San Diego Respite

Back in Seattle after our 4 night trip to San Diego and I already want another vacation. We all thoroughly enjoyed our quality time spent just the three of us, without attention to what day of the week it was or what schedule we needed to follow. We had fun in the sun and did some sight seeing and overall it was both relaxing and whirl of activity. Reese was thrilled with the red car that we had and excited about our hotel while we were there and didn’t seem to have any problem with letting her hair down…

We picked Reese up from school just after noon on Wednesday to head to the airport. We made it to our gate without a problem but then had to wait some time to be able to board the plane which was the most difficult part of the entire travel since Reese was mightily due for a nap by the time we got on the plane. She promptly fell asleep as soon as she was in her seat, before the plane even took off, but it was a short nap. We arrived in San Diego a little after 6 pm, took the bus to get our red rental car, and made the short drive for dinner #1 of the trip; a return trip to the very nearby Lucha Libre for their amazing California style burritos (i.e. no rice or beans but fries and avocado instead). We shared two burritos and their chips and sat outside the little restaurant where music was playing and Reese spent the entire duration shaking her booty (quite literally she did this). We walked across the street to get gelato and shared some chocolatey goodness before heading to the hotel to check in. We were upgraded to a suite room which was an excellent upgrade for us with Reese. This also put us in the separate Suites building instead of the high-rise at the Hyatt Regency in Mission Bay. Our room was great with a room with two plush double beds and a separate living room. We had a small balcony that overlooked the marina which was also amazing and lent itself to quiet at night but some lively boat and sea lion activity during the day.

Thursday morning began our first full day in San Diego. Also thanks to Bryan’s Globalist status with the Hyatt, we were able to get free breakfast every morning at the sit down Red Marlin restaurant at the hotel. We dined here all four mornings; sitting outside twice and inside twice, all chosen by Reese. Reese had the kids pancakes every single morning and ate them all on two occasions. Bryan and I tried a few of their omelets, avocado toast with poached eggs, crab cake benedicts, breakfast salad, yogurt parfait, and steak burrito. The food was good and filling and a really great savings for both time and money.

Thursday was our beach day so after breakfast we set out on foot with the stroller to walk the 1 mile to Mission Beach. We set up our spots with our new beach blanket and had fun in the water and sand for some time. After we got our fill of the beach we walked to the neighboring Belmont Park to ride all the kids rides. We rode the carousel, the spinning ice cream cones and the submarine ride to our hearts content without ever having to wait in line. Reese was all about the rides and had an absolute great time on them. After 1 pm we knew we would need to break to get Reese some lunch and head back for a nap so we walked to the neighboring Zozo’s Pizza for a few slices of pizza before walking back to the hotel where Reese took a long nap. After nap we decided to head back out to the beach area, getting in a few more rides at Belmont Park, including the car race ride that Bryan happily rode (!!) then walked across the street to an expansive playground for a while before driving to Pacific Beach to dine at another return destination: Oscar’s Mexican Tacos for their amazing breaded fish tacos. We got our fill of tacos before heading to the store for some snack/lunch essentials to have on hand and beer and then returned to the hotel for the night.

Friday was SeaWorld day so after our breakfast we loaded up the stroller again and set out to SeaWorld which was a little more than a mile from our hotel. This ended up being a pretty warm day and although it was a weekday, SeaWorld was packed. We headed straight to the dolphin show first and although we found it entertaining I don’t think Reese was as amused and was just plain hot. After the show we went and saw the sealions and a few other sea life before trying our hand this time at the orca show. We got closer this time and I think that helped and we also got a slushy drink for Reese that she was all about. This show was great, in my opinion, but again I think Reese was more into her “juice” and “going to the park” than anything. We left and set out for the Sesame Street fun zone. This is where the rides for kids are and we did get a chance to ride three of them although the lines where much longer and less thrilling than Belmont Park the day before. Reese did thoroughly enjoy seeing Cookie Monster dance on a ship and seeing Elmo take pictures with other kids. Reese also could have spent hours (and probably spent nearly one) in this toddler bounce zone with foam blocks. We were okay with this as we got a chance to sit in the shade.

We left SeaWorld at about 2 pm and Reese surprised us both by staying awake until we got back to the hotel. We had PB&J sandwiches and then finally got Reese to take her nap. Bryan ended up having to wake her up just before 5 pm because he was wanting her to be able to enjoy the pool slides that close at 6 pm but Reese was none too happy about being woken up from her nap. We managed to get her to the pool where she was able to go down the slide a few times before it closed and then we hopped from pool to hot tub to keep warm. Around 7 pm we headed back to the room where we had Middleeastern food delivered to us as we settled into the hotel’s showing of Frozen and enjoyed a nice night in.


Saturday was primarily the zoo in the afternoon so the morning we had free to our leisure. After breakfast we set back out for the playground we enjoyed briefly a few nights prior and here Reese spent about two hours checking everything out. She made a few friends and really enjoyed her time her, surprising no one. We finally convinced her to head back to the hotel for more sandwiches around 1 pm and once Reese was down for a nap Bryan and I took turns using our free one-hour paddleboard rental to spend some solo time on the water. We each explored the marina and the nearby bays, finding the wind and current to be a challenge at times, and each enjoyed this time on our own. After we were both done and Reese was up from her nap we set out in the car to the San Diego Zoo. This zoo is phenomenal! I’ve always heard this but seeing it for myself definitely confirmed that. We were there for a little over two hours and really tried to hit all of the major exhibits. It was so peaceful just walking around the zoo setting and we definitely got our steps in. Going when we did we found the crowds a little quieter and the temperature just perfect. We took the skyway train out and back just for fun and that was enjoyable and again got Reese a slushie.

