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Fire and Fall

We have now been back to school and back to schedule for one week and in that time we have had wildfire smoke and fall temps it seems. I don’t think sunshine and warm days are completely over but this past week has definitely felt like it. It’s been good to get back into a rhythm and we’ve still enjoyed some time with friends and as a family.

Reese had three days of school last week and already another birthday park after school on Thursday for three of her classmates. We enjoyed some park time with them and pizza before I headed home to change and hand them over to Bryan for my first Mom’s Night Out at the nearby excellent wine bar Bottlehouse in Madrona with three other mom friends. It was a wonderful night being able to talk about all of our children, share our experiences in mothering, but also get to know each other better on a more personal level. It was also nice introducing one of my old FareStart volunteer friends to the group, who is coincidently a neighbor of another and a mom of three already.

The weekend was smoky, as the air starting hazing up on Friday and lasted that way through Monday afternoon. This prevented us from doing too much outdoors, or should have, but we still did. We had our first nanny share dinner at our house on Friday with the other family and our nanny. We ate outside and played outside in the backyard after dinner for some time. The babies really enjoyed the night but I think Reese did too. Saturday morning we headed over to West Seattle straightaway so that Bryan could watch the Texas vs. Alabama game with our Texas friends Phillip and Anne. Well, Anne was with me and the kids for the majority of it and after a breakfast of waffles and fruit we headed to their nearby park to play for quite some time. We spent the whole morning at their house and didn’t head home until nearly 2 pm, picking up some fast food on our drive back in hopes to keep Reese awake but that did not happen. The rest of the night we played and entertained ourselves at home.

Thankfully we had gymnastics Sunday morning to get Reese’s willies out. I took Reese and Brooke to gymnastics so Bryan could get a workout in and then we came home, I took a nap with Brooke (rarely happens but I think I was fighting something off and needed it) and then we headed over to friend Georgie’s house for a delicious dinner with them and for all of us to get out of the house for a bit.

Monday began with work but then the first Seahawks game of the season, a home opener for Monday Night Football against the Broncos and our ex-QB Russell Wilson. I wore my Wilson jersey to work but changed once home and then Bryan and I set out via scooter to the game while Katie our nanny graciously pulled a long day watching both girls for us after a full day with the two babies. We had an excellent time at the game. We picked up al pastor burritos from Carmelo’s Tacos on our way and had these and some tasty beverages from our seats, that although are high up, offer great views of the field and we are nearly at half line. The game was close and thrilling and we each lost our voice per usual. Took forever to leave the stadium from our seats and to no one’s surprise Reese was still awake when we returned at 9 pm. Still a wonderful night and a great first game (and win) of the season.

The rest of this week has been pretty typical. Bryan got dinner with a potential coworker while I took the girls to the park after school one night. We spent many other nights at the park together. We’ve enjoyed some home cooked meals before what will probably be a lot of dining out coming up with us heading to Vegas and my parents coming to visit. I’ve been gearing up for their visit, finally getting rid of some of the lingering baby things we’ve had lying around. We are both very much looking forward to their visit, a few days away with just ourselves, and definitely a week off of work!

Chelsea

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School’s Out and the Millers Were Here

Last week was an eventful one in our household; definitely breaking out of our normal routine for the various circumstances we had going on. Those being:

  • Reese’s school was closed all last week and she didn’t go back until yesterday
  • Lon and Trish were here visiting from Monday through Saturday
  • With Reese out of school I asked for the nanny share to move to the other household, which meant having her drop off and pick up
  • Each of Reese’s days off was filled with fun things for her (and us) to do
  • It was another hot week
  • It was also the last week that the wading pools and spray parks were open
  • We officially had the real birthday to celebrate
  • I’ve been continuing to interview and weigh offers from companies
  • We had the cleaners come for the first time in like two months

