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Brooke is 8 Months!

We have an 8-month old. Brooke has many of her own personality traits, which I will get to, but I just reread Reese’s 8-month post and there are too many similarities! Take a look:

“Two thirds of the year done, oh my! In the past month our girl has gone from taking her first crawl to zooming around the house, even climbing her first stair or two, has gotten her third cold, prefers snuggles to actual sleep, yields a cheesy smile more often than she should, pulls herself up to standing anytime she can, has gotten way more into eating solids (minus the dreaded peas), currently hates getting her diaper or clothing changed, finds the vacuum and washing machine fascinating, is delighted when she hears Raphi music, shrieks when excited, still loves her walks, adores her friend Lottie (and all babies young and old in general), loves to swim, would play with a soda can all day long, loves swing sets, enjoys real silverware in the form of spoons, has begun giving great big hugs and sometimes will rest her head on my shoulder (love!), enjoys going for a run with her parents but only when they are moving fast enough, thinks its now funny to remove her bow, also enjoys removing her own and other’s socks, prefers a plastic bag to most toys, likes live music, has been saying “mama” even though we don’t think she knows what that means, and has now been on 14 different planes and in 6 states. “

Chelsea (5/6/19)

Now there are noticeable differences. I think Brooke has only worn a bow (and socks) like three times in her life, but the last time we had her in socks she took them off. Brooke has not said “mama” at all. Brooke has been on 8 different planes and 3 states. She is still not crawling but is just starting to pull up by herself, still adamantly walks around the house holding onto our hands, and has climbed the stairs with our assistance so gets the concept of steps. She has always liked food but is starting to get a bit more fussy when getting her diaper and clothes changed. She does love babies, baths, water in general, hugs, spoons, soda cans and beer bottles, swings, music, shrieks when excited, plastic bags and wrappers, and the washing machine.

Brooke is already excellent at finger foods, finds my hands (for walking assistance) before my face, is already starting to pinch my arm skin like her sister, has had the grossest runny nose for two weeks now, and loves to cuddle in bed. She gets excited when we pick up her sister from school and I feel like her first word is going to be “Reese”. She also loves to wake Reese up in the morning. She has started crying when I say goodbye to her and leave in the morning but like Reese, the cries are short lived. She’s a super loving and happy go lucky kid full of lots of smiles. We are still so lucky to have her and love what she adds to our family.

  • And creating this slideshow has me realizing we’ve done a downright horrible job of taking photos of Brooke in the past month. I vow to do better this month!

Chelsea

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Hot and Home Alone

We are at the tail end of one hot week in Seattle and I’m not sad for the heat wave to take a break for some time. We spent nearly a full week with the highs in the low 90s and that is hot for here. Fortunately we managed to keep our house fairly cool and comfortable and it was a nice respite from the outdoors. We also have broken out all of the water toys in the past week; the baby pool, the bigger pool, the splash pad, the squirt guns for the wading pools, etc. We’ve had fun and now we can return to the typical Seattle 75 degree sunshine days.

So for our hot week we spent most evenings (three to be exact) at wading pools, once to Peppi’s Playground and twice the short walk up to Volunteer Park. We spent the remaining two nights at our house cooling off, first with Sarah and Lottie, and the second just as a family while Bryan first got drinks with a coworker and then I got a solo dinner with Polly at U Village. It was a fast and furious week, one still managing the anxiety surrounding our nanny share Covid exposure, and then our nanny took Thursday off as a safety precaution (?) so I had a day with Brooke. We spent one more night with a picnic and concert at Volunteer Park on Thursday which was fun and an ode to Earth, Wind and Fire. Then Bryan left us girls home alone for the weekend while he went to Leavenworth with the guys for their annual guys trip.

I was flying solo for two nights and Brooke and I retrieved Reese from school and immediately headed to the wading pool so all three of us could cool off. This was a successful outing and Reese’s friend Clara from school was there. We spent an hour in the pool, got a popsicle from the ice cream truck, and then picked up pastries on our way back home to take for our next day’s excursions. We spent the remaining time having dinner and watching a movie at home. I finally got Reese asleep just before 10 pm and was pooped!

Then Brooke woke up extra early at 5:30 in the morning. Reese was not too much after her, so all three of us bummed around the house until we were ready to head out to the Seattle Center, via bus, to meet up with our friends for the day. We had a day planned with the other abandoned ladies and met first at the Seattle Center playground to play, eat pastries and catch up. We then headed indoors to the AC-cooled Seattle Children’s Museum where we spent the next 1.5 hours exploring everything they had to offer while catching up with one another and keeping cool. We got lunch upstairs at the Armory, at this point Reese and her friend Eliana were going a bit crazy and so we headed outside to the fountain to play, get wet and burn off some more energy. It was so hot and we all just got barely wet that after about 1.5 hours at the fountain we decided to make use of our full day ticket to head back to the children’s museum just to cool off. But the girls were enjoying the museum and each other so much that we were here for about another hour and a half before we headed back home via the bus. By this point it was nearly 4 pm and both girls fell asleep on the bus! The rest of the day at home was dinner on the back deck, all three of us taking a bath together because we had all gotten so sweaty, and then both girls were asleep by 9 pm and I fell asleep at 10! We were tuckered.

