The 1 Year Check Up

I’m not sure if people continue to count their child’s age by months after they hit 1 year. I’ve definitely heard people say 16 months, 18 months, etc, but is that common practice?!? She seems to still be changing in personality and skills just as quickly these days.

And attending her 1 year check up appointment made me realize that she is hitting all of her physical, mental and emotional milestones (thank goodness!) and has learned quite a bit:

  • She can say at least 5 words and tries to imitate more (bubble, ball, mama, dada, pop, kitty, ruff (as in a dog), and she understands much more
  • Tries to mimic us in many ways
  • Points to things she wants
  • Shakes her head no when she means “no”
  • Looks at what we are looking at
  • Eats a variety of foods (but not much of anything)
  • Can not only stand on her own but walks on her own
  • Has two teeth and is getting a third as we speak (at least I’ve been told but I can’t see it)
  • Has copious amounts of energy
  • Is currently refusing the bottle so don’t know if she is done with milk or what
  • Likes to take things out and puts things back
  • Likes to shoot baskets
  • Knows that claps and head tilts get her attention from most people
  • Will bring you things when asked
  • Has matured to the big bath tub (now that we have a bath mat and faucet cover in place)
  • Has no stranger danger
  • Is superrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr clingy, especially anytime I’m in the kitchen (I could win any one armed cooking competition right now)
  • Still enjoys doing the laundry and vacuuming
  • Shutting and opening doors is the best right now
  • Bubbles are her latest favorite “toy”
  • She’s starting to actually pay attention to certain TV programs, Sesame Street being the main one
  • She’s a climber
  • Shoes and jackets are great because it means you will be going outside
  • She loves having her hair brushed and brushing her teeth
  • Knows how to play corn hole!

It’s so interesting to see her continue to learn so much and I think that will just continue to exponentially grow. This weekend was a chill weekend but one we all needed after two weekends away from home and fighting off sicknesses. Bryan and I did get in a great date night out for a friend’s beer tasting dinner with Georgetown Brewing on Friday night. We went to the park with a Reese both days and I got in a free barre class for a grand reopening event. Bryan also got out for a Mezcal tasting and education class with a few guys. I needed this relaxing weekend bad and am looking forward to more as we settle into fall here with the cooler weather and rain forecasted.



Exhausted and Enduring

The past week or so has gone anything but our way. We knew that we were testing our limits with two trips on back to back weekends but we were still excited and eager to steal away from Seattle just the three of us for our first time ever. We had a quick week to gear up for our mini getaway to Portland after our time in Phoenix. We all worked and/or spent time with our friend Lottie for the four days that we were home but towards the end of the week Bryan started feeling under the weather again. He sat out of FareStart for the night to try to catch up on some rest while Reese and I dined in and was still set on going to Portland, hoping that whatever sickness didn’t kick in to full gear…

…but it did.

We had booked the train tickets back in May and little did we know that traveling anytime around bedtime is a recipe for disaster. Back in May, if we were to travel around the night time hours, Reese would most likely just fall asleep and never know the difference. Not now! Although she did end up sleeping the last two hours of the train trip, the first two hours were filled with chasing her around the train and trying to entertain her in our seat (the 3.5 hr train was delayed by about 40 minutes). I was relieved once she finally fell asleep and Reese and I proceeded to lay fully horizontal for the remainder of the train trip. We got to Union Station in Portland just after 10 pm and had about a 10 minute walk to the Embassy Suites downtown that we had reserved for two nights.

Asleep for a portion of the train down to Portland

Bryan was feeling okay Friday night but as soon as we woke up Saturday morning he was feeling much, much worse. We took the day in stride, I brought up brunch for us from the hotel’s great free breakfast (made to order omelets are the best!) and we watched most of the lousy football game of Michigan vs. Wisconsin. After Reese got a good morning nap in, we left her daddy to sleep in the room to do our own adventuring and get some fresh air. I found a 4-mile loop on May My Run from our hotel that took us south along the waterfront park, across the Willamette River on the Tilikum Crossing Bridge, then back north along the Esplanade before crossing back over the river on the Steel Bridge. It was a great route and the weather was cool and overcast just up until we were back near the hotel to wander the Saturday Market when the sun came out and Reese was released from the stroller to head straight for the water fountain. She proceeded to get soaked, but had fun doing so and we headed back to the hotel to get into proper clothing to actually get soaked in, before hitting the hotel pool. We enjoyed a dip and a soak of our feet in the hot tub where we met other travelers, all from Michigan ironically, before heading back up to the room to check in on her daddy, take a good afternoon nap and get ready to watch some Texas Football.

