Reese Lately

It has been a hot minute since I have written a post on Reese and her ever evolving developments and personality. But, I feel like just in the past month or two, Reese has matured quite a bit. She’s developed new interests and is having full on conversations with those around her. It’s really something to see…

  • The biggest change I have noticed in Reese is her interest and focus for more sit and play activities lately. Reese has really gotten into puzzles and coloring and I’m all for it. She started out not really sure how to work some fairly simple puzzles but just lately has finished some (with minimal help) that were like 50 pieces. We’ve colored with crayons which is fun but we’ve also been really big fans about the magic ink coloring books and paper since they are free of messes. Reese has gone from just freely coloring, to doing really well staying in the lines, and now is even helping coloring in the sky, grass and surroundings in pictures.
  • Reese is trying to strike up conversations with anyone around her. We first noticed this in Hawaii when we would ride elevators with strangers and Reese would start a conversation with “Hi. I am Reese. I am from Seattle. I am three years old.” She’s done this more at parks around here too and is a great story teller if she has caught someone’s attention, being able to talk for long stretches of time, and what always gets me is that she recounts and retells real life events in very great detail, even about events that have happened a long time ago. She’s not just making up stories.
  • Reese is learning the concept of time. She is starting to get the difference between a minute, five minutes and ten minutes, as well as the concept of later, tomorrow, yesterday, today, etc. Similarly, she is actually understanding that if we say two more times, that means two more times and if she goes one time then she has one time left. That’s a big step!
  • Reese has gotten excellent on her scooter. The scooter riding really clicked in February during our Covid times and has only gotten better. She’s learned to use her brake to feel more comfortable on gradual descents and we often bring it to school in the afternoon at pick up and she can ride it the whole way home (1.5 miles).
  • Reese can pull herself up a pole. This she has demonstrated to me a few times on her jumping gym in the backyard. She can also flip over a bar and is getting better at walking a balance beam by herself.
  • Reese has finally been sleeping through the night in her own bed. We have had a few wakeups just recently where she has gotten upset about something, whether it’s been a bad dream or not having one of us in the room with her is unclear, but we are finally there. She’s also been sleeping in and we are now having to wake her up sometimes around 7:30 in order to get ready for school (this weekend she woke up around 8 am each day although she wasn’t going to sleep until nearly 10 pm). Unfortunately, Brooke doesn’t sleep in that late.
  • Reese loves toast. Sugar toast or Nutella toast she is all about right now. She still loves pizza, mac n cheese, pasta, chicken nuggets, and French fries, and of course fruit and sweets and hummus with veggies. She also ate a coconut shrimp in Hawaii which really surprised me. Also while we were in Hawaii she got into potato chips and this is still a rather hot commodity these days.

Reese really is growing up and we both just love her so much. Brooke does too!



Mother’s Day Memories

This past Mother’s Day was one to remember. It was certainly more enjoyable than last years which was mostly alone and with withdrawals of my parents heading back home and Bryan being in Charleston. Plus I have two girls to enjoy this year!

We actually had a social and busy day on Saturday which was nice and needed. We got together with Reese’s friend Mika’s mom and her two girls and they all burned their energy at the Inflatable Zone at Arena Sports for the full two hours. We got to catch up and the girls were hands off more or less the entire time. We came back home for a nap and then our friends Phillip and Anne and their two kids came over Saturday night for our belated Cinco de Mayo dinner and we enjoyed carnitas and spicy margaritas. We hadn’t seen them in ages and it was very enjoyable to spend some time with them and even agreed to a group trip to Chelan for Father’s Day weekend.

Sunday morning Bryan took Reese to gymnastics so Brooke and I had some quiet time around the house, taking a bath, singing songs, etc. When Bryan and Reese returned they came bearing gifts of a beautiful bouquet of flowers that Reese picked out (they had purple flowers) and some chocolate covered pretzels and cookies for me. We walked to the Arboretum for my first soccer game in at least 18 months. We had a 1 pm game and it was close so I decided this was as good a day as ever to get back on the field and I’m so happy that I did, and that Bryan watched the girls for me while I did. Reese got a slice of pizza at Pagliacci’s with daddy and spent most of the first half at the playground there but then wanted to watch my game the whole second half. She was wearing her shades and about every five minutes would call out my name and wave to me. It was soooo cute!

It was glorious sunny weather after my game so we sat in the grass for a while before heading back home. Reese took a super late nap and woke up a cranky monster. We had plans to go over to Sarah and Lotties to see them before they leave again and Bryan went to pick up middleeastern from Tanoor for us. Meanwhile, we were trying to keep the two girls from getting after each other, both were in moods. Dinner was delicious and fortunately the girls snapped out of attitudes shortly after dinner and Brooke lasted until after 8 pm before we headed home to put her to bed.