Bryan had a great time spending the first few days of Reese’s week off with her and they sure made me jealous! For her actual birthday, he took her up to Everett to try out a high ropes course for young kids. The course was 20′ up in the air and had the whole harness and ropes getup to keep her safe. The course is open to those 4 and up so she is likely the smallest kid they’ve ever had try it out and unfortunately she couldn’t do nearly everything because she couldn’t reach high enough. But she tried everything she could, albeit nervously but bravely, and then did get to do three ziplines that she really loved. After their time at the ropes course they found a new excellent playground up north that they spent a long time at before heading home for lunch and then picking up Lon and Trish from the airport. We spent Reese’s birthday night out at Eastlake Bar and Grill for dinner on their patio and then headed home to sing happy birthday, have cake and ice cream, and open up presents. Presents this year included some dress up princess dresses, a sleeping bag, a new play rug for her room, purple bike helmet, streamers for her scooter’s handlebars, a harmonica, Peppa Pig puzzles, a kid’s digital camera, and a unicorn edition of Candyland. She did well I think!

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Reese and Bryan started their days at the Hyatt with Lon and Trish, getting a breakfast with them and then swimming in the luxe saltwater pool and hot tub in the hotel. On Tuesday, she swam so hard that she then passed out in their hotel room watching a movie and when I finally got there after work with Brooke and she woke up, she was just ready to head home, so we did. On Wednesday after swimming, they drove down south so that Reese could watch her first movie on the big screen, the new Minions movie. We spent Wednesday evening getting the seasonal special pizza we love so much, the Calabrese, from Tutta Bella. Our love for this pizza special runs deep and made for a simple takeout dinner.

Thursday was the one day that we had scheduled Reese to go over to her friend Lily’s house for their teacher Ashley to watch them for most of the day. This worked great as she got to see and play with her friend and teacher who she likes and both Bryan and I could work for the day.

And Friday was my one day off this week with Reese and we had purchased tickets to go with Lily and her mom and brother to the always-fun Remlinger Farms in Carnation, WA. This year I wasn’t pregnant and Reese was tall enough to ride pretty much everything so we did just that. She also got the pony ride experience which she continues to get more and more brave doing and this time as they were sizing her for a small pony based on her height she openly exclaimed “I want a big pony”. Which she got, and this year she rode Cauliflower, maybe the second biggest pony in the entire yard. And she did great and thoroughly enjoyed it the whole time. We were at the park from open at 10:30 am until the kids were so wiped out which happened to not be until about 3 pm. Reese didn’t even want to break for lunch but I still managed to get her to eat something and then we shared a delicious soft serve cup before heading back to Seattle to pick up Brooke, and Reese crashed the whole ride home. We headed back home and Lon and Trish came over for a dinner at home of pork tenderloin with brandied peaches, salad, and potatoes. It was a laid back and relaxing night and a kick off to the holiday weekend.

Saturday was Lon and Trish’s day of departure and we met up with them to get a group brunch with their vouchers at the hotel downtown. We had to wait a tad for a table but once seated had full reign for the buffet where we went pretty heavy handed on all of the fresh fruit, crispy bacon, croissants (especially for Reese) and each ordered a made-to-order omelet and some waffles to share. Everything was delicious and we left full and ready to take on the pool. I got Brooke to nap in the hotel room so the three of us got started without her, moving from the swimming pool to the hot tub and back several times. Brooke woke up about 45 minutes in (I could have predicted it) and she got dressed and joined us for another hour or so. We had to say our goodbyes to Lon and Trish and they got a ride back to the airport to allow us to continue to use the hotel benefits until we had to checkout for them at 4 pm. Reese thoroughly enjoyed the luxurious bath tub (well all three girls did really) and then asked to hang out in the room with Bryan and candy until 4. Brooke was restless so I took her for a walk which she was all about for people watching. We headed back to our house for the rest of the night.