Sunday morning we woke more at a normal hour, 6:30 am. We had another bus adventure to take so around the same time we headed south for gymnastics, via the bus and then the light rail. We made it with plenty of time to spare, Reese got to enjoy her class while Brooke fell asleep in the stroller on a walk around the block, and then we headed back towards Capitol Hill via the light rail. We stopped for snacks and a cold drink at the store, walked part of the way home, stopped for a snack break and some shade, and then were home just after noon. Lottie and Sarah came over a little later and the two girls played for a long time in the splash pad in the backyard while Sarah and I sat back to relax, although Brooke was trying everything she could to play in the splash pad too. We made some nachos and margaritas and Bryan returned from his trip in the late afternoon. Reese and Lottie played so well with each other on this particular night and didn’t even stop to eat. Lottie left and Reese had dinner and then both girls were worn out and asleep fairly quickly.

August has snuck up on us. We still have to settle on plans for Reese’s birthday party, figure out our anniversary and SeaFair plans, and so many other events. It’s a crazy time of year for sure for us, but so much fun.

Chelsea

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Summer Full

Summers are a busy time, in a good way, but in a very full way too. Especially here, where our summers are amazing but so short, everything is condensed into a too-short season. This past week left both Bryan and I a little bit spent but still reveling in the feel good summer atmosphere.

We had some friends over for dinner and bouncing. We went out for a date night, dual mystery shopping and belated birthday dinner. We went to the second concert in the park with Reese’s school friends. Bryan had an interview. We went blueberry picking and then attended my company’s summer party. I played soccer. We played at the spray park and then the Lake Washington beach for some time. All in a weeks time.

Georgie’s family came over for some grilled steak fajitas and we thoroughly enjoyed their company. Georgie and Reese and their younger kid Sam all played really well together throughout the night. It was a lovely evening and the margaritas had us all in a good mood.

Bryan and I got a rare date night out on Wednesday when Reese’s old teachers came over to sit for us. Bryan and I had a fantastic dinner at STK in downtown Bellevue (a place we rarely go). We started with some amazing burrata and a classic bacon-y wedge salad before Bryan moved onto to the New York strip with chimchurri sauce and I went with the miso sea bass. And they brought us out a slice of chocolate cake in celebration of Bryan’s birthday. It was a lovely night and a perfect one sitting outside in the shade.

Thursday night was the monthly park play date at Volunteer Park followed by the weekly concert at the park’s amphitheater. Reese and her friends all spent the full hour plus duration in the wading pool as it was a hot day (Brooke played in the pool as much as she could too). We then all moved over to the grass lawn for a picnic dinner and the kids ran around the fields and danced at the front of the stage to some folksy music.

I took the girls with Sarah and Lottie to a very nearby unmanned blueberry farm to harvest our own berries. We managed to get a few pounds, Brooke ate a ton before taking a nap in the Ergo, and Reese managed to pick quite a few herself. We then drove over to Jefferson Park where we met up with Bryan and my company for some lawn bowling at the local lawn bowling club. We played a few games but mostly sat, ate some delicious tacos and popsicles, and watched the kids. It was a good time but we were tired by the time we got home.

And Sunday was a pretty free day aside from Reese’s gymnastics class and my soccer game. I am sore from the game and was pretty spent afterwards but after Brooke’s second good nap of the day we packed the girls up and first headed to a park and spray park to cool off (the ice cream truck had just pulled up when we got there) and then headed down to Lake Washington to play some more in the water and sand before picking up some Chinese food to have at home for dinner.

We are expecting a hot, hot week ahead here in Seattle. Feeling fortunate that we have this second air conditioner unit in the house to keep things cool and so far it is working. Unfortunately, the nanny share family we are working with has a case of Covid so we are playing the waiting game right now to keep them at home and make sure that none of us get it (please, please, please).

Chelsea

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Bryan’s Birthday ’22

In typical Seattle summer fashion, the weekends are a blur and in general just too darn short. We spent the good majority of the weekend out of the house and with friends and wouldn’t have really wanted it any other way. And of course we spent a lot of it celebrating Bryan’s birthday! We hit the weekend running on Friday and never looked back.

For Bryan’s actual birthday we had to work 😦 but I still managed to pick him up a mocha in the morning and Thai for lunch and I made Bryan’s birthday cake at intervals throughout the day and we left home on foot to retrieve our two children from their respective places and then walked over to Mother’s Place, Reese’s old school, for their closing carnival. Reese was a bit shell shocked for nearly an hour when we first got there, without hardly a word leaving her mouth. Despite being a deaf mute, she proceeded to get her face painted in the Preschool room by her old teacher Alice, her hair painted rainbow by her old teacher Tiara, decorated a cookie in the Toddler’s room with her old teacher Karen and got an Elmo tattoo on her hand. She then finally broke out of her shell and played with her friends Georgie and Mika for a while outside by the water tables and Brooke enjoyed the water tables as well. Georgie’s family was going next door to Rhein Haus for dinner and drinks so we tagged along for about an hour for drinks and conversation, which was great fun, before walking back home to get our own dinner of homemade mole and bourbon bread pudding. We were all pretty tired at this point and had the next day to continue Bryan’s birthday celebration.