It was a wonderful weekend and I’m just so lucky to have my family, both my girls and Bryan and my mom and grandma who have always been such wonderful role models for me. I felt the love this past weekend and I’m just so ready for more sunny weather, more time with friends, and more soccer games!



Brooke at Five Months

Brooke keeps getting cuter and more interesting by the day. The past month has been one where Brooke has really found her voice, took to daddy, then developed separation anxiety for mommy all over again. She took her first family vacation, touched sand for the first time, and took a few more dips in a pool. Let’s take a look.

  • Brooke has gotten so much better at pushing buttons, making things move or make noise, and entertaining herself.
  • She is food obsessed. The girl goes absolutely nuts when we are sitting down eating meals, to the point that we broke out foods for her weeks ago to appease her while we eat. So far I haven’t really found anything she doesn’t like. She has had applesauce, banana, strawberry, melon, potato, and her first actual baby puree that involved some weird combo of peas, kiwi and banana that she didn’t seem totally in love with but still ate.
  • She still loves bath time, especially with big sis.
  • We’ve gotten a few more giggles the past few days, usually from something her sister does.
  • She has been extremely clingy and already seems to have developed object permanence and does not like it when we walk away from her or disappear. She is also a bit dependent on mom these days.
  • She still loves walks and being on the move. That has not changed and she did a lot of baby wearing in Hawaii.
  • She’s gotten good at pulling Reese’s hair. She also seems to always want to have her feet on Reese whenever Reese is near.
  • We are officially in size 3-6M clothes now and she is finally fitting into them. She weighed 12 lbs 2 oz at this weeks doctors appointment so she’s right with her sister at 3% weight. She’s just over two feet tall so about 50% for height.
  • She seems to enjoy reading but truthfully we’ve done very little of that for her. Good thing the nanny is starting.
  • She loves being sung to. Our whole family really gets into the “wheels on the bus” but we need to learn some more songs too.
  • She’s really gotten into touching (and scratching) at my face when I am holding her or nursing her. I remember Reese doing this too at one point.

I was going through Reese’s updates at 5 months and though they are similar, I do think Reese was physically more advanced and Brooke seems to take more to the food, books, and music more than Reese did. Reese was just starting to sit unassisted at 5 months and already getting on all fours and rocking back and forth and Brooke has a little bit to go before she is sitting. Although she wants to be, she wants to do everything her big sis can. We need to work on her on tummy time a bit more. She’s no different than her sister though in terms of poor sleep; the girl has been waking up a lot early in the night before we are even in bed ourselves.

And this week was a tough one for all of us but especially Brooke. She came down with some kind of bug Sunday night and it was touch and go all week. She was not well on Monday when Reese had the day off of school (thank goodness Reese had a playdate already scheduled for this day) and I seriously was only able to set her down for about 30 minutes total throughout the day. She only slept on me, with me holding her, through the night Monday night and then her fever seemed to break at 5 am Tuesday morning but wanting to take her to the doctor’s just in case, we got her four month vaccines which I knew meant would be another sleepless night. And I was right. She only slept with me holding her again on Tuesday night and come Wednesday I was spent. Thankfully the nanny started for us on Wednesday (after calling her off for various reasons on Monday and Tuesday) and since then Brooke has been getting better and seems in the all clear now.

Of course then Reese got the bug and stayed home yesterday school sick. Both girls were tired and had fevers but no other noticeable symptoms. This was a rare sick day for Reese that she just wanted to watch movies all day, which was A-okay but also sad to see our spunky girl out of her character. This morning she was ready and eager to go back to school so I see that as a good sign and I truly hope we don’t have anymore sicknesses in the family for quite some time!



Maui Wowie

We are back from our much anticipated and much needed family vacation to Maui and although we are still recovering from our vacation, we have many memories from the trip, suntans to prove we went, and many stories to share. All in all it was a good trip. It’s a lot to travel with a 4 month old and toddler, especially when it involves a nearly 6 hour flight to get there, and we learned a few things along the way, but it was a good first vacation as a family of four.

We had an early flight on Friday with an 8 am departure. We had to wake the girls to get them ready and in the car, but with little effort we were packed and out the door and at the airport with plenty of time. Our flight’s departure was delayed to 8:30 am and unfortunately we sat on the ground until nearly 9:30 am so we were a full 1.5 hours late. The girls did exceptional on the flight, both taking good naps and both being relatively easy to entertain. We were also in premium seats so we had extra leg room and free drinks to boot so that definitely helped. We landed in Maui and then had more issues getting to our gate so the delay was scaling up. Finally off of the plane, Reese and I had gone a bit delirious, we got our bags and then waited for our shuttle to the hotel, that was also late. After waiting nearly an hour after our flight landed our shuttle finally arrived and we had the 45 minute drive to our hotel. The shuttle ride was smooth with Reese being great for us and Brooke sleeping and we finally arrived to the Hyatt Regency at 3:30 PM local time and our room wasn’t yet ready. Ugh!