For the remainder of the weekend, we took Reese to gymnastics Sunday morning like normal. We went to the park both Sunday and Monday. We had some friends over for a low key dinner of pulled pork sandwiches on Sunday night, and we packed a picnic and took a long walk through the Arboretum, eating lunch at the point to watch the boat traffic, walked over the docks and all of the way up to University Village where we browsed a few stores, Reese got a new dress for her first day of school, we visited the mall’s little playground, and then we got a mystery shop dinner on the patio of Piatti, which was delicious and easy. We walked back to the stadium to catch the bus back home and got home at about 6:30 pm.

The weekend was over but Reese and I still had a day off together before she was back to school. We had to drop off Brooke at the other house but she slept until 7:30 and Reese I had to wake up after 8. We got ready quick and headed out on foot to drop off Brooke. We then played at the park next to their house for some time, picked up some donuts and coffee, and then found a nail salon to give ourselves a little R&R. Had never been to this salon before and it wasn’t fancy but it was perfectly small and the lady was so sweet with Reese. Reese loved it and of course picked out five colors to have a different color on each nail, rainbow colors. We left there and stumbled on another park before heading home for a lunch of grilled cheese which we ate on our front stoop and then Reese was tired and put herself to nap in her bed. I had to wake her up to walk back to get Brooke by 4 pm and Reese was still barely awake when we got there. We spent our time at the other family’s house before heading back home to meet up with Bryan and then head over to a FareStart friend’s house whom we haven’t seen in 2.5 years. We caught up with some delicious snacks and wine on the back deck before we needed to bring the girls home to get ready for bed.

Reese is back at school and the weather has been PERFECT! I just can’t believe that September sprung on us fast and I still do not want the summer to end at all!

Chelsea

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Brooke is 9 Months

I am behind in my post writing with all of the (wonderful) things and events that have been happening in our lives. It’s a very busy time of the year for us. But without much ado, the cherished phrase “9 months in and 9 months out” is striking a ton right now. I honestly can’t believe it has already been that long! And in other ways I can’t imagine our life without sweet little Brooke. Let’s see what the past month has brought.

  • She is officially…scooting. Not what we really classify as crawling on all fours but scooting using one hand (so she always has a free hand to drag something along with her). She is picking up speed and starting to get into more things by the day. She’s actually gotten pretty fast, but still in that scooting position.
  • Stairs are now of keen interest to her. For the longest time she would just sit at the bottom of the stairs looking up, or would pull herself up to balance on the first step but never advance. Not anymore. She is now figuring out how to climb those stairs herself. Which I’m all for as I think it will help strengthen her arms and core and maybe help her to figure out the crawling on all four bit a little better. Maybe. She has an interesting method to climb stairs too.
  • She is now doing bath in the big tub, with or without her sister. We’ve removed the baby bath since she can easily balance on her bottom in the bath and move around the bath with no problem. It was actually getting more dangerous with her trying to crawl herself out of the bath. But she definitely tries to drink water out of the running faucet when she can.
  • Or drink out of any glass or bottle at any point she sees one. Reese was this way with cups and bottles to I remember but Brooke REALLY wants to drink the beverage as well.
  • She is sleeping in her room. Maybe not in her crib, or in her crib all night, because the girl loves and needs cuddles. Ugh. But we are working on it and at least she has gotten used to falling asleep in another room. Bryan has done a great job the past few nights giving her a bottle before bed, instead of nursing to sleep, and I think that will help in the long run for bedtime.
  • She’s figured out how to use Reese’s old snack cups with the lid. She’s a big fan of the usual goldfish crackers that are within them. She’s also figured out straws to my surprise.
  • She’s learned how to wave and will do so (very pageant-like) several times a day. I think she also knows the meaning of the words “hello” and goodbye”. She certainly knows the words of “bath”, “milk” and “Reese”. And she just started saying, “ma, ma, ma, ma” instead of just “ba, ba, ba, ba” so I’m going to count her first word as “mama”!
  • Like her sister, she loves a good party or social setting. This is the one time she is okay not being near mom and she certainly likes big kid’s attention.
  • She still gets “look at those eyes” by every stranger and passerby.
  • She is always full of smiles. I remember Reese being this way too but this girl will just smile, smile, smile all day long.
  • She is getting along well with her weekday friend Maya and they both seem to be excited to see each other each day.
  • She finds Reese SO. FUNNY. She laughs a bunch when Reese is doing something slightly naughty, or dancing, or shaking her booty, or pretending to fall or stumble, and especially if she thinks Reese is chasing her. This was something that I forgot Reese loved to do at around nine months; play chase, but Brooke is equally into it.

