April, May - Waiting for Olona, Quarantine Life, DIY Maternity Photoshoot.
These two months went by very slowly as I waited for my baby girl to be born. I had more time at home than usual, due to COVID-19 reducing the number of patients to be seen, and surgeries to be performed. While I did spend a majority of that extra time doing online lectures, didactics, and board preparation, I had extra time to nest and bond with Tobe.
(Scroll to the bottom of the page for maternity photoshoot)
For me, it involved laundering baby clothes and making room for her in our tiny apartment. I re-organized to open up 2 drawers for Olona's clothes. All her newborn items have found a home in these 2 drawers and a few spots on the shelf in the second bedroom. This second bedroom serves as Tobe's bedroom, guest bedroom, craft room, and whatever-I-need-it-to-be room. Olona will be sleeping in a bassinet in our bedroom. We will be moving not too long after she is born. I packed my hospital bag at week 36 of pregnancy.
It was pretty interesting to say the least. And the whole masking thing was weird. Scroll through pictures below to see some of the masks I made on Tobe and Patrick.
It's not easy keeping a 3 year old entertained in a small loft apartment but we tried our best. Legos, painting, and drawing were main activities. We also took lots of walks, practicing social distancing. It was tricky keeping Tobe away from the playground. We showed him the signs that said the playground was closed. It was particularly difficult explaining why some people (rule breakers) were still using the playground. Playing in the fields, making mud-pies, and nature scavenger hunts were some of the other activities that occupied Tobe.
It was difficult to hear Tobe talk about missing his teacher and his friends. We did online schooling and zoom meetings with his classmates. He enjoyed this. Knowing that he will never see these friends again because we are moving makes it even harder. I keep having o explain why he would no longer see his friends. Heart breaking.
Spending more time at home, I worked on my sourdough baking skills and I did pretty well if I may say so myself. The picture below is from one of my early attempts and its actually pretty good result, but I even got better. You can read about my tips and tricks on making sourdough bread here and also view pictures of the ideal loaf.
During this time, I also did some sewing. I made a few outfits for Olona, sheets for her pack and play, diaper inserts, fitted sheets for Tobe, etc. My favorite things to make for Olona were the dress and the bonnets pictured below. I will post patterns and instructions on how to make these, should you be interested, on my DIY page.
These months when we were forced to spend extra time at home will forever change us. I hope you were able to make the best of it; no matter how inconvenient it was, it did have its advantages. I hope the extra time afforded you a chance to read a book or pick up a new skill.
We managed to sell our condo in the midst of the lockdown. I was quite surprised because the buyer didn't even see it before she committed! So we spent some of May doing a little bit of packing. We also put in some time into planing our 'great RV trip of the summer'. For our move to California, we plan to make it into an all-American road trip. I have always dreamt of making a trip like this. We will be driving historic Route-66 and making stops at the tourist attractions. We will also visit the Grand Canyon, Sequoia National Forest, and other great spots.
I will post daily about the trip on Instagram and write a blog post at the end of it. I am so excited but a bit nervous to be doing this with a 1-month old. But in this day and age, it is safer to travel this way than to board a flight. It's funny how things work out. We actually intended to transport our family to California this way long before the COVID crisis began and now we are glad we made this decision.
Easter in Quarantine
Mass was online, everything was closed but that didn't stop us from dressing up and celebrating easter. Although we didn't have anywhere to go, we took a walk along the Grand River and spent sometime in the park. The day before, we baked some easter cookies.
You gotta have a sense of humor... My dear husband decided to decorate one and you may have guessed which cookie is his. Yeah, he decided to spell COVID on his. Morbid.
Tobe had a good easter. We dyed eggs the night before, we even had an egg hunt indoors. He was so happy to have all that candy on a Sunday morning.
DIY Maternity Photoshoot
Prior to COVID-19, I had plans for a professional maternity photoshoot. With the quarantine restrictions, I had to resort to the DIY route. My husband bought me a floral crown and took the pictures. It was so sweet and I am so happy we were able to do it before the baby came.
A park close to our home was the perfect location. And Tobe cooperated with taking pictures. It was a beautiful day so the photoshoot was a nice way to spend time outside. If you are in a situation where you have to do your own photoshoot, here are some tips:
Go on a nice bright day but evening time is the best so that the sun is not directly overhead. This will prevent you from having squinting eyes in all your pictures.
Sure, a camera might take better pictures but a cellphone is very adequate. My maternity pictures were taken with a cellphone.
Add some flowers to the picture; a bouquet or crown is a good idea.
A long dress might be the better option.
Incorporate other family members into the picture.
2020 College Graduate
A special shoutout to my brother who graduated college this summer. He is the sweetest brother to me and uncle to my son. He is hardworking at his school work. It is unfortunate that his graduation ceremony was canceled due to COVID. Cheers to you graduating, Peter!
The days drag on slowly at the end of pregnancy as you wait impatiently to meet your baby.The pictures above were taken during the last days of my pregnancy with Olona. We had a picnic that evening and Tobe had a great time but I only managed to get pictures of him applying sunscreen.
I am glad I was able to spend some family time as we waited for Olona to be born. I thought I was going to be waiting past my due date of June 9 because on May 29, my doctor said the baby was very high and my cervix was closed. So I was very surprised when I went into labor at 2 am on May 31st! I'll tell you all about that adventure when I post about Olona's birth story. Stay tuned!