Once we had our fill of the zoo we headed to the nearby Balboa Park. Our plans were to meet up with our local FareStart friend at a place in the Park called Panama that had live jazz in an outdoor setting but upon arrival they were fresh out of tables and reservations. Totally a bummer as the place looked amazing and I’d love to go back. She recommended a trendy Italian place just over a half mile walk away from Balboa Park so we walked the distance to meet up with her (Reese literally ran most of that distance). I was worried that Reese was in quite an energetic state for this dinner, which she was, but once she got her kids pasta (a gigantic bowl of rigatoni with red sauce) she sat quietly and demolished the whole bowl, of course then resuming her climbing and other late night agility acts. Meanwhile we got caught up with our friend who moved back to her hometown of San Diego just under three years ago. We split a great arugula and wild mushroom salad, a spicy calamari and octopus dish and the short rib ravioli that was excellent. We also enjoyed their fresh complimentary focaccia with an herb oil. It wasn’t a lengthy dinner, thanks to Reese mostly, but it was a nice fancy dinner out with some company. We walked back to our car and headed back to the hotel for our last night.

Walking the bridge from Balboa Park

Sunday was our last day in San Diego but we had most of the day to enjoy it with a flight at night. We wanted to spend more time at the pool and did so right after breakfast and as soon as the slides opened. From 11 am until about 1:30 pm Reese was pretty consistently going down the one kiddie slide over and over again. We suspect she surely went down at least 100 times. We would go warm up in the hot tub about every thirty minutes and towards the end one of us got to lay in the sun for some time. It was a nice time at the pool and Reese was having a blast at the slide with the other kids. Some of the other parents there nicknamed her “Champ” and “Starfish” due to her untimid nature going down the slide and the star on her Puddle Jumper floatie. We finally managed to convince her to head back to the room and we had one more day of sandwiches and a nap while we packed to get ready to leave.

Photo in the big chair at the Hyatt

Reese woke just before 4 pm and we were able to extend our checkout until 4 pm. We packed the car and set out for one last round of fish tacos from the other Oscar’s Tacos location before returning the car and heading to the airport. We got Reese food in the airport and had no problem on our flight; Reese was extremely well behaved for this late flight and watched both Frozen movies throughout the length of the flight. We landed a bit early but then had complications being able to pull into our gate so we didn’t do so until over 45 minutes after landing, at this point it was past 10:30 pm. We ended up pulling into our driveway after getting our bags and the car at 11:30 pm and Reese had literally only fallen asleep ten minutes prior but was so easy moving from car to bed (a rarity).

I got to spend a little time during naps reading on our little patio

Back to work today after getting home so late and neither of us are thrilled about it but I also feel refreshed and have so many good memories from the trip. Plus we have a lot of exciting things on the calendar in the next month: a wedding to attend, our 5-year anniversary, Lon and Trish visit, Reese and Lottie’s joint birthday party (still planning), Seahawks Training Camp, my company’s picnic, and then heading out to Michigan at the end of it all.



Wonderful Weekend

I think Bryan and I are both majorly living for the weekend these days. They are glorious! This past weekend was an especially good weekend spent with some activity, some friends, some projects accomplished around the house, and some down time. It can’t get better than that!

We started the weekend with the playground in Capitol Hill and a visit to the bookstore for a gift for the baby shower that I was attending and then headed home for a movie and delicious pizza (thanks to over-ordering of our first back-in-the-office staff meeting). Saturday morning began and Bryan made him and Reese pancakes and bacon, like usual, but I had a Baby Sprinkle to attend to and left on my scooter to pick up a friend and take her with me. The Sprinkle was at a salon in Ballard for mani-pedis and some brunch fare and I mainly chatted with Polly while getting my hands and feet both beach ready for our upcoming San Diego trip and hopefully still looking good for the wedding we have coming up to attend. I headed back home and Reese and Bryan were back from the playground and Reese was quick to take a nap.

How casual can our pizza nights get?

While Reese napped, Bryan began the installation of the new hitch on the CR-V and I was on a mission to finish painting the new “nursery” room. I got mostly down when Reese found me and we waited for Bryan to finish so that I could finish my project. Both of us got our projects done, Bryan’s was a fair bit more elbow grease with cuts to prove it but all of the painting that I had left were way up high and no fun either. Glad we were finished with our respective projects, we started up the grill and had dinner of burgers and fries on our back deck. After dinner we walked up to Plum Tree Park for a quick playground session and then walked over to Feed Co for a chocolate shake that we split on their patio.