Saturday morning started like usual, Reese has been sleeping in though. Bryan made pancakes, although we did not shape them into 37, and then Lottie came over for a play date while Sarah had an appointment. Lottie left around 1 pm and we started prepping for the next portion of the day’s events, the birthday dinner and bike ride. We had five other families that were available to meet up with us at Briley’s BBQ up in Lake City and were shocked that that many could and would join us for the dinner. We wanted to take turns biking there since it’s right off the Burke Gilman Trail so Bryan set out with Reese by bike and I left a little later with Brooke to play briefly first at Matthews Beach Park, before ending at the restaurant at 4 pm to meet up with everyone. We had one giant table to ourselves and ordered family style which worked really well. The staff was great and we had 10 kids in our party who all managed to be on great behavior throughout dinner (I’m thankful the food came out so quick). We moved to their outdoor space with picnic tables so the kids could play and we sang happy birthday and had cake outdoors there. I brought the cake, a black forest cake that came out pretty darn tasty. After all our friends had left I got the turn to bike back with Reese and Bryan drove home Brooke. It took me just over an hour to bike the 12.5 miles back, I was really trying to get under the hour mark though. It was another great summer day.

Sunday we packed up the car to head to gymnastics like normal but didn’t get back home until 5 pm. We had Rosalie’s birthday party to attend in West Seattle so after gymnastics we stopped at a West Seattle park called Highland Park to zip line, swing and slide for a while before the party was ready to start. We were the first party guests and Rosalie and Reese hit it off again, immediately getting the bounce house broke in and all of the rest of the toys. The birthday party was fun even though we didn’t really know anyone there but met a few fellow Boeing employees and another girl from Michigan. Both girls were exhausted and fell asleep on the drive home. We settled in for the night with leftover BBQ and movies and Reese didn’t wake up until nearly 8 this morning!

We have lots more summer fun planned in the near future and this week but it’s always sobering in the summer when the weekend is over!

Happy Birthday again Bryan!

Chelsea

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No Time to Rest

I don’t know why exactly but both Bryan and I have been completely wiped since being back from Michigan. Neither of us felt exhausted upon our return but since being back it seems like we have been running from thing to thing or just fully occupied with kids or work at all times. It’s hard to catch ones breath at times. A lot of it has been due to rare occurrences (a multitude of appointments), starting up the full time nanny share, and random summer happenings and outings. Also throw in a nearly four year old who went without naps for over a week back to naps while at school and not the least bit tired until nearly 10 pm every night.

It all kind of kicked off with our summer release wine party at Novelty Hill the first full day we were back. We had no problem getting the girls and making it to the party in time but Reese was not in the mood for the party on this particular night (which is a shame as they had sweet corn and a live band for dancing and tons of cookies) so essentially we filled up on delicious BBQ and a few swigs of wine, caught up with some FareStart friends we haven’t seen in forever, and then headed home, tired from trying to entertain an unenthused Reese.

Friday began the first of three days of appointments. First up was Reese’s first Covid shot after her early dismissal from school. Reese did great and they gave her a popsicle, which is one of Reese’s favorites, then headed to get Brooke, and then met Bryan at Montlake Playground to play at one of her favorite parks. I’m super proud of Reese with how well she handles shots. She never flinches, cries, or gives any trouble and that makes it so, so much easier on me. Next up was Brooke’s six month well child visit on Monday morning. We dealt with the aftermath of Brooke’s vaccines for about 48 hours after. She still hasn’t been sleeping superbly at night but is not sore or tender to the shot area anymore. And finally, I had a dentist appointment on Tuesday after work which was no big deal but another thing to do and another place to be.

We had really no plans for last weekend so a lot of it was just go with the flow. But first, we had to start off with Brooke’s 7-month waffles. We played at home for a bit on Saturday morning and then packed up the stroller and headed off on foot to downtown for the day. I had snagged free tickets to the Aquarium thanks to the Seattle Public Library over a month ago and it sounded like a good idea to all of us. We hadn’t been for quite some time with Reese. We walked through the Market, stopping at a candy store for Reese real quick, and then found some cool air relief at the Aquarium. Reese really seemed into the exhibits on this occasion and we enjoyed ourselves there for about 90 minutes. Well worth the free tickets. We continued on foot to Pioneer Square and picked up an early dinner from Halal Guys to take up the hill the short distance to one of Reese’s favorite parks; Yesler Terrace. It initially was too hot to play but there was a nice breeze and we enjoyed our dinner first. We then found sweet relief in their great splash park and Reese found a new friend Elliot to play with and was playing so well with her that I actually had to head home with Brooke around 7 pm and Reese and Bryan didn’t leave until nearly 8 pm. Reese was at the park for nearly 4 hours! It was a great day and one that left us with sore feet and some extra sun on our faces.