Bryan had his own excursion to Urgent Care, where he was told he did not have strep throat but wasn’t told what he had. He came back to watch Texas beat Oklahoma State in a good wine and we got some snacks and a glass of wine down at the hotel’s free evening reception, where Reese began to make rounds meeting any and everyone she could meet. The Texas game wasn’t over until about 8:30 pm and Reese was in bed so considering the circumstances of sickness, Bryan and I took turns walking to the Pine Street Market next door to get our own dinner; bibimbap for Bryan and tacos for me, before ending the night with delicious soft server from the famous Salt and Straw’s own soft serve store Wiz Bang Bar. Sooo good! I was so tired from the day I was in bed early!

Ready for Texas football already in jammies, her Texas shirt got soaked in the fountain

Sunday morning came I had fingers crossed that Bryan was feeling better. Reese was up by 7 am again so we had made our morning rounds of the hotel before coming back to the room where Bryan was up. Unfortunately, he was still feeling very low energy and feverish. I got our morning breakfast again and Bryan put Reese down for her morning nap. We were able to get a late checkout of 1 pm and we did a little sightseeing along the riverfront the three of us. We headed back to the hotel to rain as it was starting to sprinkle/rain. Reese had a good time in the Kids Korner and riding the elevator up and down. Bryan went to grab lunch and I grabbed two donuts from the famous Voodoo Donuts before we got our bag and headed for the train station. Our train ride home went better than on the way there but Reese didn’t sleep a wink. I did have the Ergo this time to at least keep her attached to me for part of the time. We were back to Seattle around 8 pm and Reese was in bed around 9 pm.

As much as I was looking forward to the trip it is good to be home and be home for a while. It’s a lot to travel with a little one, especially one who does not like to stay put. It is also a lot of fun to travel with her and see new things. We all were excited to take the train and it was scenic and interesting. There was even a Rails to Trails guide on our train ride back that gave very cool info all along the length of the route in the scenic car. But I think we will be doing a little exploring and venturing locally for the next few months; pumpkin patches, maybe some fall hikes, and the likes. And now baby girl is sick. Hopefully this is a quick recovery and I am very thankful that Bryan is home with her today.

Sick baby girl with sick daddy



A Splashing Good Time in Arizona

We were fortunate enough this past weekend to get to spend a long weekend visiting Grandma and Papa Miller in Arizona, and it is safe to say that Reese thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The weather was hot, allowing her to swim every single day, she had tons of new terrain to run around, there were lots of balls to play with, toy towers to knock down, and two new audience members that clapped and cocked their head at her every wish. It was also a nice time for Bryan and I to kind of kick back and relax as well as get in a rare date night out just the two of us.

We had our usual very, very early morning wake up call to get to the airport in time for our 5:55 AM flight to Phoenix. We were at the airport just after 4 AM, found our gate, boarded the plane, and thought everything was going smoothly enough until we sat on the plane for nearly two hours on the tarmac before being told to deplane as there was a malfunctioning piece of equipment. We were sent to a different gate, to a different plane, and our new departure time was 9:15 AM. So much for waking up so early. Fortunately, once in the air, Reese slept for about 2 hours of the flight time. Hoorah! We were greeted by Lon and Trish at baggage claim, got our bags and headed home to change into much cooler clothes. We set out for Mexican lunch at Si Senor before heading back to play around the house. Trish made us a wonderful meal of Turkish food for dinner, after Reese went to bed, and we stayed at the table talking for a long while.