Sunday was our planned fun day and we had plans to test out this new hitch that Bryan had put on. After egg sandwiches at home, we piled up the car with all of our gear and headed north to Snohomish. Our agenda was to play at the playground for a bit before getting on our bikes and hitting the start of the Centennial Trail for at least 12 miles out to Cassady Lake. Our plan went to plan and Bryan pulled Reese up the gentle incline on the way out, stopping just past Cassady Lake before we turned around and swapped Reese out to my bike and I got to pull her back down the gentle decline back to the starting point. The 25 miles took us just under 2 hours and was a lovely ride on a very flat paved railroad grade trail. There were no bugs and not many people and it really was so nice to just ride and not worry about cars or traffic or anything else really. We got back to the starting point and Reese hit the swings one more time. We hit the Pilchuck Drive In a block away for some fries, fried mushrooms and a strawberry shake (we tried to walk there but the indoors is still closed and a drive-thru only) and took these snacks to the gazebo at the river that I spotted on the way into town. This was a lovely spot to have our snacks at before leaving town.

Polly and Ryu asked us over for a BBQ at their house earlier in the day and since we were already north with no plans for dinner we took them up on it. We stopped on got beer and watermelon to bring over and then Ryu treated us to delicious steak tacos off the grill with his own homemade mole sauce and pickled red onions. Everything was delicious and Reese enjoyed their company and eased her way into throwing balls for Momo to retrieve. After dinner, Reese even got to hold baby Niko which was really something to see. We got back home pretty late and Reese had barely a nap on the bike ride so she hit the sack pretty quick.

We have two full days at work this week and then a short day before we head down to San Diego for our first solo family vacation in quite literally forever. We are all so excited and I really am looking forward to moments of relaxation but also the fun we will have at SeaWorld, the zoo, and the other things we have planned while we are down there. Almost there!



Half Way

Last week marked my halfway mark through this pregnancy, hitting 20 weeks last Monday, and we also had our 2nd ultrasound that gets into the nitty gritty details of baby’s development so far. Our ultrasound went smoothly, as we were told that there are no causes for concern, and so far everything is still looking good for baby #2 (aka Mellow). Although the radiologist said, and I quote word for word, “Wow, this is one active baby.” at which point Bryan and I looked at each other in legit fear.

As far as how I’m doing, I feel like I am in that sweet spot in pregnancy where my energy is back (most of the time), nausea has subsided (most of the time) and the worst pregnancy symptoms have yet to come. My visual appearance I think still makes it difficult for other’s to notice at times. I have a good way of disguising the belly I guess but if I wear form fitting clothes its hard to not notice the bump. I love reading the weekly pregnancy updates that get sent to my email. It’s all rosy and sweet when talking about the baby forming and all the progress the baby is making during development and then it starts talking about development for mom and it’s not the least bit positive. For instance, this week it’s:

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 20

Now if that doesn’t make a woman want to have a baby I don’t know what will! But like I said, mine aren’t too bad right now. I have gotten more moody at times. I’m still moving and that’s good for me. Reese and I are still walking to school in the morning most every morning. I’m still doing the occasional Fitnessblenders each week and I’ve still gone on some good bike rides. We did our first hike this year which was an 8 mile hike (but with only 1,500 feet of elevation gain) but Bryan was lugging Reese along the whole time so I had it easy (honestly the hardest part of this whole hike was the mosquitos without bug spray as my legs continue to feel on fire). I started doing yoga once a week at the studio next to our office now that I am back at the office and that is a great addition to help me safely stretch out my muscles and take a little time for centering myself.

I do feel about twice my size post-dinner. There is something about the evening meal and the evening time period that my body both feels and looks way bigger. I’m sleeping well and so is Reese so that is a plus, although, Little Miss has been sleeping with us at some point in the night every night lately. Knowing these feel good days aren’t going to last forever, I did start painting the new “nursery” two weeks ago. It’s a bear to paint with the angled walls and high ceilings plus the fact that we are and will still be using it as an office for some time but the progress is slowly coming along. I have about an hour left of work until I am done with the first coat and already got another gallon plus of paint needed to finish the project up. I’m ready for the paint to be done so I can get the furniture and get all of the clutter out of the hallway. I’ve also started my cross stitch project for the room, quickly finished the first of the trio (as I picked the easiest to start with) and am making slow but good progress on the second much more time intensive pattern.

Fingers crossed I keep feeling good and things keep going well. Reality of it all comes and goes but we still have over four months for it all to sink in.



Happy Birthday Stinker Bryan

Yesterday we got to celebrate the most important man in the house; Bryan. Bryan’s birthday may have not been all pleasantries for him workwise but after he was able to put work aside he went on a solo bike ride around Mercer Island (our favorite ride) while I finished preparations for his birthday dinner. Billy, Valerie and their two girls were able to join us for a birthday dinner for Bryan featuring seafood and Italian food and it was absolutely wonderful to have them over again. I haven’t done many “fancy” dinners lately so it was really fun coming up with the menu featuring things I know Bryan would like and executing them and we ended up with one big spread. Bryan’s Italian dinner menu:

  • Caprese with heirloom tomatoes and fresh local mozzarella
  • Green salad with apples, pecans, and gorgonzola
  • Pasta carbonara
  • Grilled salmon with pesto cream sauce and grilled asparagus
  • Pan seared jumbo scallops
  • Bread and butter
  • Chocolate whiskey cake with chocolate chips and a salted caramel whiskey cream cheese frosting
  • Vanilla ice cream

We enjoyed dinner outside and then moved dessert inside. Reese’s enthusiasm for the entire night was out of control. She is sandwiched in age by the two girls, one having just turned 5 and one having just turned 2 and so they both knew how to play with Reese. It was pretty entertaining to see and when our guests left at just about 10 pm Reese was finally EXHAUSTED. We were able to catch up with Billy and Valerie and just really enjoy their company. It was a great night and I am just still so appreciative that this year we are able to reunite with friends, see people indoors, and share food with those we care about.