Sunday morning started with gymnastics and then from there we all headed to Jefferson Park. Reese played at the park and surprisingly met up with a classmate of hers and I headed to my soccer game. The crew came to cheer me on at the end of the game and we headed home for lunch and play at home. Bryan went for a solo bike ride Sunday afternoon around Mercer Island and Reese requested to go back out to a park and so I packed the car back up to head to Volunteer Park for about an hour. We ended the night and weekend with dinner and a movie at home.

And this week has still felt like a lot going on. I’m usually at work Mondays and Wednesdays but we had a CPR training on Tuesday morning that I wanted to attend and glad that I did. Then our nanny called out sick on Wednesday so I spent a rare solo day at home with Brooke. We dropped off Reese at school by foot. I got caught up with a bunch of laundry and made the mole sauce for Bryan’s birthday dinner at home for tomorrow. We played outside in the backyard and took a long bath together and then took the long, detoured way to Reese’s school to pick her up.

We spent Wednesday night at Volunteer Park for awhile until Bryan could meet us after his work day and then we all headed to Redhook Brewlab in Capitol Hill for a mystery shop dinner. To our surprise Top Chef Shota was working their pop-up menu and we had a fantastic meal of smash burgers, tempura fried broccoli, the most interesting cabbage salad, tator tots and a delicious blooming onion, all with a hint of Asian flavor. It was a nice night out at the restaurant and the girls did alright. And tonight we were back at Volunteer Park for Picnic in the Park and a piano concert at the new amphitheater. We went right after school and played at the park first for awhile before heading over to grab a spot on the lawn for our picnic blanket and Paseo-esque homemade sandwiches with some of Reese’s friends. The music was great and they even had free ice cream for the night to help seal the deal.

Tomorrow and Saturday we will be celebrating Bryan’s birthday and I’m excited to spoil him for his big day. Should be a nice weekend and I’m ready for it!

Chelsea

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Brooke’s 7 Months!

Brooke hit 7 months at the tail end of our Michigan visit and we celebrated her birthday this past weekend with 7 month waffles. And thanks to us being behind schedule (still from February’s Covid) we just visited the doctor’s office on Monday to get 6 month vaccines and have our well child visit. The doctor remarked that she looks so happy and healthy, is vocal and strong, and predicts an early walker. Brooke is usually all smiles and makes lots of cute sounds.

  • Brooke’s favorite activity is walking around with the assistance of our hands. She loves to explore and lead the way. This may not be our favorite activity on our backs.
  • She still loves water and her bath time. She beelines to the bath tub once I have her undressed and it’s so funny.
  • There is nothing much this girl doesn’t like at meal time. She has just discovered being able to blow or spit so sometimes the food comes right back at me but all for play and not for distaste. I am actually super impressed with her ability to pick up small objects and bring them to her mouth to eat. I feel like Reese was a full fist eater for her full first year.
  • Brooke still loves to watch kids and her sister at the playground and riding the scooter but she also wants in on the action. She loves the baby swing and if there is any sort of water fountain or spray she’s all in.
  • She is starting to reach further for things and rolls back to front and back without issue. I see crawling in her near future but just not sure how soon.
  • She’s still sleeping with us as we didn’t want to transition her with trips ahead of us and now her vaccines but hoping to get her in her own crib soon.
  • Per her doctor’s visit this week she is in the 7% for weight and 60% for height and looks super healthy.
  • She’s gotten quite ticklish and you can usually get some good laughs out of her.
  • She’s the most vocal pooper that I know.
  • She still gets an insane amount of comments about her eyes.

Chelsea

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A Michigan 4th

We are back from our week in Michigan for the 4th of July and are warmed by the summer weather we had there and the many memories that we made. It was a week that felt both long and short somehow and packed a punch.

We left for Michigan Tuesday morning, the 28th. Our flight was early but not too early and although the girls both kind of lost their minds with about an hour left in the flight, we landed on time just after 5 pm local time and found my parents and our bags and were all able to fit in their new ride and headed to East Lansing. Tuesday night featured a lovely takeout dinner from Aladdin’s for my middleeastern fix and even an impromptu play date for Reese with my parent’s neighbor’s little girl who has a trampoline, climbing ropes, and big wheel to play with. And this was the one and only night we struggled to get Reese to bed without much fanfare.

Wednesday morning was a beautiful sunny day and my dad had to work for part of it but my mom was able to stay home with us. We spent the first part of the day playing at home and then headed out for a walk to Pinecrest Elementary School (my old stomping grounds) to play at their playground. We made it on the local 10 news somehow which was quite a riot to see the next morning. Reese found a few playmates but by about 5 pm we were all super hot and headed back to the house to break out the splash pad and had a lovely dinner of Dad’s salmon grilled on planks at home. We proceeded with the rest of the week with no naps for Reese which helped soooo much for a reduced bedtime each night.