Saturday through Monday was a lot of playing around the house, it was still over 100 degrees outside so unless you were in water, you didn’t really want to be outside. Aside from the kiddie pool out back for Reese, we visited the Hamilton aquatic center pool on Saturday, which was a ton of fun with a lazy river, fountains and lots of kids. Bryan and I even enjoyed a quick lap in the pool. On Sunday and Monday, we were lucky enough to be able to walk across the street to the neighbor’s relaxing backyard pool to have all to ourselves. It was a lot of fun swimming with Reese. Reese enjoyed playing with both Papa and Grandma during our stay. She mainly ran around in circles, rode in laundry baskets, and talked, talked, talked. She loved Grandma’s banana bread and pancakes and, in general, was a very good girl while there.

We got some delicious BBQ from Rudy’s Saturday night and spent much of the day doing what we normally do on Saturday’s; watch football. Same goes with Sunday as we didn’t make it to church because Reese slept straight through it. Bryan and I enjoyed a date night out for dinner in Scottsdale at Blanco Tacos and Tequila, thanks to the grandparents for watching Reese and for mystery shopping for providing us with a free dinner and drinks. We left Reese in good spirits and apparently she was very good for them while we were gone and got some good bonding time with them while we were out. Bryan and I, meanwhile, stuffed ourselves to the gills. We started with drinks at the bar watching Sunday Night Football before sitting on the patio for burritos, queso, tacos and Mexican chocolate cake. We were so stuffed that we decided a walk around Old Town Scottsdale was in order and spent a little time before heading back home. It was an excellent night out just the two of us.

Monday came much too quick and before we knew it we were having to pack up our bags to head back to the airport. Fortunately, there were no delays on our return home but unfortunately, Reese was not at all keen on sleeping during any portion of this flight. We had to wrangle her and entertain her in our seat. There were so many times that it looked like she was going to fall asleep and then nope. She finally fell asleep as the wheels hit the pavement at Seatac. I carried Sleeping Beauty all the way through the airport where she finally woke up in baggage claim, ran all over there while waiting for our car, fell back asleep on the way home, and then woke up and needed to be put back down once home. Bryan and I were both exhausted by the time we had managed to unpack and get ourselves to bed.

It was a wonderful trip and it is always so good to see and spend time with family, especially now with Reese. Looking ahead though, I think we are both a little uneasy booking many more flights, at least certainly none close to, but not during bedtime…Our Vitamin D is in check (even through windows) to maybe persist through what is already seeming to be an early onset of fall here in Seattle.



The In Between

Sometimes I feel like life that exists between events is kind of this gray area, this in between area, yet probably much of life is lived in the “in between”. What I mean is, we had Labor Day weekend with Polly’s wedding, and are now gearing up for a long weekend in Phoenix to see Grandma and Papa Miller, and right now is that time in between the two. However, this time around, the time in between events has gone anything but normally…

First, I worked on a holiday. Our nanny has been in New York with our second family of the share and our backup nanny was not able to watch Reese Tuesday or Wednesday last week. I couldn’t find anyone I trusted to watch her Tuesday so I decided to work on Monday, while Bryan was home with her, so that I could treat Tuesday as my holiday and spend a day with Reese. Monday night we ended with a dinner at Cactus in West Seattle and a walk along Alki Beach. On Tuesday, Reese and I had a good time, playing around the house, walking to Sarah’s to take care of “Kitty Kitty”, walking to Volunteer Park to play in the wading pool (to find out that they had drained it the day before), returning home to swim in our own kiddy pool, and have a family dinner. A perfect day midweek with my girl in glorious weather. But not normal.

Labor Day walk on Alki

Enter Wednesday. I wake up at 4 am with tummy troubles. First thought (that persisted for days) was that I was pregnant (I’m not). I tolerate it enough while getting myself ready, then Reese ready, then walking our neighbor-babysitter around to fill her in on how Reese’s day should go. I manage to drive myself amidst the traffic to Redmond, to get to work to put my things down and then head straight to the bathroom. I ended up working nearly a full day until I lost my stomach again around 3 pm and decided to head home. Feeling better, I decide to walk Reese to Sarah’s to watch “Kitty Kitty”. I get sick again. Daddy comes to the rescue to pick us up in the car where I headed home to lay down for the rest of the night. I tried to eat, a small amount, put Reese to bed and then immediately lost my stomach one more time.