Following up on Bryan’s birthday, we are looking at doing a hike at Mt. Rainier tomorrow. Reese has been asking to ride in Daddy’s backpack and thinks that will be fun and we have yet to do a hike this year. It’s ironically about the same time in my pregnancy as I hiked with Bryan and his intern at Lake Twenty Two, when I was 22 weeks pregnant. I will be 21 weeks pregnant Monday and feeling good so now is the time to get a hike in under our belt!

Happy Birthday Bryan. We love you each and every day.



Parties, Picking, and Picnicking

This past week has been an enjoyable one. It sure feels like summer around here and the temps are back to perfect (nearly 75-85 degrees every single day) and I have once again forgotten how it just doesn’t rain in Seattle during the summertime. I think the last rainfall was early June and there is no rain on the forecast for the next ten days. This means prime weather for outdoor fun and that we do every single day.

Since the holiday weekend, we’ve of course gone to the playground lots, Bryan and I each went for a solo bike ride last week, and Reese and I had tons of outdoor fun while Bryan did as well with the guys on their weekend away from the ladies and babies in Leavenworth, Washington.

For Reese and I, the weekend started with a walk to our favorite playground and pizza afterwards. Saturday morning we had our first official birthday party in forever and probably one of the few that would actually be meaningful to Reese considering her age. Rosalie was turning three and we were invited over to her house in West Seattle for a bouncy house in the backyard, cake, and lots of other goodies. There were tons of kids, tons of people, but neither Reese nor I really knew anyone. Reese does not care. We were one of the first to arrive and Reese was busy bouncing or playing for nearly three hours. I tried to meet people but its difficult with those you don’t know now post-Covid. It was still good to get Reese out of the house and having fun. We got fast food on the way home to keep her awake in the car (the drive to West Seattle right now is long thanks to the bridge under repair) and Reese managed to do so until home when she gave me a good nap. We met up with Sarah and Lottie on a walk to Volunteer Park that night. Even after the eventful morning Reese was all about the swings, slides and wading pool with her friend and I was glad to actually get to converse with someone.

Sunday morning we hit the road north to go blueberry picking at Argobliss Farms. We picked up Sarah and Lottie on the way who kept us company on the car ride and met up with the other single moms for the weekend; Tina and Carina along with their babes Jack and Eliana. We beat their car somehow by nearly 40 minutes and already had a ton of berries in our bucket when they arrived. Our girls by this point were losing steam so they had a picnic in the shade of the bushes while we continued picking for some time longer. We ended up spending just shy of two hours at the farm and our car’s combined weight of berries by the end of it was about 12 lbs (and only $24!). We stopped at a local burger joint for fries and burgers before heading to a wonderful park on the nearby small Silver Lake. All of us picnicked on blankets until the girls were too antsy to play on the large playground. We stayed until about 1 pm when it was getting hot and all of the kids were needing a nap. It really was a fun and worthwhile outing for the morning. Lottie passed out in the car but Reese was again a trooper until we got home and then took about a 2.5 hour nap at home!!!!!!!!!! She woke up just in time for Bryan’s return.

Although I had a good time around town, Bryan had a great time enjoying the company of friends, adult freedoms, and the beautiful town of Leavenworth in the Central Cascades. David picked Bryan up Friday afternoon to hit the road for their 2.5 hr drive. They enjoyed a night on the town on Friday night that left all of the guys, all in their 30s, suffering the consequences Saturday morning. They rallied for their 10 am tee time at the nearby golf course. After their game of golf, they spent a more low key night getting dinner at one of the many Bavarian joints downtown before heading back to their condo for a guys night in. Sunday morning, after checking out of their condo, they hit the Wenatchee River for some river floating which I am super jealous about. After they got their fill of sun and cold Rainiers they set back home. Bryan admits that he had a great time and enjoyed the weekend being with the guys again.

We were happy to have Bryan back home for the rest of the night on Sunday. After such an eventful weekend it’s nice to have a few days to ease back into work. I’m officially starting back at the office Tuesday through Thursday starting this week and I will be happy to have more of my coworkers back in the office now that the official return to the office is starting.



The Fourth and Friends

It’s so wonderful being able to spend time with friends again; being able to have backyard parties, being able to see Reese play with our friend’s kids, and just generally seeing people breathe a sigh of relief after having a year spent in isolation. I did not get to go home to the cottage for the 4th of July this year and that is always a bit tough on me mentally and emotionally, but we still had a wonderful long weekend celebrating summer and our freedoms.

Before we picked Reese up on Friday, Bryan and I took the opportunity of being slow at work and the wonderful weather to go on a bike ride just the two of us. We did the 24 mile loop from our house and around Mercer Island and back. I felt good on the ride until the end when I was spent but it was nice to get in this beautiful ride with Bryan. We got back home just before having to pick up Reese and took her to the park for some time before heading home for the free Pagliacci’s Pizza I had picked up earlier in the day. It was a great start to the long weekend.