On Thursday my mom had to work while my dad got to stay home. Bryan and I each took turns going for a run before the true heat of the day set in. This was also the warmest day of the trip so after playing at home in the morning and picking up subs from Jersey Giant for lunch, the five of us headed to Court One to go swimming. The water was chilly but refreshing and after swimming for a little over an hour we drove back home to play one more time at the neighbors and meet up with mom after her day in the office. We had another lovely dinner at home of grilled pork chops with a peach and arugula salad and had a mini dance party outdoors on the lawn.

Friday was our last full day in East Lansing and we started it off with a long walk to Patriarch Park to play at their large playground. On our walk back we picked up an iced coffee to cool us off and then had some Lou and Harry’s for lunch. Friday afternoon we headed over to Jennette and Terry’s house to visit and have dinner since they were not going to make it up to the cottage for the weekend and I hadn’t been to their house in over 10 years (and Bryan never has). It was a lovely evening spent at their house enjoying their wrap around porch and Detroit style pizza and salad from Jet’s Pizza. After leaving there we helped get Brooke to sleep and Bryan and I set out on foot to downtown East Lansing to get some alone time in. We went to the new Graduate Bar at the top of the Graduate Hotel and just caught the tail-end of daylight with a few drinks at the bar. We had great conversation and really enjoyed each other’s company. We left pretty tipsy after closing out the bar and were grateful to be on foot as we made our way home from the bar.

The remaining portion of the trip was spent with the entire family at the cottage and was truly the main reason we came to Michigan when we did. I think my summers aren’t complete without a trip to the cottage, especially over the biggest holiday weekend of the summer. We managed to get the car and kids ready to go fairly early in the morning and hit the road at just after 11 am. Our car left first and we ran into zero traffic and made great time, pulling into the cottage just after 1 pm. Mom and dad were shortly after us. Chad and John got there a few hours later. And Jerry, Mary, and the surprise visit of Allie all the way from Berlin got there around 5 pm. Grandma and Grandpa were there to greet us all as we all settled into for the three nights ahead.

The first order of business was to test out the new boat. My parents just purchased a brand new speed boat for the lake and it was quite a fun ride. It seats 12 and I think the most we got on the boat at one time was 10 adults with the two kids. We went for a couple joy rides on Saturday and Reese was all for the speed shouting “Faster Grammy!” often but she also enjoyed sitting on the bow with me or daddy when we were going at a slower speed. The boat has a platform with ladder on the front and back, plenty of power, and plays the radio or can be connected with bluetooth. It definitely amped up the weekend. No one skied on Saturday but we skied Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Bryan got up on two on his first try and looked so great but made several valid (and close) attempts the last two days to get up on one ski. My mom skied twice even though Reese told her at first that she was too old. Reese changed her tune half way around the lake. And even Uncle Chad tried twice to get up and did he just wasn’t able to stay up all the way around the lake. I think Bryan and Chad will have it nailed next summer. Reese and I and then Daddy and Reese even went around the lake in an inner tube. We then decided we need to buy a new tube for boating.

Aside from the water sports the group swam, rafted, kayaked a bunch, built many fires, played some euchre, walked around the lake, played in the sand and kiddie pool, and watched some baseball and tennis. We also ate of course and all of the trademark meals and snacks made their appearance; burgers, onion rings and potato salad on night one, Mom’s shrimp boil on night two, and foil dinners on night three. Farmer’s market brats before leaving on day four, lots of chips and dip, watermelon, carrot cake to celebrate John’s birthday, smores on the campfire, ice cream cones with Hudsonville chocolate fudge ice cream, and vodka tonics daily whenever someone deemed it appropriate to start.

The cottage felt so familiar and so fun and seeing it through the girls eyes made it even better. And I think it’s only going to get better (and easier) from this year on out. It required a lot of attention and holding of Brooke and her separation anxiety from me right now is at it’s highest and Reese was able to be pretty independent but she still doesn’t do so much independent play. Even still, we all had a wonderful time and a relaxing time and reminisced on that as we drove back to East Lansing on Tuesday night. We spent one last night at my parent’s house, they made a “birthday dinner” for Bryan with grilled T-bones, caprese salad, a green salad and french bread and we finished the night off with one last bowl of Mackinac Island Fudge ice cream.

Our trip back to Seattle was as easy as it could have been. Wednesday morning was a surprisingly rainy morning but both Bryan and I got out for runs on the River Trail while my parents worked the morning. We played with the girls inside and then after lunch my parents took Reese back to the big green slide that she loves and she found a playmate there that worked its magic to get her energy out before the trip back. We said goodbyes to my dad and then mom drove us back to DTW with both girls taking short naps. We got there with plenty of time to spare, said our goodbyes to mom, got through security easily, and then walked some of the wiggles out before boarding in First Class thanks to all three of us being upgraded. This was my first time flying first class and Brooke sat with me with Reese next to me and Bryan across the aisle and the girls were so well behaved the whole trip. The food was nothing to write home about but broke the time up and kept Brooke happy and two glasses of wine and two coffees with irish creme had me feeling alright! We were back home by 9 pm Seattle time and it was good to be back in our own beds.