We were given leis and walked the grounds to scope things out while we waited for our room. Reese asked to go to the pool no less than 20 times during this wait for the room. We finally got access to our room around 4 PM and immediately changed into swimsuits to head to the pool. Reese set out right away for the kids slide and got as many slides in as she could before they closed the slide at 5 PM for the day. We were so exhausted from the flight that we got our first dinner at the Residence Club that we had access to and that ended up being a great use for us (and $$ savings) throughout our stay at the hotel. Each night they had heavy “appetizers” that was a pretty good spread, always with some delicious poke, fresh chips and dip, some sort of salad and then two hot entrees and a few desserts. Plus they offered beer and wine by the glass for only $4-$5 which is about a quarter of the price of drinks elsewhere on the resort grounds, or honestly in Maui in general. So after dinner we were all so tired on our first night that we went to bed pretty much right away.

…and were up around 5 AM. I’m not surprised, I thought it might be worse. We were almost always up before sunrise but then could see the sun coming up through our corner room with views of both the ocean and mountains. For our first full day in Maui we were all about the beach and pool. Every morning we got breakfast in the Residence Club, which was again a good spread of a variety of pastries, fresh fruit, and a few hot breakfast items plus the required coffee or espresso. Reese loves croissants so she pretty much had one every morning. Since we were up so early and the pool slide isn’t open until 10 AM for some unknown reason, we spent this morning chasing waves and shooting water through our water guns at the beach. We spent a few hours here before moving to the pool in time for the slide to open. Reese then proceeded to slide from 10 until about 1 every single day we were there. And I mean laps, nonstop. She made a lot of friends and got a lot of attention from the fellow parents for her determination and zest. She’d take occasional breaks for chips and cookies (that also came from the Residence Club during their snack hours) or to swim with one of us through the waterfall going through the grotto that was pretty cool.

We’d finally get Reese to admit fatigue and would head up to the room between 1 and 2 to take a nap. And she was taking some solid naps after that much water play. On Saturday night, after our only afternoon session at the pool slide, we took the stroller down the awesome windy beach path to Whalers Village, the one shopping complex in the resort area that has several restaurants. Unfortunately, Maui is so busy right now that you have to get reservations well in advance or be okay waiting for a table. We didn’t have a reservation on this night but knew of a great food truck in the Village called Da Nani Pirates that served a variety of fish tacos, sandwiches, salads and plates. Bryan and I shared their fried fish tacos and the fish of the day, ono on a salad with feta, macadamia nuts and the most amazing creamy green dressing. The food was so delicious and the fish was so good. Reese got a grilled cheese and curly fries and almost managed to eat the whole thing! Their curly fries were also amazing. It was already 7 PM so I headed back to put Brooke down while Bryan and Reese explored the village a little more and got some gelato before heading back to the room.

Our one excursion day was on Sunday. After breakfast we headed south along the waterfront to the main town in Maui called Lahaina. Ironically, the Maui Marathon was going on at the same time so we were walking in the opposite direction of all of the runners. And believe me, if we were hot walking I can only imagine how rough it was on the runners. It was just over 3 miles into town but we needed the walk and enjoyed the opportunity for the adults to catch up with one another. We walked through Banyan Tree Park and hit a tiny beach which was mostly an entrance for surfers but we needed to soak our feet and cool off a bit before Reese and Bryan boarded their 10 am submarine ride. Brooke and I said goodbye to those two when they went on the excursion we could not go on and we bummed around town a bit which basically meant Brooke taking a short nap for me, changing her extremely poopy diaper in some shaded grass and then dipping in a few stores to keep cool and shaded. We met back up with the crew when they departed their boat just shortly before noon. Reese did great and they thought it was a great experience, riding a ferry boat out about 15 minutes to board a true submarine and then going underwater to see a bunch of sea life, including a few sleeping sharks.

In town we bought Reese a Hawaiian dress (in purple) and a matching one for Brooke and then hit up Ulalani’s for the best shaved ice in Maui. We shared two of their most popular flavor combinations and it was delicious, although by this point Brooke was hot and tired and wanted in on the shaved ice action and was disappointed she couldn’t have any. We picked up the shuttle back to the resort area and were back at the hotel with plenty of time for Reese to get some slide time in. She did not nap on this day other than a quick catnap in the stroller while we were in town. After a few hours by the pool, and a few drinks for us, we picked up a pizza at the pizza oven at the resort to enjoy in one of the many abandoned cabanas to enjoy before getting a bit more dinner at the Club. Both girls passed out super quick on this night.

