, Bryan was always called into to give Reese a full body massage with lotion before she went to sleep at night.
  • Reese’s routine chart has helped quite a bit in both morning and nighttime routines. Of course, it’s parent-dependent and Bryan is better at going through the chart with her.
  • With the time change, Reese is now difficult to get to sleep prior to 9 pm but at least she is not waking up until about 7 am in the morning. I’ll take that.
  • Reese’s latest favorite foods would be: corn, peanut butter toast, chocolate, cookies, pizza, dumplings, cucumbers, purple bars (aka Clif Kids chocolate chip bars that so happen to have one strip of purple on them), pepperoni, rice, goldfish, fruit, and now ice cream.
  • We still walk to school on every non-rainy day. Reese has now told me on several occasions that she does not like the car. This also means we hit the playground on the way home from school almost every day.
  • Reese can pick out several letters from the alphabet. She definitely knows “L”, “R”, “D”, “B”, “M” as well as others. I’m quite impressed actually because I don’t know entirely where she learned it from.
  • She has pooped in the toilet a total of two times. She has yet to pee in the potty that I know. I still don’t think she is ready to be potty trained but she does want to wear purple undies.
  • Flowers are starting to blossom which means she wants to stop and smell each and everyone of them. Our walks to school have sharply increased in duration whereas before she would just sit and ride, now she has to get out and smell certain flowers, or just walk by herself for stretches of the way.
  • Reese has really enjoyed her soccer practices. She loves running around and kicking the ball. She sometimes mostly doesn’t want to listen to direction from coach, or really she just wants to do her own thing. She particularly likes jumping on the blown up bouncy field dividers, playing goal tender unknowingly, and chasing after the bubbles or hula hoops.
  • She only wants to wear clothes with flowers on them. She doesn’t want to wear jeans. She doesn’t want to wear footed pajamas. She is particular but at least lately she has stayed downstairs while I go get an outfit for her and she is less picky about it then.
  • Reese has become a sort of teacher’s pet at school. She follows directions, doesn’t cry or complain much, and always is happy and smiling.
  • Reese and Lottie have also gotten closer at school these days, according to the teachers. It’s most likely because they have had a lot of turnover of the older kids; either with them moving up to preschool or moving to another school, so they are also some of the oldest in their class now and will be for a few more months when they move up to preschool themselves.
  • Reese is still hooked on Shaun the Sheep. She’s also discovered new favorite movies such as Nemo, Moana, and Frozen. We watched Moana twice yesterday which I am not complaining because I was exhausted after Polly’s baby shower and Reese wasn’t going to take a nap.
  • Reese’s absolute favorite color is purple, hands down.
  • Reese is still pretty terrified of animals. This was clear when we visited the Olympic Game Farm in the Olympic Peninsula.
  • Reese is getting really good at ladders and climbing walls at the playground. It’s quite impressive actually.
  • Apparently Reese is also getting close to a girl named Lily at school who is in her morning group at school.
  • Reese has a real desire to eat in restaurants right now. She sees a place and asks to go inside.
  • Reese is big time into dress up right now with costumes. All the costumes.
  • She is giving her dad a difficult time when he is away for work. She’s been a little stinker with him on FaceTime but then absolutely adores him when he is back at home.



Weekend of Sunshine

This past weekend was needed for me for sure and was a great weekend of good food, laughs, rest, sunshine and beauty. We spent three lovely nights in Sequim, Washington. While Seattle and the surrounding area had a very wet weekend, we were blessed with lots of sunshine in the rain shadow of the Olympic Peninsula and in particular the small town of Sequim. You could see rain on the horizon at almost all times of the weekend but directly overhead was nearly almost always sun and few clouds. Thank goodness!

Our family left on Thursday around 4 PM. We picked up Reese, made our way to the ferry dock, got on the 4:45 PM ferry as planned, drove to Tizley’s for their massive family platter, Reese was great at dinner, promised her something from the bakery, bakery was closed, walked down to Mora Iced Creamery and shared their brownie sundae with the seasonal dark chocolate cherry ice cream while sitting on a covered park bench, hopped back in the car for the hour plus drive from Poulsbo to Sequim and pulled into our rental house in Dungeness (like the famed crab) around 8 pm. Reese had a cat nap in the car and once we had unpacked and we started the wood burning stove Reese made her way around her new surroundings scouting everything out. She didn’t end up going down until after 9 PM and we enjoyed the crackle of the fire for a little while before going to bed ourselves.

Reese on the ferry leaving town.