Thursday morning I felt much the same but a little better. I still went to work and worked a very unproductive day more or less staring at the screen. Never lost my stomach though so I decide to take Baby Girl to FareStart and eat an actual meal. Bad idea! Felt fine while I was there but as soon as I got home and put her to bed I regretted every bite of that meal. It took awhile to get myself asleep with tummy pain. Friday through the weekend was a gradual progression of feeling better. I laid off of the coffee and sweets completely and tried to eat bland, solid food. I tried to keep hydrated as well. Little by little I started to feel better.

Saturday morning was Bryan’s weekend to be on call so he had to head down to Auburn in the morning. Reese and I visited “Kitty Kitty” again and went to the park. Feeling much better, I was able to make dinner. We watched football and the US Open. Unfortunately, Michigan looked awful and Texas looked good but lost to a good team. We then spent the night watching and listening to the thunderstorm that Seattle never gets. Especially a storm of this magnitude has never happened in our eight years of living in Seattle. It was magnificent and Reese wasn’t scared at all. She shouldn’t be as the storms here, even the bad ones, are very tame in comparison to both Michigan and Arizona.

Sunday morning I played soccer in the mist in Capitol Hill. We lost horribly but I was relieved I was well enough to finally get out and exercise. Bryan and Reese had bacon and pancakes ready for me when I got home! We spent another day watching football and visiting “Kitty Kitty”. Otherwise, it was a difficult day to get Reese outside to play thanks to the on and off showers. As it has been ever since. We have had some rain and dreary weather and makes me anxious and nervous about how we are going to handle the gloomy months in Seattle with a toddler.

As soon as I was back to business, Bryan got under the weather with my stomach bug. I feel bad, especially knowing what he was going through. Lottie has returned, as of today., reunited with her friend again. Bryan is feeling mostly normal by this point. He should be good to go by the time we head out to Phoenix tomorrow morning. It’s been an interesting past couple of weeks that have had moments of joyfulness and definite moments of wanting it to be over! So looking forward to heading to hot Phoenix for some days to spend time with the grandparents and maybe even do some swimming!



Polly Got Married

This past weekend, the three of us took our first road trip together to witness and partake in the marriage of Polly and Ryuhei. It was a whirlwind of a weekend and a weekend full of events but it was a blast and a beautiful thing to be apart of. I love her family and her friends and that is always something that becomes so apparent to me during weddings.

We somehow got the CR-V and our bags packed Wednesday night so that we could take off right after work on Thursday. Bryan drove straight to the ferry and baby girl and I caught the bus to walk on the ferry. We both got lucky and Bryan was one of the last few cars on. With everything going our way so far, we had the 30 minute drive to Maureen’s yurt, where we quickly unloaded the car and checked out the space, before heading to the bridal party party at Polly’s rental cabin. They treated us to champagne punch and pork belly sliders and we got to know the other bridal party members a little better, as well as get to see the bride and groom for the first time that weekend. Polly even asked everyone to sing happy birthday to our birthday girl. We headed back to the yurt to have one night just the three of us before our friends showed up the next day.

Friday started nice and slow, but rainy?!? We were not expecting rain this weekend. The three of us drove to the grocery store to get the rest of the items we needed for the cabin. Reese loved the car-style shopping carts they had for kids. We headed back to have breakfast and soaked in the hot tub while Reese napped and then I had to get ready to head out for the rehearsal at the church.

The rehearsal lasted about 90 minutes and I was back just after the other four adults and two babies arrived. This was my first time meeting Eliana and she is a doll. We ate some snacks, drank some beverages, and worked on a puzzle until we all headed out for the welcome party at Polly’s sister’s place in Poulsbo. They had over 100 RSVPed and I had no idea how they were going to accommodate that many people until I saw their place. They have a huge backyard, a large wrap around deck and a spacious house. They had enough pulled pork, sides, dessert and drinks to feed an army. They had frisbee golf, a swing set, slide, corn hole, and much, much more. Everyone had a good time and it was a very relaxed night getting to see a lot of people for the first time that weekend.