Saturday morning was like our usual Saturday mornings and Bryan made us bacon and pancakes and then Reese went to her last soccer class (I thought last week was her last class but we had one more). Reese actually did really well in following directions at this class and really seemed to enjoy it. I took her to the nearby Magnusson Park while it was not yet too hot before heading home for nap on the couch. Saturday afternoon we had a free one-hour pea pod (rowboat) rental at the Center for Wooden Boats on Lake Union. We got our suits on and boarded our boat and each took turns paddling on the lake. The lake was active but surprisingly not as busy as I would have thought and was really pleasant both in views and temperature. The one hour was about all that Reese could do without jumping into the water but she seemed to enjoy it. She requested to go to one of the nearby parks we have been to together (completely out of the blue), so we headed there for more park time before heading home for our dinner and a movie before bed.

Sunday, the 4th, was a busy day. We hung around the house all day, minus a quick grocery trip, but were busy with our party preparations for the BBQ we had with friends later in the afternoon. We got the house ready and finished off the 36 hours of sous vide of the brisket in the morning before moving it to the grill for a smoke finish. I made some potato salad, peri peri chicken with aji verde sauce, and a kale salad along with some fresh lemonade and iced tea. We ended up having 16 adults, four toddlers between 2 and 3 years of age and three little newborns over and I’m telling you, we cannot fit anymore people at our house outside than that. We managed to borrow a long table from a neighbor that allowed some people to eat at and others were scattered around the yard. There was so much food and desserts from dishes our friends brought over that made it quite the potluck. We had a great time, Reese in particular was in full party mode, and by the time our last guests left just before 10 pm, we were exhausted. Reese couldn’t fall asleep until 10:30 pm and, as I expected, kept getting woke up by the fireworks that people were doing until far too late in the morning so she ended up sleeping with us. But we managed to get pretty much completely cleaned up before going to bed (largely thanks to Bryan).

Monday was recovery day for all of us. We were all in the need for some R&R after such an eventful previous day. It took us quite some time to get ourselves awake and ready for the day. I didn’t get dressed until 4 pm in the afternoon. Reese and I walked to a park while Bryan managed to get a workout in and then he met us by foot and we decided to pick up Thai food nearby and ate that in another park. It was a glorious day and evening and we got back home around 7:30 pm, still in a slightly tired stupor.

I was not ready for the holiday weekend to be over and be back at work. I love seeing my friends again and love being able to give Reese playdates. We had glorious weather and good food and my enthusiasm for being back at work is just not too great this week. This week is pretty standard but then Bryan has a guys trip coming up next weekend and then we will be figuring out how best to celebrate his birthday next week. I’ll probably still be using these next few days to recover from the party on Sunday.



We Have a Preschooler

I cannot believe that our little girl is no longer in the Toddlers room at school but has moved up to the big room with the Preschoolers. The past week and a half the school has been transitioning Reese between rooms, easing her into this switch, meeting the new teachers and some of the new (and big!) kids she doesn’t know, and familiarizing herself with the new room. So far the transition has been nice and easy and we have had good reports from the teachers that all has gone well. Thursday morning was the first morning that I dropped her off in the Preschool room and she is now there for good. Her cubby and nap blanket and everything have already been moved up for her. It was the first time I met any of the Preschool teachers and I know that she will continue to be in good hands but it was certainly bittersweet saying goodbye to her excellent teachers of the past year as we gave them cookies from Lowrider as a thank you and Reese at least gave them a hug goodbye.

But how do I have a preschooler?!? The other kids (those that I don’t know from Reese’s time in the Toddler room to date) all look so big and grown. I don’t know why but the entire past two days I’ve just literally been in a state of shock that we are already moving up. I know she is ready and this move will be good for her. And until the fall, the preschool room is mostly just play before they start more classroom like lessons during the “school year”. But our little girl is getting older. I’m so fortunate that she is still such a cuddlebug with me otherwise I think I would have already felt like my baby has left me. Here’s her latest as we start into the second half of the year, as we wait for her baby brother/sister’s arrival, and as she starts as a preschooler:

  • Reese’s sleep has not changed. She has been taking good naps and sleeps pretty well throughout the night so that’s a blessing.
  • Reese’s latest favorite foods would be: corn, chocolate, cookies, pizza, rice, noodles, pasta with red sauce, hummus, meatballs, burgers (at least the buns), fruit snacks, mac and cheese and French fries. She’s also fully back into tomatoes, apples, pears, berries, bananas and cucumbers thank goodness to help offset the aforementioned foods.
  • She is and has been fully potty trained now for about a month! We started on Memorial Day Weekend and after one not so good day I had my doubts but the second day was like something clicked with her and she hasn’t looked back since. She’s had only two accidents at school in the past month, had no accidents during our trip to Arizona and has been able to go #1 and #2 no problem. I am so proud of her!
  • Pretty much nothing is off limits to this girl on the playground now. She can do just about everything (minus monkey bars) without assistance but we are still there to watch her nevertheless. She also got her first taste of trampolines while we were in Arizona and I could see that being a hit in the future (and possibly a purchase in the distant future).
  • We are wrapping up soccer classes for the summer. They’ve been good to keep Reese active and playing during the rainy months but we are looking to free up time to play in the water and go on hikes or bike rides more often this summer.
  • Reese has not been too emotional lately. There have been few tantrums and she is getting better at controlling her frustration and instead of screaming or crying she blows her lips or shrieks for a quick second, which is cute, or wants to hit or throw things, which we are working on her with.
  • Shaun the Sheep Farmageddon (aka Song Sheep to Reese) and the original Frozen are basically the rotating movies in the house. She requests these every single time so unless we trick her into another movie it will be one of these two.
  • Reese now says she wants a sister. This first started in Arizona but it has been sister, not brother, ever since.
  • Reese and Lottie painted their own nails the other day while we were not closely watching them. I thought this was going to be a horrendous mess but somehow they managed to not get it on anything!
  • Reese still prefers independent reading at home so instead of us getting to read to her we each get a book and read together on the bed on our own and then switch when she is ready to switch. I don’t know if we are ever going to be able to convince her to let us read to her.
  • Reese really does enjoy swimming and wearing her puddle jumper. Her school used to go to swim lessons during the summer before COVID and I really hope that they would resume this for the summer as we await the openings of other pools offering swim lessons to us.