Monday and Tuesday were purely resort, pool, beach days and that was okay with us. They looked the same with breakfast at the club, then a walk along the beach path to catch some of the cooler air and wait for the slide to open up, slide/pool from 10 until 1 or so, nap time in the room with showers to clean ourselves up. After dinner on Monday we actually got professional photos taken of us at sunset on the beach. We didn’t buy the whole zip drive (although we still could) but we did purchase a few of the photos. It was actually a lot of fun getting the photos taken and Reese did great for the short amount of time that we were taking them. We chased waves and watched the sunset after. And Tuesday we were supposed to have reservations out at one of the restaurants in the Village but they called and left a message that they didn’t have running water (?!?) so we settled for another dinner and drinks in the Club and then chased waves and watched the sunset one last time.

I think Reese was so worn out from the previous days at the pool that on Wednesday morning, without the slide running, she didn’t even want to get one last swim in before we left the hotel. Really she didn’t want to do anything and didn’t eat anything at breakfast. I also actually got sick to my stomach our last night there, in the middle of the night, and felt horrible on travel day so I didn’t mind just trying to get some settling food for breakfast and taking our time packing up before catching our shuttle to the airport and our long flight back home. The girls did so well again. Reese seemed to have whatever I had because she was sleepy and lethargic the whole flight and napped for about 4 hours of the flight. Brooke slept quite a bit too and it wasn’t until we got home that Bryan started having a bit of an upset stomach too. I’m shocked I made it through the flight honestly, with how I felt, travel day sick with two girls is my worst form of torture, but we did it. We didn’t get back home until about 11 PM, which is remarkable since we landed at 10 PM.

It’s good to be back and we are still adjusting back to the Pacific Time Zone and school and work but fortunately the weekend is already here. Brooke starts her time with the nanny on Tuesday (Reese’s school is closed on Monday so I’m taking PTO to watch them both on Monday). We don’t have much planned for the weekend except for dinner at one of Reese’s classmates house tonight. This weekend will be some R&R I do believe. Super grateful for my amazing kids and husband and the opportunity to go to Hawaii!



Easter and Out

This past weekend was a social one and thus a joyful one. We had lots of company with dear friends, good food and fun and it propelled us through the week and now we are about to set off to Maui.

Friday afternoon turned into a beautiful day in the afternoon. The girls enjoyed time with Daddy at Seward Park in the morning and then in the evening we had our friends Billy and Val and their two girls over for our second paella ever. The paella was so fun to make, especially on Bryan’s brewery burner that worked perfectly for it, and Reese absolutely loves playing with their two girls. They play so well together and it was the first time in a long time that Reese has been legit sad at the end of the night to say goodbye to the friends that she played with.

Saturday was more low key, at least there was no hosting by us, but it was a beautiful morning and after a filling breakfast we set out in the sunshine to Cal Anderson Park. Hadn’t been to this park for some time but we had plans to get together with our new nanny share family who live just across the street from the park. After some time on the playground we headed over to their place to enjoy their homemade Easter cheesecake and coffee. The cheesecake was amazing and it was fun letting Brooke meet her new friend again and Reese loved exploring their four story townhouse with the rooftop deck. We headed back home as rain was starting to settle in but stopped first for a slice of pizza at Big Mario’s for their giant slices. The rest of the night was rainy but we retreated indoors for the night.

Easter Sunday presented itself as a truly beautiful day. Reese has been sleeping in and did so again on this Sunday (Brooke has not been sleeping in though). Once up, Reese got a few treats in her Easter basket, we had breakfast, and then we set out again in the sunshine on foot to Reese’s friend Harold’s house for their annual Easter egg hunt. More kids this year thankfully meant a little less candy for all of the kids and parents but Reese still filled up her Easter basket with as many eggs as she could find. She knew what to do this time around. We spent a while launching rockets in their yard and drinking coffee and talking to the other parents. We all truly had a wonderful morning. We set back with Reese riding her scooter the majority of the way home.

We were hosting Easter dinner and Bryan already had his roast sous videing and he was sitting well. I made some simple sides of roasted asparagus and carrots and truffle mashed potatoes as well as cleaned house and did so with Brooke in the carrier because she is going through a phase that she doesn’t want to be put down these days. We had Polly and Ryu and Luis and Carina and all of their kids over and it was great company and Reese and Eliana played well with one another and enjoyed sitting at their kids table. The babies were all a little more to handle, particularly Brooke who just is not convinced to be a party person yet. We ended the night with Polly’s delicious homemade chocolate mousse.