I’m all for Brooke being able to get around by herself. With the separation anxiety reaching its peak its nice that she can come find me or come to me and its not just me needing to carry her around at all times. She also wants to be on the move at all times though so its also a bit of an exhausting stage, especially when she wants to put anything and everything into her mouth. We love her smiles and her laughs and she is still just a happy go lucky kid. I especially love it when she tries to be right at Reese’s hip all of the time. It’s so cute!

Chelsea

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4 Years Old!

Big sister Reese is really growing up, and I feel is especially taking the big sister role seriously lately. That, and she has asked to read her big sister book at bedtime nearly every night for the past week. The two girls are honestly really cute together and Brooke still just adores and admires Reese (90% of the time). Let’s take a look at Reese lately, as she gears up to turn 4.

  • Reese’s latest playground endeavor is the monkey bars. These have become quite the fun challenge for Reese and she can do most any at the park but can’t always reach the top to get started.
  • Lately Reese has talked a lot about being brave and will say when she is being brave.
  • We’ve done away with naps on the weekend which makes bedtime on those nights so much easier. We might ask the teachers to not have her nap at school in the next year for this very reason.
  • Reese loves to drum, beat, and dance and the cutest thing is that Brooke likes to drum, beat, and dance to Reese’s music. The two girls start bopping and I just love it!
  • Her latest favorite color is “rainbow”. She likes all of the colors and everything needs to be the color “rainbow”.
  • She can count to 19. Hasn’t hit the 20 yet and likes to leave out 15 or 17 sometimes.
  • She loves to sing the ABCs and now also likes to use “EENY, MEENY, MINY, MOE” to choose things, which have already been chosen in her head but she still likes to play the game of chance until it ends up right.
  • She’s still loving dress up. She dons the ballerina costume so frequently and it seems to be of interest to friends that come over too. Needless to say, her birthday party is going to be a dress up princess party.
  • Reese has been practicing reading books. I think she is trying to memorize certain books so that she can read them to Brooke.
  • She has gotten much more into stuffies lately. She likes to sort her stuffies by boys or girls and then sleeps with the girl stuffies and whoever is laying down with her gets the boy stuffies.
  • She is still really liking school. She often says its her favorite thing in the day and I think she has made a lot of friends at her school.
  • She’s starting to voluntarily put her face in the water, blow bubbles, hold her breath, etc. I find this pretty courageous as I know a lot of kids her age still don’t like doing this at all. I still want to work with her in the water to start working on her swimming skills.
  • When she gets upset, most times she will take herself out of the situation and go calm down somewhere else. This is generally her bed but sometimes she will find other cool down spots.
  • If Bryan and I are having a conflict Reese intervenes and asks if we are making the other mad or sad and for what reason and then asks us to give the other a hug. It’s honestly the cutest thing.
  • We are doing a lot of role playing lately; teacher, mom, baby, and of course the almighty doctor. The imagination is definitely flowing these days.
  • She is truly a great friend; sympathetic, understanding, caring, and definitely a player.

Both Bryan and I love Reese to death and think she’s just the greatest. Brooke thinks so too. I can’t believe we have a four year old and I can’t believe we only have one more year until she will be entering Kindergarten.

Chelsea

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The Tales of a 4 Year Old Birthday Party

Requests:

  • 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.

Chelsea

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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.

Chelsea

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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.

Chelsea

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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!

Chelsea

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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!

Chelsea

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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.

Chelsea