Friday we had much of the day to ourselves while we waited for Sarah and Lottie to join us. Bryan had to work most of the morning and until about 2 PM so I tried my best to entertain Reese while she was trying to entertain Bryan. We had breakfast, watched the sunrise from our living room, found all of the hidden toys in the house, and then I decided it would be best to take Reese into town to play at the playground and get the rest of the groceries for the weekend while Bryan had his important meeting. The park in town was great and Reese had a great time before coming home to take a good nap. We packed up the car to head out to the National Wildlife Refuge where we thought we would be able to run even all the way out to the lighthouse (5.5 miles each way) if we really wanted to. We didn’t want to run that far but little did we know that after 0.5 miles and a steep downhill would we enter the rocky beach with an unpaved path along the spit all of the way out to the lighthouse. Had we had the hiking pack we would have walked some distance of it but without it we decided to stop and throw rocks in the waves. It was beautiful there and Reese did enjoy “chasing” the waves.

We headed back for the house, I got a quick 3.5 mile run in and then Bryan did just as Lottie and Sarah were pulling up. We made our first attempt at paella in my new pan and surprisingly had great success with it. We know a few tweaks we want to make to perfect it but overall we were quite pleased and somehow managed to finish all of the seafood in the pan. Reese showed Lottie the beach, even each getting their boots on themselves and telling us they were going to the beach, alone, which of course we didn’t let them do. They are starting to act so old already. We had hopes of settling into a movie for the adults but Lottie was darn adament about staying up as late as she could. Reese wanted Lottie to go to bed with her on the spare mattress in the house but Lottie was not keen on Reese’s bedtime so they slept separately. After watching a lot of movies for Lottie we called it a night and headed to bed ourselves.

Reese is always the first up so we were up before everyone else each morning. Bryan made us bacon and waffles with the waffle makers supplied with the house. We then piled into the car to head to the Olympic Game Park just a short drive from our house. For about an hour we drove through the Park, feeding bread to the wildlife who were eager for it and would stick their heads through the car. Reese was not interested in feeding the animals in the least and literally tried to hide in the backseat. Needless to say, the backseat windows remained up the majority of the time while Lottie fed the animals unfazed from the front seat with her mom. Reese seemed to chill out a bit as we drove on, even surprising me by not being as scared of the massive bison towards the end of the drive. It was pretty cool and something I have never done. I have never been as close as we were to so many large animals. We still have tongue prints on the car from all of them.

After our trip to feed the animals, we showed Lottie and Sarah the beach at the Refuge before heading back to feed the girls lunch and put them down for a nap. Lottie, still resisting sleep, fought and fought the nap situation until instantly falling asleep on Bryan’s arm on the couch. Reese took a wonderful nap and the girls were ready to play at the house the rest of the night. We all walked the length of the beach (about a mile or so roundtrip) shortly after low tide and then settled inside for dinner of grilled steak fajitas and later showed the girls how to make s’mores using the wood burning stove. We managed to have some adult time on our last night and it was a nice change from the night prior.

Sunday was our departure day but we had no specified check out time. We took our time in the morning with a breakfast of eggs and toast. I went for a 4 mile run and then we drove into town to take the girls to the playground and Bryan went for a run from the park. Back at home the girls ate and then took their nap while we cleaned and packed up the house. Once up from their naps, we got the cars ready to head out. We had plans to stop in Sequim at the Salty Girls Seafood for a lunch/dinner al fresco of all of the fresh seafood. Our table got oysters, clam steamers, clam chowder, rockfish tacos, and a crab melt, plus housemade kettle chips for the girls. All of the food was fresh and delicious. We got three chocolate packed cookies before hitting the road back to the ferry on Bainbridge. We just missed the 4:40 PM ferry so we had some time to kill before the 5:35 PM ferry departed. We saw a rainbow and a nice rainstorm in downtown while we made our way back to the other side.

We got home a little after 6 PM and fortunately Reese seemed excited to be back at home. She was a dream toddler the whole trip and really has been for some time now. I had such a good time spending quality time with my family and Sarah and Lottie. Now that I’m back at work I’m already dreaming about the next adventure we can go on.



Get Out of Town

…Is exactly what I need right now! I’ve been in Seattle for too long and I’m itching to get away for some time. Thankfully, we are heading out to Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula this afternoon. Game plan is to leave around 4 PM, pick up Reese, catch the 4:45 PM ferry to Bainbridge, dine on the upper outdoor balcony at Tizley’s (haven’t been in 2+ years) in Poulsbo for some Bavarian fare, and should arrive at my coworker’s beach house in Sequim around 8 PM. Wish us luck with our plan! I’m packed and ready to go thanks to getting the notice yesterday late morning that my company came in second (again!) for our design proposal for the Toronto metro project we were working on. I went from very busy to not too much. There’s still work to be had for sure but my work commitments and work stress just went out the window. So I’m ready for a weekend away.