This week has been a pretty busy but good work week for me. I will be at a good stopping point for much of the work I have been doing and Bryan is cherishing his last few weeks of paternity leave with walks and workouts and has had a few guys nights this week. Bryan tried out the sensory deprivation units with Billy down in Renton and then they got dinner after and then had another night of racquet ball with the guys and got to try out his new racquet. According to him, he played well and enjoyed the competition and the beers after, although he might now have an injured back from it. We took the girls to Din Tai Fung on a rainy Monday night for dumplings and I made it into work for the first time since having Brooke and it didn’t kill me.

I’m mostly ready for us to leave for Hawaii. I’ve gone through all of my summer clothes, as I do each year, and have most things packed. Our flight is an early one tomorrow, and a long one, so I just pray that both girls do even half as good as they did on our way home from Michigan.



Changing Seasons

These weeks are all about changes; changes in school, changes in location (i.e. trips), changes in childcare, changes in the weather. Fortunately, after we got back from Michigan, aside from the first day, the first week presented glorious weather but we are going back to lower temps with some chances of rain for the next week. As we cherish these last few weeks with one of us on parental leave, we’ve tried our best to take advantage of that time and freedom and flexibility that we have. Walking to and from school has been one of the highlights and although Reese’s new school is a full 1.5 miles from our house, we’ve managed to walk there and back most every day this week. It’s a peaceful and pleasant walk through one of the nicest neighborhoods in Seattle and we’ve stopped to play at Miller Park or elsewhere after school quite often, when the weather allows.

Reese has handled the transition to her new school really well. She has still asked about her “old school”, or “regular school”, or the “school with one Reese”, a fair amount of times and I know that she misses her old friends, but she has her friend Lily at Interlaken which has helped a lot and we’ve tried to sneak in play dates with her friends from Mother’s Place as often as we can. We met up with Mika and her mom and sister for a park play date on Monday night and then invited Georgie and her family over for burgers on the grill on Tuesday night. Reese has been overjoyed to play with them both and the social outings have been beneficial for Bryan and I as well.

We had a lot of Lottie time this past weekend! Lottie came over on Friday night for her first sleepover and first time away from her mom ever. We had a good night, scootering home from her house, having dinner of Korean fried chicken and tots, taking a bath and then watching Encanto with bowls of ice cream. Bedtime was a little less smooth and after several “I want my mom” requests from Lottie, we managed to get both girls asleep in Reese’s bed at 10 pm. Lottie woke up at midnight with the same requests and I pulled Lottie into our bed with me and Brooke and Bryan finished the night with Reese. The next morning the girls were a little less compliant with one another and we were relieved when Sarah was there to pick her up. And fortunately we were able to relax and unwind after the toddler tantrums at our first winery party at Januik-Novelty Hill in two years. This time around they had a time slot for the party that was catered to families and there were so many kids there, a full and delicious breakfast buffet, an ice cream bar, a craft station for the kids complete with kids snacks, and of course some wine tasting for the adults. It was a great time and a necessity after our first sleepover.

Lottie came back over for a brief time on Sunday morning and then we did our usual weekly dinner with Sarah and Lottie Sunday night for more takeout, this time of dumplings from Dumpling the Noodle for our third fix of Seattle Restaurant Week. Lottie is now out of town until we leave for Hawaii so it will be a few weeks before the girls see each other again. But we haven’t skipped a beat.

Last week we also made a big purchase, buying a new scooter for the household. We got a great condition used Honda PCX that is super fun to ride and sleek to look at. We need the weather to warm up to get some more good scooter rides in but Bryan and I did take it out for our first solo date night last Wednesday, thanks to our neighbors for coming over. We dined at Barrio in Capitol Hill which had an excellent deal for Restaurant Week of three courses plus a drink for $35. We had interesting lackluster service but the night was still fantastic and I was so relieved that Brooke never woke up while we were gone and Reese did great as well.

I have started a spring cleaning list of sorts and have been trying to get rid of some items but the bulk of the work will probably come after Hawaii. We have a few more friends coming over this weekend and Reese has the day off of school today for parent teacher conferences. Bryan has still been doing so fantastic watching Brooke and is even taking both girls to the park as we speak. He’s finally ready to get back to his day job though. It will be here before we know it and Maui is so close I can almost taste it!



March Madness in Michigan

This past week we spent in Michigan visiting family and we had truly a wonderful time there. Honestly, I’ve been a bit hungover from the trip since, missing family and company in general, missing delicious meals and the rare treat of extra hands to help with the girls, errands, etc. The girls have missed the company too.