Saturday was wedding day and the one that Bryan and I knew would be a little chaotic. I was going to be preocupied most of the day with wedding events, so Bryan was flying solo with Reese without any bottles that we brought along. Bryan dropped me off at the girl’s cabin at 10 am to start getting ready and he and Reese went over to the other Seattle “party house” to hang out with their crew for a little while. We did our own hair and makeup for the wedding and actually were able to do a pretty snazzy job. We played some tunes and had some breakfast and shortly it was noon and Ryuhei was ready to see his bridge for their first look. The girls were able to witness this play out and the bride and groom were on their way to take some photos and head to the church where we were to meet them for photos.

Bryan and Reese showed up to the church early, while we were taking photos, but once I caught up with them it was evident that Reese was hungry and needing a nap. Poor Bryan. He tried to get her to sleep in the stroller before the ceremony but Reese was adament about not missing the ceremony. He spent the ceremony in the “cry room” with about another 15 babies…there were 30 kids under 5 at this wedding and probably 20 of those were under 2.

It was show time and the ceremony went beautifully and was thankfully not a long Catholic wedding. We were on our way to the reception venue in Port Gamble, which allowed Reese to fall asleep in the car on the 20 minute drive, but after lugging her booty in her car seat all of the way into the venue, she woke up as soon as she was set down. And she was awake for the rest of the night, with all of 40 minutes of napping in her system from the day. The venue was beautiful and perfect. They had a large tent for dinner and the cocktail hour was held on the lawn overlooking Port Gamble Bay. The indoor pavilion held the dance floor. We enjoyed some snacks and drinks while dinner was getting ready and then were called to dinner. We were at the head table and were able to eat first and the amazing wedding coordinator took Reese for a walk while Bryan and I enjoyed our dinner.

Toasts were had and speeches were made that were endearing and honest. We watched from the lawn with Reese who was not too keen on sitting or standing in any one place all night. Shortly after, the wedding party moved back to the lawn and to the dance floor for the cake cutting, the first dance and to get the party started. The cake was delicious and Reese loved the dancing. We managed to last just short of the end time of the venue, which was a short miracle considering Reese’s day. We headed back to the yurt to immediately put her to sleep.

Sunday started late for everyone in the house. We made a group brunch and were brought donuts from Sluy’s Bakery in Poulsbo by Deana and Ed who joined us. We got in some more hot tub time while Reese took her morning nap and then had to pack up and clean up. We stopped by the Seattle “party house” with Luis and Carina before heading back to Seattle. Bryan played some lawn games and Reese and I explored the house, yard and hammock. We said goodbye to everyone a little after 4 pm, barely missed the first ferry, but still made it back to Seattle to pick up one more Tutta Bella fig pizza for the night and were home before 7 pm.

We had so much fun celebrating Polly and Ryu and had a wonderful time at the yurt. It was so enjoyable to spend time with friends and be at ease around other parents in the house. It was good to see Luis and Carina and makes me so look forward to our group’s future ski trips and adventures.



Reese’s First Birthday

Reese is one-year old. What?!? Time has flown by and our little baby doesn’t seem so little anymore…or that much like a baby. She’s got personality and energy aplenty, is funny, can be sweet, loves other people (big and small), and is walking. It’s hard for me to believe that she has changed and grown so much in a year. Likewise to her parents; we have changed and grown so much in a year as well. Looking back at us this time last year is kind of sweet but I also look at us now as being so much more experienced and confident as parents. We seem to have a pretty good thing going these days. So what’s going on at the one year mark?