We have the rest of the summer ahead of us and I’m ready for it all!

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Chelan Was Amazing!

We had such a great weekend away in Eastern Washington with friends and sunshine and it was really hard to come back to work. Especially knowing that we have only five work days before our next trip. A part of me just felt like we had entered summer break. But back to that magical weekend.

The girls were fantastic on our drive out east on Friday. We had an easy morning finishing getting ready and packing the car and hit the road around 10:30 am. It was drizzly and gray and although I think Bryan was wondering what the rush was I was just ready to hit the road and get out of dodge. We drove the first 1.5 hours without any fuss from the girls who each napped and arrived in Roslyn to get a bite to eat at the Red Dog Cafe. I got the pastrami hash, Bryan the monte cristo sandwich, and Reese the French toast and although I think we all second guessed our ordering decisions we all enjoyed our meal and the girls were great while we waited a good while for our food to come. We were back in the car with still gray skies and cool air and the next 1.5 hours went equally as smooth as both girls took another nap. We pulled into our Airbnb in Chelan just around 3 pm and were greeted by our host in person who gave us the lay of the land before we settled in. The rental was great with plenty of bedrooms and a wonderful fenced in and sunny wrap around yard with great grass, a grill and a fire pit. The other family arrived right around 4:15 pm and we all immediately settled into play time.

Friday night was spent at a place a short 2 miles down the road called Even Keel Roadhouse and it was the perfect place for our first night. Although they didn’t have the live music that was promised (due to a mix up with the restaurant and band) we got two ridiculously large delicious pizzas to share and the girls had a lawn to run around and get their wiggles out. Brooke did great as well and after we had our fill we headed back to the house (with tons of leftovers) to play some more before bed. Bedtime was epic each night with the two girls who are both night owls and keep each other’s energy up but we managed each night. I don’t think the girls went to bed on night one until 10 pm but they finally did. All of the adults crashed shortly after that (I actually fell asleep in Reese’s bed).

Saturday was a free day with nothing really planned out. We started the morning with Bryan’s waffles and bacon and then got dressed and set out across the street to the park, beach and playground that was only a short walk from our rental. The girls rode their balance bikes and each girl had their own agenda for the time spent at the park. Reese didn’t like the goose poop (Rosalie didn’t seem to notice) and was timid to get her feet wet as well. Reese spent some time at the playground, finally played some in the sand and the water throwing rocks, but mostly ate popcorn on the beach blanket (very unlike her). Reese finally made the executive decision to go back to the house so we all walked back and there the girls played with each other in the splash pad and with the bubble guns and water guns. I went for a short and hot run while Brooke took a quick nap and then came back to get wet myself. Bryan was playing a good monster with the girls. Anne and Phillip were on dinner duty and we decided to have a late lunch of grilled fajitas and do without a nap for the girls so that we could hit a winery before closing.

“Linner” was super delicious and we got ready and headed across the lake to Manson (10-15 minutes) to a winery called Succession Wines. We opted for a bottle of the red blend and rose instead of the rather pricy tasting fee and enjoyed playing on the grass with the views of the lake, mountains and vineyards. The girls played some corn hole and did some sidewalk chalk that the winery had out to play with and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves here. We could see some storms rolling in as we were finishing up so we headed back to the house to get a quick slice of pizza and then walked the three minutes over to another place called Sigillio Cellars that did have live music indoors (thankfully since now it was raining hard) and the two girls and their dads were just about the cutest thing every dancing at the front of the room. There was a bachelorette party there (that we had also run into at the previous winery) who were all so enthralled with the girls dancing as most of them were pediatric nurses away from their own young kids. We all headed back to the house as the music was finishing up at 9 pm and had another round of bedtime that tuckered us all out.

Sunday was Father’s Day as well as our water park day we had planned. We woke up and both of the boys went for a run into town and back and then we got an easy breakfast in before all getting ready for the water park and packing some snacks and sandwiches in our cooler. We got to Slidewaters just after 10 am when they opened and didn’t realize that dad’s got in free which was the first nice surprise. We got a nice shaded table off to the side of the park near the lazy river and Reese was extra eager to hit the water. We started off with the lazy river before moving to the little kids slide area to start. This is where we knew that we had struck gold because in this one area alone there were four slides that were all doable for Reese to do by herself and the smallest one was about the same size as the one in Hawaii and San Diego. Reese was surprisingly timid to start but soon got going and was going down all of these slides. Moving on…

There were two of the big slides that Reese could do from the very top of the park that she could sit in our lap for. Bryan and I each got to ride down these two with Reese multiple times and it was so fun. Bryan also took Reese down one of the tube slides that he said was wild and maybe not even allowed for Reese but the staff gave him permission to go and Reese later proclaimed this one her favorite slide. There were about five other slides that Reese cannot go on until she is over 48″ but there was more than enough for her to ride and she had a blast the whole day through. There was also an extra large hot tub at the bottom of the park that we frequented often throughout the day whenever we needed a warm up. We breaked for sandwiches and snacks at one point and took a few more trips on the lazy river. Bryan got about 30 minutes free to go ride all of the rides he couldn’t ride with Reese and reported back that the Purple Haze slide (an enclosed slide) was crazy and I will never be riding that one. We got scoops of ice cream around 4 pm after the other family had had enough of their fill for the day and left and finally got Reese (kicking and screaming) into the car around 5:30 pm to head back to the house. Reese was not happy to leave, although the park only would have been open for another hour, so it goes without saying that we will be back, maybe even making this an annual trip.