We set out for Michigan last Sunday morning. The morning went super smooth with both girls in excellent moods and quick to get ready to leave. The flight went smooth and before we knew it we landed in Detroit. Grammy was there to greet us and once we had our bags we were piled into the car and headed to East Lansing. Both girls got in good naps on this transport and arrived at their house with energy to burn. For our first night there my dad cooked us up some extremely delicious lamb chops and we got ourselves adjusted for the rest of the week ahead.

We essentially had one or two activities that we participated in each day to entertain us, especially since the Michigan spring weather took a dip on us for the week we were there.

On Monday we took Reese to a bounce house called Jumpin Jax and my grandparents came over for their first visit of the trip. We picked up BBQ from Saddleback BBQ to finally get a taste of their ribs and brisket and it was all delicious and provided leftovers for much of the week. We also taste tested Bryan’s bottled beer of the Double Trouble Double IPA he made and bottled for the trip.

On Tuesday we took both girls to Court One to go swimming and hot tubbing. Both girls enjoyed themselves in the pool. We walked to El Azteco and a park for dinner later that evening. Brooke was not all about the party scene happening on the upstairs level of El Az at all though and Reese became fond of the bathroom there for whatever reason so there was rarely a time that all of us were at the table together to enjoy the Topopo salad and margaritas.

On Wednesday my mom and I took Brooke over to my grandparents house so that we could enjoy some more time with them in a calmer setting (sans Reese) and Bryan took Reese to a park. Then the rain hit so we picked them up on our way home. We spent the evening at home with an excellent dinner of roasted sea bass and Uncle Chad joined us for the evening and dinner which was a real treat.

On Thursday we hit the Impression 5 Science Center in downtown Lansing that was a large part of my childhood (school trips, girl scouts, etc). It was crazy busy, probably thanks to it being spring break week, and Reese ran around checking out all of the exhibits. She spent a lot of time in the water play and the different exhibits featuring balls and climbing. We picked up takeout of Zeytoon’s to get in my middleeastern fix.

On Friday we took Reese bowling at my old stomping grounds. We played an hour of bowling and Reese was by far the most enthusiastic bowler I have ever met. She cheered us all on and definitely got the attention of our partners on the next lane. It was adorably cute! I won’t brag about who won the game. But the real winner was Reese who after bowling and before leaving the scene somehow was gifted the large bouncy ball she had her eye on in one of the arcade games. To the eight year old boy who gifted her this ball, we thank you! After bowling, Chad and Sarah met us at the house and Bryan and I quickly got ready for date night. We had an 8 pm reservation at the nearby People’s Kitchen that turned out to be a real winner for dinner and drinks. We had two rounds of drinks there and all had phenomenal meals (me the scallops and Bryan the pork shank). They close at 9 pm so we moved on to the Tin Cup bar in downtown Lansing for another beer or two before heading home. It was our first night out after having Brooke and such a treat getting to spend more quality time with Chad and Sarah.

Saturday morning came much too quick and the drinks definitely left us in a different shape. Fortunately I snapped out of it fairly quick but Bryan took a little while to feel more himself. We walked Reese to the nearby playground with the tall green slide and fortunately a girl about Reese’s age and activity shortly arrived and the two girls had so much fun “playing friends”. Reese definitely got some energy out at the park before heading back home and getting ready for the party with the family that night. My grandparents and Jennette and Terry were coming over, plus Chad and Sarah, so we had a full crew at the house. We had chicken and vegan enchiladas and the food was all so delicious and after dinner we enjoyed watching the Final Four games and Chad had a few friends come over to catch the games. It was wonderful being able to see my grandparents one more time.

Sunday was our last day and the morning was pretty quiet. Bryan made 4-month birthday pancakes for Brooke. We said goodbye to Chad and Sarah and got in baths and packing and then picked up one last late large lunch from Aladdin’s and Jet’s for Detroit style pizza before saying our goodbyes to Mom and Dad drove us to the airport. Our flight was the easiest it could have been with the two girls. Brooke took a 4 hour nap and Reese watched three movies without giving us any issue whatsoever. It was actually a relatively relaxing flight in which I actually got to read and sit in peace for a change. We had no issues getting our bags and car and by the time we got home Reese was asleep and quick to put to bed and Brooke followed shortly thereafter.

It was a wonderful week with a lot of memories, much of just the introduction of Brooke to the family and a well-behaved and fun-loving Reese that enjoyed all of the little things we pieced together for her. We’ve settled back into our routine at home, which is different with Reese starting at her new school, but we’ve had glorious weather since Monday which has helped immensely. I’ll fill in on the new school and other events in a future post.