  • Reese is walking and has been for about three weeks now but has drastically improved in those three weeks.
  • Tantrums.are.fun. Physically resisting her car seat and the smallest thing can upset her to the point of floor pounding and wriggling on the floor. Fortunately, the extreme of this seemed to have lasted about two days total.
  • She gets excited now when she gets in the high chair at home, and the excitement either continues or goes away depending on what food is placed in front of her.
  • She loves her dad’s old stuffed monkey.
  • Bath time is still super enjoyable. She has a thing for sponges though.
  • She LOVES to dance, either with her parents or on her own you will see her head-bopping.
  • She’s been putting herself to sleep for naps and at night more often which is a huge blessing.
  • She loves her toy car and still loves her activity table.
  • Her favorite thing in the kitchen is finding her teething ring in the freezer or pulling out items in the lazy susan or the beaded napkin rings that my mom and I made years ago.
  • She also loves to pull out the empty cans out of the recycling bin…
  • She’s learned to shut doors and loves it!
  • Her least favorite thing is coming indoors.
  • She is good at giving hugs.
  • Her hair is starting to get pretty long.
  • She still is fitting into 9M clothes.
  • She’s had shoes on for a total of about 5 minutes and that did not go over well.

We love her to death and can’t get enough of her. She has totally consumed our life in the past year but we forgive her.



That First Birthday Party…

…was a llama fun! It was a whirlwind of a weekend, filled with preparations, dedications and ending with a celebration with so many friends. I honestly was not expecting so many people to be available and interested on a weekend in August but much to my surprise we had a great crowd at Reese’s birthday party and Reese had a lot of kids, her age and otherwise to play with. She is a social butterfly and a go-go bunny when around a lot of people. Her dependency on her parents goes out the window when she has a party to partake.

Preparations really began about a week ago, with us chipping away at work around the house, but then sped into high gear come the weekend. On Saturday morning Bryan actually was cleaning another kitchen, the FareStart kitchen, with some of his leadership team from Boeing for a few hours before coming home to work on our house, or cars. Bryan cleaned both cars until they were bright and shiny, sweeped around the porches and helped me around the house. While Bryan was at FareStart, I started prepping the food, picked up groceries with Reese, laid out the rest of the turf carpet, reorganized the patio furniture, and finished cleaning the deck and outdoor furniture cushions. My parent’s bus was supposed to arrive in Seattle around 3:30 pm but due to delays it was more like 6 pm. We were there to greet them and headed home for Reese to show them around the house and to have a simple dinner of salmon.

Sunday morning arrived and we all got ready for church and Reese’s dedication. Reese had a short nap at home, which wasn’t long enough, but dressed in her finest we headed to church ready for what lay ahead, or not. Reese, tired and antsy, was all over the place on stage, making the dedication a chaotic one and making the church congregation to laugh . Bryan and I left the stage sweating and flushed but we got through it in Reese fashion. After church, we picked up Homegrown to have at home before we all started the final preparations for the party. Mom and I started to work on preparing the salads, condiments and watermelon. Bryan and Dad went to go get ice, drinks, balloons and later the cake from the bakery. We set out the decorations and finished tidying up and then were ready. Reese had a great nap beforehand which was a blessing for what was about to come.

Friends started coming in and the grill got going. Reese started out obsessed with the balloons but then later got interested in first Max (her age), and later Ainsley (2 years older) who she so looks up to. Reese ate half of Ainsley’s chips, ran around the deck and yard, played with her toy car and musical instruments and then was ready to smash the cake. Getting her into the high chair was the struggle and I was leary if she was going to oblige us at all until we started singing happy birthday and she lit up. Presented now with her cake, she started with a few finger tastes before contemplating what was before her, and then digging in face first. It was hilarious! She went back for it a few times face first before finishing about 1/3 of her 6″ cake with her hands and then giving in. I was impressed! After being washed up she was ready to continue to party in all of her glory. She finished out the night surprisingly well, without a noticeable sugar rush, and conked out pretty easily. We cleaned up from the party, were tired but happy, and all ready for some sleep ourselves.

We had a blast on Sunday but couldn’t have done it without some help and of course our amazing friends that made it worthwhile! We missed having the Millers there but are very excited to see them in Arizona in just two weeks time!