That’s a quick summary of my little, but not so little girl. I can’t believe we are only a few weeks away from her being 3. Although if you ever ask her how old she is she will tell you every time that she is 6 (?!?!).



It’s Gettin’ Real Hot in Here

What a crazy June weekend here in Seattle. I feel like I never left Phoenix. We are still sitting here trying to get our sole window AC unit to make everything cool enough and retreating to the water whenever and wherever we can to stay comfortable. We reached 103 on Saturday, didn’t quite hit 100 like what was expected on Sunday, and then topped it all off at 106 or something absurd on Monday. The high in Seattle history is 103 but the highest temps here usually don’t hit until August so we are definitely early and it makes me a little nervous for how the rest of the summer (and future years) is going to go down. We are debating getting a second AC unit for the third bedroom but even if we ordered it now we probably wouldn’t get it for several weeks!

We took Reese to one of the shaded parks we know of on Friday after school before heading home for the weekend. On Saturday morning we had Lottie come by for a few hours while Sarah went to her new school orientation and the girls swam in the blow up pool for a while before lunching on mac n cheese and then Reese took a good nap. We went back outside in the afternoon to do some more swimming before doing our usual dinner and a movie. We were hovering around 82 inside Saturday afternoon and little Reese’s nose was beading sweat as it always does when she is hot.

Reese waiting for Lottie during pancake time

Sunday morning Reese woke up early and after about an hour of watching Shaun the Sheep Reese and I decided to go to “purple slide” up the street from us which we did for a little while until it was already too hot (85) and then continued up to Safeway to get a few groceries and a donut for Reese. Bryan made us breakfast while we cooled off in the pool and then we all headed to our last soccer class of the season (probably will take a break until the fall). Sunday afternoon we piled up the car and headed to the shore of Lake Washington to do a little lake tubing/floating. Reese really seemed to enjoy this although she’d rather swim than float. So we swam and watched the waves from all of the boating action. Reese lasted about an hour before wanting to dry off on the shore and then we headed home to grill some Greek turkey burgers and fries (these came out great on the grill). I think our house was again at about 82 which didn’t feel as bad as the night before so the lake must have had the appropriate effect we were looking for. Unfortunately, the low on Sunday night wasn’t but about 75 and that didn’t last too long so when we left for school and work on Monday the house was already at 81 degrees.

Crash After Soccer

Monday night was the start of our babysitting swap with our next door neighbors and we were up first so Bryan and I got to head out to a nice and cool (and rare in Seattle) AC-filled restaurant for dinner while Reese and our neighbor fought the last of the high heat at home. We had a wonderful dinner; both for the company and for the food. Bryan chose Tanoor, a new Lebanese restaurant in South Lake Union that I had heard good things about. Not only did they have AC but they had food the closest to that I know of and love in Michigan. We shared the mixed grill platter for 2-3 which should be more like 4-5 (lamb, beef and chicken kabob plus a beef kefta kabob, rice and lentils, fatoush, grilled veggies, babaganoush, and fried cauliflower plus freshly grilled pita). We took home so much food but it was all so good and I was more than happy to have leftovers at home. Plus happy to have a cool place to dine in.

We are relieved that some cooler weather came last night and actually dipped below 70 degrees. Reese and my walk to school was much more enjoyable today and the house is currently sitting at 73 which is much, much better. We are still supposed to get up to close to 90 today and stay above 80 the rest of the week but so long as we get some relief at night I’m fine with that forecast. Even my plants were struggling to survive late yesterday and I’m not sure they are going to revive from the hot temps. Without worrying about the heat now I can focus on other tasks at hand, actually get some things done around the house like running the dishwasher and washing some clothes and look forward to the long holiday weekend!



To The Dads and To Summer

Hooray for dads and hooray for summer. I don’t think we could do this life without you! This past weekend was a celebration of both. It was also a celebration of friends and food and exercise, but that is more or less what summer is all about to me too.