Brooke at Four Months

Brooke is ever growing and developing on us and time is flying. This month I feel has been a big one in her developmental growth, becoming ever more aware and observant of her surroundings and physically starting to be able to do more than she was previously. I love to watch her growth and her big sister sings her praises with every new thing as well. Let’s take a look.

  • Grasping and holding onto things is something new. She’s finally starting to use her hands, bring things to her mouth, or reaches for things just out of her reach.
  • She picks up on her name and will follow voices around the room.
  • She still loves to use her legs, trying to scoot her way backwards with her legs, kicking in the bathtub, or putting her weight on her legs and even practicing taking “steps” while we hold on to her in support.
  • She is drooly. Enough said. Went through a phase where it appeared she was doing some teething but currently that looks to be stopping.
  • She still loves bath time. And we finally got her in a pool and she liked it.
  • She is still tons of smiles and is starting to give us a few more giggles in the past few days.
  • She loves to hold onto your finger. It calms and soothes her when she is trying to get to sleep or when taking a bottle.
  • I’ve just started wearing her facing out while making dinner at night at times and just like her big sister she loves it. She’s all about the action in the kitchen.
  • She is a big fan of being on the move and going for walks. She stays awake for longer and longer each time now taking everything in.
  • She has rolled over a few times, trying to reach and grab stuff.
  • She loves to sit with her sister. She also loves watching Reese’s movies so it’s pretty adorable when they are sitting side by side watching something together.
  • I took for granted how many babies Reese had already seen by this age. In contrast, Brooke has seen very few but when she has she is highly curious of this baby that looks like her.
  • Brooke is keen on the pacifiers by this point which is a saving grace in so many ways. She can actually start to bring it to her mouth and hold it there as well which is a plus.
  • Brooke seems to be highly interested in foods we are eating. I don’t remember Reese having that much curiosity with the food around her but Brooke certainly is and Reese likes to give her little tastes of some of the things that she is eating. Sometimes Brooke likes that taste so much that she gets upset when Reese takes her thing back.
  • She’s grown out of her 3M clothes so we are moving on up to the 6M sizing.
  • She’s also grown out of her bassinet. The girl moves so much at night that we have had to break out the pack n’ play and dismantle the bassinet.
  • Her current schedule looks like this:
    • 7 am (or whenever Reese wakes up) wake up
    • 8 am take sister to school, meaning family walk when we can
    • 8:30-9:30 am nap on a walk
    • 9:30-11 am milk, play, diaper change, talk
    • 11-12 pm nap at home
    • 12-2 pm milk, play, diaper change, talk
    • 2-3 pm nap
    • 3-5 pm milk, play, diaper change, talk, bath
    • 5 pm leave to go pick up sister from school, meaning family walk when we can
    • 5-5:30 pm nap on walk
    • 5:30-7 pm admire Reese at home or help cook dinner, time on mat and watching movies
    • 7-7:45 pm bedtime

We got to spend another month birthday with family and got to celebrate once again with a pancake breakfast.



Semi Normal

This past week has been…social! It’s been wonderful. We’ve had plans nearly every single day this week and it’s just felt so right. It’s been busy and we are also gearing up for our trip to Michigan but I’ll take this lifestyle over the lonely secluded one any time. Both of our girls are obviously positively affected by the social events as well and seem to thrive in them.

Monday: Reese and Bryan had a daddy daughter date at Macrina Bakery for a croissant and coffee before doing a second orientation day at Reese’s new preschool. We then had our new nanny share family over for a meet and greet with the babies and for a drink of Bryan’s beer for a post work happy hour. It was the only time we have ever been the last to pick up Reese at school so that was the con for the day.

Tuesday: We all shared a walk to school in the morning. We picked up Reese a little early to head south to Renton and the south end of the lake to play at the massive Gene Coulon Park, spend some time with Bryan’s old coworker Mark and his wife Kim, and then all got fish and chips from Ivar’s for their birthday BOGO to eat in the sunshine and 60+ degree weather. We had a wonderful evening out, maybe a bit too late because Reese went haywire, we lost Brooke’s Wubba, and then she wailed the whole ride home.

Wednesday: Less social but we still enjoyed our morning walk to school (we have so few left now). In the evening, after putting Brooke down for the night, I went over to sit for our neighbors so they can resume date nights. We will try for our turn when we get back from Michigan. It’s urgent now as our neighbors have bought a house and have plans to move in May 😦 Bryan got the short end of the stick though and had to settle Brooke twice when she woke up and then had a disgruntled Reese to put to bed after that, bottle some beer, and do some other prep around the house.