Once back to the house Bryan and I were on dinner duty and grilled up some burgers and brats along with corn on the cob and cole slaw. After dinner we played outside some more, got the girls their first bath of the trip, and then managed to get them down for the night by about 9 pm. Us adults finally got some time to ourselves and enjoyed conversation and drinks around the campfire until past 11 pm when we called it a night ourselves.

Monday morning was mostly spent packing up and cleaning the house although the girls got one last morning to play together. We used up the leftovers making breakfast tacos and hit the road just before 11 am. We decided to detour and stop in Leavenworth for some time and arrived there around noon. We immediately stopped into a candy store advertising salt water taffy (which I love) and picked out a good selection, got an iced coffee next door, and then walked through the waterfront park to a cute little hidden playground that we spend some time at. We headed back into town to get a smoothie and sandwich to share in the shade before getting the girls back in the car for another two hours back to Seattle. Reese never napped during this stretch and Brooke did for the first hour and then was done with the car for the last hour making that super fun. We arrived at home just before 5 pm and unloaded the car, got the girls out and happy, and made a quick dinner for the night.

It was such a wonderful weekend and truly felt like the start to summer. I think Bryan had a great Father’s Day, having so much fun with his oldest girl and also getting to share some time and drinks with friends. We have just five workdays before our next trip and some hot weather in store this weekend so I think our flight on Tuesday will get here quicker than we even know it.

Chelsea

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Headed East

We are headed to Eastern Washington this weekend to leave the city behind and spend some time with friends in the sun and with a drink in hand around the BBQ. Can’t wait for it but here is a recap of the past week in our lives.

Last weekend was productive in ways, busy in ways, and relaxing in ways, which is all around good! Reese had early dismissal at school on Friday so we took the opportunity to head down to Beacon Hill to a well renowned Filipino restaurant that I have been wanting to try and finally got reservations for. I had hoped to visit the playground next door before dining in but as we started making our way south it started sprinkling, and then full out raining, so we detoured to the Beacon Hill library instead to pick out some new books to read. Our dinner was delicious though and the girls were well behaved on their adorable heated and enclosed patio. We tried their lumpiang (like an egg roll or crispy dumpling we told Reese) and Reese loved these, then had their hangar steak with mushroom and shishito pepper relish and the short rib that came in a rich and luscious spicy peanut butter sauce and a side of their garlic rice. I’d love to try the rest of their menu easily. Midway through the meal Reese requested fries so we hit the one and only Wendy’s on our way home to get fries and two frostys to take home.

On Saturday we had two of Reese’s friends over to bounce and have some coffee and snacks and that was enjoyable although chaotic at times. The three girls played well mostly, inside and outside, and by the time they had left Reese was thoroughly exhausted, or so I thought. Reese said she was going to nap by herself and Brooke went down right away so I went on a run in the glorious weather but came home to Brooke who had just woken up and Reese who asked if “it was wake up time” but by the looks of her eyes she didn’t sleep a wink. I had two girls who still needed to nap but that wasn’t going to happen so when Sarah messaged to meet up at the park we opted in. Reese walked/scootered the whole way there, played with Lottie on the playground for some time, and scootered the whole way back home. Meanwhile, Bryan also went for a run in the hot afternoon sun and continued to make great progress power washing the driveway with his new power washer which was an early Father’s Day gift in a way. We had a nice dinner at home and all slept wonderfully Saturday night after such a busy day.

Sunday was misty and overcast and cold to start so I was looking forward to taking both girls to Reese’s gymnastics class and just enjoying sitting on the bleachers for 45 minutes. However, Brooke decided that the 10 minute ride over was enough nap for her so instead she watched her sister for the duration of the class. Reese loved class and then we headed home with a quick stop at the Amazon Fresh for a slice of pizza for Reese and Raised Doughnuts for a few donuts as well to share at home. Bryan continued working on the driveway and sidewalk and we played a while before nap time. I could have taken a nap myself but instead I geared myself up and went to a soccer game. I seriously questioned this decision when I got there and we had six players to form a team. We borrowed two players from the other team but still played down some members and the other team was outstanding. I all but keeled over dead by the end of the game and knew that I would be feeling sore for days after, which I did but probably Sunday night’s pure fatigue was worse than the soreness. Back home we had dinner and spent the evening watching movies since the weather turned to more rain.