We had a mad dash home from the airport on Saturday to get the car unpacked, get some corn and beer at the store to take over to the BBQ, prepare said corn, and get ourselves changed into more appropriate clothing before we set back out to hit our friend’s Vaccine Party up in Shoreline. Predictably, Reese fell asleep in the car ride up there but after her quick snooze and time to wake, she perked right up sharing some burger with me before settling into playing with the bubble guns, the water toys, and basically making herself at home at Luis and Carina’s. This was the first time I really saw Reese in her element with the other two girls, Eliana and Emilia, who are both about 8 months younger than her. Reese and Eliana really hit it off at the end of the party and I think quite enjoyed each other’s company. Meanwhile, we enjoyed the company of so many more friends. There were tons of babies; three that are all less than 3 months old and two that are both about 10 months old. On top of that, three ladies at the party were pregnant, in addition to myself, so its just such a different feel to the parties than say when we were pregnant or first had Reese and we were parenting solo. Being in that stage of life, I’m happy to have so many others walking through it with me. We left after 8 pm and finally got home to settle back in.

Sunday was Father’s Day and although I had offered to make breakfast in bed, Bryan requested to make breakfast and went all out, making smaller banana pancakes, bacon and eggs for all of us. After breakfast, I took Reese to soccer and I think we somehow got in an older kid’s class. Reese was not on her most cooperative behavior so it was a long hour trying to get her to follow directions. She did enjoy the bouncy balls and did enjoy the obstacle course that the coaches set up for the three kids in the class, but otherwise she wouldn’t let the coaches tell her a thing and would tell them, “Don’t talk to me!”. We went back home where Bryan had our bikes ready to go and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches packed for us and being that it was nap time, Reese immediately got into her Chariot so we hurried ourselves up and set out for our planned bike ride. Sunday was a hot one for Seattle with a high of about 85 or more but the ride we picked was the Mercer Island Loop which is a gorgeous and fortunately mostly shaded 24-mile ride. Reese promptly fell asleep for her nap as we had hoped and we were able to do the full loop without any complaints from her. Once we were back over the I-90 bridge we stopped at a park but this park was unshaded and too hot so we biked another mile to Mt. Baker Park which we knew was partially shaded, has swings and a zipline, and Reese has enjoyed in the past. Bryan had pulled Reese all of the way to the first park but was spent (reasonably so) and I asked to pull Reese to the second park and then home. The second park was a hit and we did a bit of all that was offered. Once we got our fill of the park (she hadn’t been to a true outdoor park in over a week which is forever in her mind) we headed back home.

We got home about 4 pm and all of us were tired but feeling good from such a nice and strenuous ride. We were really needing some exercise, particularly cardio, and some fresh air and this was exactly what we were looking for. We facetimed with Papa and then Grandad and More Grandad and then our homemade green chile enchiladas were ready. We spent the night relaxing and spent some time in the backyard once the temperatures dropped a bit and right before bed. It was such a great weekend and none of us were that eager to get back into the normal week’s routine that was coming up.

This week has been a bit like we’ve been thrown into a lion’s den in some ways. I’ve been at the office these first three days since our intern started on Monday and I am taking place of her supervisor for these first three days. Just getting myself ready and to the office has been a bit of a learning curve but with the help of my scooter left at Reese’s school, it hasn’t changed up my morning routine too much. Bryan had to go into the Auburn office on Tuesday and the Everett office on Wednesday and so he had early wakeup calls and commutes both days.

Bryan captured this goodie later this week.

Socially, I was able to get a welcome lunch for the intern with some of my coworkers on Monday which was a nice change of pace and then on Tuesday the three of us met at a new to us park after work/school to play and take in the views of Seattle from the top of First Hill before getting some delicious Halal Guys (via mystery shopping) to take home and eat. And Wednesday I had my first girl’s night get together in flipping forever. Tina, Carina, Deana and myself met at the Spanish tapas restaurant Ocho in Ballard at 5:30 pm for the tail end of happy hour and to have a night out sans kids (three of us are moms). It was a great treat to have a night out myself and I told Bryan I get 66 more of them!

Thursday was Sarah’s birthday and so we had her and Lottie over for dinner for food off the grill and brownie sundaes for birthday dessert. The girls played at the park before dinner and then took nearly an hour long bath after dinner together and Reese got to bed after 10 pm.

Send help, send ice.

The weather in Seattle continues to be hot and is only getting hotter this weekend with expected highs right now over 100 degrees for the next three days. Yikes!!! I’m grateful that the splash parks and wading pools are reopening in Seattle just in time and I’m pretty sure we will be hitting a spray park on Saturday and will probably break out some of our water toys as well. It’s good to be home in Seattle again, hot weather and all, especially with all three of us home!



Phoenix is HOT!

What a week we had away from home and Seattle and spending quality time with Grandma and Papa Miller in the summer heat in Phoenix. I don’t like to focus on weather much but how can you not when the average highs were right around 115 and jumping up to record-setting 118 two days in a row? But aside from the heat we had a great trip, a great disconnect from work more or less for both of us, and Reese was in her element getting to spend every day playing with those she loves and getting to experience some new adventures.

Bryan returned home on Friday, only about 24 hours before our plane to Phoenix departed. We had one family dinner at home with homemade pesto from our garden and finished packing our bags. Once Saturday morning was here, Reese was itching to get to the airport. She knew she was getting on a plane that day and she didn’t have any interest in going to the park or to soccer or doing anything else before we left town. Our flight to Phoenix was smooth and Reese slept two hours of it as it was right during her nap time. She arrived rested and walked her way out of the airport. Running is actually more like it but she stopped dead in her tracks with the funniest expression on her face when she first saw Grandma and Papa sitting there waiting for her. We dropped our bags off at home and settled in for a bit before convincing Reese to go out to dinner to Si Senor. They were busy in the restaurant but we had a delicious dinner and Reese really enjoyed the chips and sopapilla.