Thursday: We invited friends over for the March Madness games and dinner. Polly and Ryu and Jeff were able to come over and with Polly’s birthday on Friday we also made her a cake (chocolate covered strawberry cake because she had once told me that is her favorite and the one her mom always would make for her). Michigan and Texas Tech both lost which was a sad outcome to the game but we thoroughly enjoyed having our friends over again and Bryan’s excellent beer can chicken and other snacks and home brew during the game. This is where we could see the girls thrive and it was fun to see our two girls, who sandwich Niko in age, and how all of them mixed together. Since it was so nice outside we watched a portion of the game outside on the big screen as well.

Friday: Sad day as it was Reese’s last day at Mother’s Place. I’m tried to hold it together because this place is so special. Reese knew it was her last day but what that exactly means to her I am not sure. Bryan made his special chocolate chip cookies for her classmates and teachers for her last day. And for whatever reason Reese wanted to ride her scooter to school, which she pretty much did aside from the uphill portion of our walk. After her last day of school we said our goodbyes and then headed off to Madison Park for her second ever hair cut and then a play at the the park with Lottie who met us there before heading home for dinner with Lottie and Sarah.

We had a birthday party to attend today for our friend Philipp and Sara’s daughter Emelia who is turning three, Elsa themed and small, but there was multiple sicknesses in the small attendee group that we decided to not take the risk. It’s also been quite the process to get all of our laundry done this week since getting the new washing machine installed on Monday afternoon (and a few rare accidents for Reese in bed). I cannot wait for a week off of work and a week spent with family coming up. Will definitely be wonderful, although I wish I could just teleport us there and skip the flight and drive.



Spring Forward

We are just pushing through these transition periods, enjoying each stage, and particularly enjoying the blossoming trees and longer days thanks to spring forward. We’ve enjoyed several walks in the morning and afternoon to go get Reese or drop her off. We’ve enjoyed spending some time at the playground with friends on a few occasions. And we’ve enjoyed being maskless for the first time in what feels like forever. March 11th was the last day of the Washington mask mandate and since then Reese hasn’t had to wear a mask at school (or us or the teachers) and we’ve slowly started going maskless in stores (albeit it’s habit now so sometimes I even forget that I can be maskless). Unfortunately, Reese’s new school is still wavering on whether or not to remove the mask requirement so she will probably have to go back to wearing a mask at least in the short term.

Since being back from Arizona we have tried to get back to our routine, see some people we haven’t in awhile, and will soon get ready for our next trip to Michigan. Unfortunately, as soon as we got back from Arizona our washing machine went kaput. Not great after getting back from a trip and having full suitcases of dirty clothes but at least our landlord jumped right on ordering us a new one. The issue is that the earliest delivery was not until the 21st so we still have a few days to go before we are back on the laundry train. In the meantime, we were fortunately able to use Sarah’s appliances last weekend when we went over for takeout dinner of Kin Dee Thai and a play date. We got a majority of the clothes cleaned from Arizona and have just been making due since then.

Reese has enjoyed school and her friends and we are at the bittersweet end to her time at Mother’s Place. Reese and I went to visit her new school, Interlaken Preschool, yesterday morning for the first time. We met three of the teachers and her new fellow classmates (including another female Reese!) and she set right out to exploring what toys were available inside and out of the classroom. This will be an adjustment, making new friends and having new teachers, a new environment, and a new way of doing things. I’m hoping this will be a good move for her and we are still deadset on continuing our friendship with her current classmates, especially since in a year’s time they should be back in school together again when they start kindergarten. She will have one friend that will be coming with her, Lilly. This new school spends a lot of time outdoors, the door is always open to the outside so they are really free to go outside whenever they please, which Reese might find especially great.

We’ve all been battling a cold this week and it hasn’t been fun for any of us. Reese was lethargic for about two nights and irritable and both Bryan and I have had sore throats, aches and pains, and just general fatigue. It’s not Covid, I tested myself, but just a cold that sucks as I feel like we haven’t felt truly 100% in a few months now. I’m hoping once through the weekend we all start feeling a lot better. But before the cold hit I did run my first run in a year and had a time of less than 9 minutes a mile which honestly took me nearly two years to do after having Reese so I was over the moon about that, and both Bryan and I have been trying to get some home workouts in when we can, and when our body will allow it.

In other news, March Madness has started and although we have watched little to no basketball so far this year, it’s still so fun to fill out a bracket and follow along with the madness. Already so many great games have been played! We’ve enjoyed a few donuts from Raised Donuts and pastries from Nuflours thanks to Intentionalist Seattle celebrating national women’s month. We also celebrated St. Patty’s Day with a sous vide corned beef brisket and classic sides of carrots, cabbage and red potatoes, which was fun and delicious, paired with Bryan’s beer. And really I just feel like celebrating spring every single day because I. CANNOT. WAIT. FOR. SUMMER!!!