This is Reese packing for the cooler for the weekend.

Bryan, on the other hand, only has work ramping up as the days go on. He went down to Auburn yesterday for work and didn’t get home until 7 PM (after leaving before Reese and I were even awake). Meanwhile, after school, Reese and I walked in the glorious sunshine to her dental appointment down the street, treated her to a birthday cake cookie from Lowrider (our cookie counter) because she did so amazing at the dentist, then walked to a park we haven’t been to in ages, then walked back home to make a frozen pizza and salad. Fortunately, Bryan walked in right as we were sitting down to dinner.

It hasn’t been all stress for Bryan since getting home. We had a really wonderful weekend together in Seattle this past weekend and good weather to boot. After returning home, Mr. East Coast Bryan woke up early Saturday morning, allowing me to sleep in while he and Reese made our Saturday morning breakfast AND then he took Reese to soccer so I also had some time to myself! I wanted to get my Personal Fitness Test in for the end of my Fitness Blender program and jogged up to the high school to run on the track. Reese loved soccer this week with Daddy and was in a great and joyful mood all weekend long. We hung out at home, in the backyard for a bit as well as playing games inside, made a salmon dinner and really just enjoyed being the three of us.

Reese’s mood at soccer.

Sunday morning was more chill and Reese even snoozed on me for an early nap on the couch. We packed up the “little car” as Reese now calls the BOB stroller and set out for a nice long walk outside. We picked up cookies from Lowrider on the way, knowing we were going to be walking for awhile and to treat Reese. She ate her whole massive cookie pretty quickly. We walked three miles to Mt. Baker Park and Reese thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful playground for a long time. We finally convinced her to get back in the stroller after she had done literally everything there was to do at the park and a circuit on the ladder, bridge and slide more than a dozen times. We walked back home and enjoyed another night of relaxing before the work week hit.

This week has gone fast and maybe that is thanks to me thinking today is Friday. I will not be working tomorrow but I know that Bryan will have to for a bit at least. Sarah and Lottie are still planning on joining us but most likely not until Friday as Sarah has been quite sick the past several days and is just now feeling better. I do hope they join us tomorrow and that might work well having one night to ourselves in the rental. Regardless, we are leaving and I can’t wait.

Also, can’t believe it’s already March…and that I have now been working from home just shy of one whole year.



Us Girls Again

Having Bryan home for a full two weeks was such a treat and made it super sad to say goodbye to him again this past Sunday. Reese and dadda have really bonded and have been having a lot of fun together and I think that she was sad and dismissive when we dropped him off at the airport. She totally understands what it means when we tell her that daddy is having to leave again and go on the plane. Wait until she is the one flying in a few weeks though. I’m sure she will be excited for the first hour and then will demand getting off the plane once she has deemed the fun has worn off.

But our two weeks with Bryan were full of work, play, snow and rest. After the eventful Valentine’s week and snowy weekend the rest of the time was not too eventful and Bryan had work on his mind often. We enjoyed some good dinners at home as a family, really pushing the eating at the table as the norm for Reese’s routine. We are also making progress with Reese’s morning and nighttime routines thanks to her routine chart that we got. We went to our first official soccer class on Saturday and Reese enjoyed it although she’s torn between following the coach’s directions and doing her own thing. She gradually got better at following the direction of the coach as the hour progressed and still did a lot of running and kicking the ball around. She also got her first little jersey which is so freaking cute.

Reese and her routine chart

After dropping Bryan off at the airport on Sunday Reese and I ventured to Queen Anne to play. We spent a good long while at the East Queen Anne playground swinging, sliding and playing in the sand. There were a lot of kids there and Reese was having too good of a time to leave. Unfortunately, she didn’t want to nap when we got home so we did a little painting and then we walked up the hill to retrieve Lottie as Sarah was suffering from a horrible migraine. Lottie spent the rest of the day with us and we played in the backyard for some time before heading in to make a homemade pizza and watch Finding Dory for what has become my form of Girls Night for the past year. We took a quick bath and donned PJs and then Lottie headed home for the night.

The rest of the week was excruciatingly busy and stressful for me with work. The work day everyday was so hectic but I still managed a few workouts and Reese and I ventured to the playground twice more. I picked up some pick-me-up pastries one morning along with a Starbucks latte and another night we picked up a cheesesteak sandwich to share. Lottie and Sarah came over for Indian takeout on Thursday which was a nice “social” event and the lone one of the week.

Bryan came back today and this time I wasn’t able to pick him up because of work but he was back home via Uber by 1 pm. Reese was thrilled to see her daddy back and was in such a good sweet mood the rest of the night. I’m looking forward to two weeks with Bryan again and really looking forward to getting away for a weekend next week.