Sunday we broke out the inflatable pool in the backyard to find some reprieve from the heat with easy access. This was great fun and Reese could kill hours in the pool with her plastic cups and pump up water guns. After a morning in the pool we had lunch and nap and this became a common trend for the mornings during the week. We spent the afternoon playing at home and then had a nice healthy dinner of mahi mahi and salad before we had some guests come over to celebrate Trish’s landmark birthday (a day late) over some delicious chocolate birthday cake from a local bakery and ice cream. We enjoyed this in the basement as the AC for the upstairs ended up not functioning properly all week and was quite toasty upstairs.

So much fun in the pool in the backyard

During the week I was technically working when I could and when I had stuff to work on which didn’t end up being anything near full time. Monday we decided to check out a place called Uptown Jungle Park which is essentially an indoor playground which Reese absolutely loved. They had trampolines, big slides, a toddler area, a ball pit, several tunnels and various obstacles to walk through. We purchased a 90 minute visit and were there the whole time and the girl left sweaty and elated. We returned home and Bryan and I were on the dinner team for our celebratory birthday dinner for Trish. We made a surf and turf plate with New York steak and grilled asparagus and a crabcake with sriracha aioli on a corn and pepper saute with arugula. We enjoyed some leftover cake before bed.

Tuesday we decided to hit up a spray park and set out for Desert Breeze Park but it was just so hot and the water was not enough to keep Reese cool, especially when she wanted to hit the playground which even under the sunshades were way too hot to the touch. We did not end up staying long and returned home to splash around in the pool in the backyard. We had plans on Tuesday night to get dinner at Nello’s Pizza for a visit for Bryan’s uncle and Trish’s brother John, whom I had never met. It was a very pleasant meeting and Reese was on pretty good behavior and we all enjoyed their pizza and salad.

Still slowly dying in the heat at the splash park

Wednesday we decided to hit a true pool so after an early morning and an early nap time for Reese, the three of us took the short drive to the Arrowhead Pool to cool off. We really enjoyed the relaxing feel of this pool and relatively low capacity. Reese got familiar with her PuddleJumper floaties and swam on her own. The water was still warm but accomplished cooling us off enough which was the task at hand. After sufficiently wearing Reese out at the pool we returned home to shower and change as Bryan and I had our date night! Lon and Trish were gracious enough to watch Reese for us for the night so we could go on a true date night without having to put her to bed on our return home. Bryan and I had a great night out in Scottsdale. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and bar visit at Culinary Dropout first. We dined on some amazing brussel sprouts and grilled bread and then got the Korean spicy skirt steak and fried chicken dinners for our entrees and finished the meal with the candy bar brownie. We had so much food that we decided we needed to walk some, even in the still 109 degree heat and walked along the canal to find another bar called The Montauk where Bryan got another drink and we enjoyed this on one of their plush couches. We really enjoyed spending our time together out alone without our daughter for a change of pace. We returned home right around 10 pm and were relieved to hear that Reese did reasonably well and managed to fall asleep for her grandparents.

Fun day at the Arrowhead Pool

Thursday was the day that we had scheduled to apply for Reese’s passport (we weren’t able to get an appointment scheduled at any point in the whole Seattle area). We took all of our legal documents and little miss Reese to the USPS in Tempe for an easy breezy passport appointment. Reese got her mug shot and then the three of us headed to a local restaurant in Tempe called Postino for another mystery shopping meal out after a quick drive through the ASU campus for me to see for the first time. The lunch we had was amazing! We shared a variety of plates including the fresh tomato and mozzarella salad, grilled chicken and steak skewers with a creamy tzatziki sauce, a whole head of crispy cauliflower with an almond red pepper romesco sauce and raisins, and a bruschetta board that we selected the smoked salmon, crispy capers and pesto, the burrata, bacon and tomato, the fig, mascarpone, and prosciutto and the creamy warm artichoke spread. We left full and happy and returned home for mostly playtime inside. Trish made some delicious pulled pork sandwiches and corn for dinner and Reese had her fill of all of it.

Another night another Frozen watch party

Friday was our last full day in town and decided to hit another pool and the indoor jungle gym for one last hoorah. We hit the gym this time in the morning and it was at least three times more packed than before. Reese still had a great time and Bryan and I also got our workout in. After lunch and a nap we piled up with the car with swim gear and Trish joined us to the Hamilton Pool for another reprieve from the heat. Reese again enjoyed her time in the pool with her floaties and especially loved the lazy river and the mini whirlpool. She did the toddler slide only twice and think she will love this in another year or two. We returned home for one last dinner with the Millers and ordered takeout from the nearby Chinese restaurant Chou’s. We had a delicious dinner of orange chicken, Mongolian beef, cumin lamb, pork with green beans, and shrimp, chive and pork steamed dumplings. Reese got to watch Frozen one more time in her Frozen pajamas with one more ice cream cone before heading back home.

Saturday morning we had an early flight and were up and out the door pretty early. We said our goodbyes at the airport and set back home to Seattle. The rest of the weekend was a whirlwind and deserves its own post so we will leave it at that. We had a great trip with some great meals, great activities, and great time spent as a family with loved ones!