We’ve had a pretty normal week this week. We did get to go over to Lottie’s house on Monday night for takeout dinner of Rocket Tacos, Bryan’s margaritas, and Sarah and Lottie’s banana chocolate chip cake for dessert. I also got to spend a few hours at a UM Alumni Networking event in South Lake Union while Bryan watched the two girls for me on Wednesday night. I have another networking event next Wednesday that I hope to make as well but this was a very enjoyable night to myself.

And I’ve spent all my spare moments today, working from home, packing for our weekend away before going to pick up Reese and having another playdate at Volunteer Park with her classmates from school. We don’t have a flight to make for this trip so we can leave whenever tomorrow morning but I’m hoping we don’t delay too long since tomorrow is supposed to be the nicest day of the whole weekend. Across the state we have had truly cool temperatures this whole spring and now summer and I just want some heat, briefly!

Chelsea

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Energy Stores

Reese is full of energy. That is actually a quote that Reese told me this morning and nothing could be more true. She has so much energy and so much zest all of the time and this weekend really showcased that. Even though that beautiful weather forecast ended up treating us with some surprise showers and called into question a few of our activities, most of the fun was still had.

Thursday was really the day that the rain hit, and hit hard, unexpectedly so and enough so that it deterred our plans for the evening. We were supposed to have our first organized play date at Volunteer Park after school with Reese’s classmates but pretty much about 10 minutes into our walk to get Reese it started raining and we had to take cover when we could. Not having a change of clothes for Reese or her scooter, and Bryan getting hammered on in the car further north, we decided to forgo the park playdate (although about 10 families still ended up attending) and instead rode the bus into Capitol Hill to find books and read in the bookstore before walking over to get a mystery shop dinner at Elysian’s. This plan ended up working well, Reese got a new Peppa Pig book and we got to read in a castle in the bookstore, and then we had a delicious dinner of beers, fish and chips, risotto, and Reese’s first corn of the season while we stayed dry inside.

Friday also had scattered showers but fortunately by the time we had to go get Reese it was dry and the Steven’s school carnival at her school’s campus was on. We picked her up at 4:30 pm, spent some time at the playground there with her friend Lily, and then when the carnival officially started at 5 pm we were the first in line to play many of the games. This carnival brought back so many memories for me. The games were much the same, including a cake walk, and Reese had just as much fun as I remember having. She collected several “dollars” in the beginning, opted for all of the sweets at the snack table (i.e. cotton candy, two different types of lollipops and bubble water), and played the cake walk all of one time before landing on the winning square and getting to pick out some brownies, which her parents ended up eating all. Bryan and I also opted for one of the hot dogs from the vendor that was there that was delicious and a fun summer treat. We headed home at about 6:30 pm as Reese was about to hit a sugar crash and more showers were expected. It was a wonderfully fun summer evening.

On Saturday we were planning on having three families over for a BBQ and the opening day of our bounce house. Unfortunately one family fell ill to Covid and another family bailed due to the forecasted light rain so we had a one-on-one dinner with the Vidal’s and it was great and more than enough. We cleaned up the yard and got the bounce house out in the morning, even before celebrating Brooke’s 6 month birthday with pancakes, so Reese got to test it all out first. Once the Vidal’s arrived, there was the lightest of mist but the girls still bounced and enjoyed themselves throughout the night, inside and out. We had a delicious dinner of Bryan’s ribs and homemade sauce, homemade mac n cheese, cornbread and slaw. Reese had a wonderful time with Eliana which is great that they are getting to know each other better and Lucas is only a few months older than Brooke.

Sunday was another scattered rainy day so another day that I was glad that Reese had gymnastics class. Bryan took both girls this time around so I got in a good quick workout and was able to tidy up the house with them gone. I was fueled for this by breakfast in bed delivered by Bryan and Brooke! We spent more of the morning bouncing while the skies cleared. Sunday night was a much needed date night for Bryan and I. Our play was cancelled so we held onto our dinner reservation at Harvest Vine but chose to sit at the counter instead and enjoyed a wonderful dinner and glass of wine before heading out on our scooter to the Garage to play a few games of bowling. We played three games, were tied 1-1 going into the third game, but Bryan ended up beating me by quite a bit in the third. We left there and went for a walk since we could see that Reese was still awake for the sitter. Even after our walk, getting some candy from the store, and heading back after 10 pm, the girl was still awake so I finished putting her to bed. Her energy!

It was a great weekend and both Bryan and I felt accomplished and like we got in what we needed to. We have a pretty normal week this week and weekend before we then have our trip to Chelan. I’m still waiting for hot weather but we are at least solidly in the upper 60s and have had sunshine most days (although not today!). I have been biking Reese to school everyday and that has been great (and great exercise). We had Lottie and Sarah over for a grill out and to bounce last night and a late bedtime and Brooke up at 5:30 am this morning (and the rain today) has me S.L.E.E.P.Y. I just can’t believe how quickly time is going and that we are already into June!

Chelsea