We were supposed to be in the Virgin Islands right now. The kids have been a little sad about this seriously dialed-down spring break, but all things considered, this was not a bad weekend. We went on two family walks on local trails. Each was about an hour. We put the baby in the Ergo carrier or carried him, and he did quite well with both.
The kids played outside for an hour each day too. They did some group Minecraft and Roblox sessions. They read some. We baked chocolate chip muffins AND chocolate chip cookies. My husband has been experimenting with cabbage recipes, thanks to a bumper crop that came in our Hungry Harvest box. Saturday’s featured bacon and the two of us consumed an entire head of it. We both ran both days. I managed to enjoy a nice soak in the tub with a glass of wine and a book. And my particular point of pride: I made the 2019 photo book!
I wound up putting the Shutterfly app on my phone so I could do this while nursing. I went through my phone photos and chose a ton from 2019. I then learned you could only put 200 in a book, so I spent about an hour whittling this down. Then I had Shutterfly make the book; I went in and resorted some of the layouts and put in captions. I started Saturday morning and put in the order by Saturday night. As usual, I hunted for a Shutterfly promo code, and found one for unlimited extra pages, which was good, as this was a long photo book. I ordered 3 copies (one for us, one for each set of grandparents).
This project was a great mood booster, as 2019 was a great year. Given that none of us is going anywhere for a while, it was nice to reminisce about great vacations, professional accomplishments, and of course, the arrival of kid #5.
Now, as for the first few months of 2020…
A few months ago — it seems like longer than that — I created a post-holiday Winter Fun List. The 10-week stretch from New Year’s to mid-March can be long and dreary. It’s always good to have things to look forward to.
My 2019 list was ambitious because we had big trips planned: the San Diego trip my 12-year-old asked for as a Christmas present, and the Disney World trip we’d planned for a long time. This year was much less ambitious because of the baby’s arrival. However, I did still make a list. Here’s how we did:
Go to the orchid show at Longwood Gardens. G (nanny) and I took the 5-year-old and baby one afternoon in February. The orchids were lovely and I’m so glad we went, even if there was a little screaming in the car seat to and from. I assumed we’d be able to go see the full garden in bloom in April. Since that’s not the case, I’m even more grateful that we risked the trip then.
Visit the Philly Flower Show. This was one of the last convention center events before everything shut down. My kids loved the butterflies — one of the few activities that is indeed fun for the whole family.
Go outside for 20 minutes a day. I’m pretty sure I did this, if not every day, than almost every day. I started running again two weeks after the baby was born, and most of those runs were outside. I also assembled a bar height patio table and chair set and have been drinking my coffee out on the back porch many mornings. Some days that requires bundling up, but I really appreciate the quiet.
Run the Frostbite 5-miler. Jane and I ran this in late February. My time was slow but we made it across the finish line. Now that races are canceled until fall, it’s kind of nice to know that I got one in during the first part of 2020.
Go down the water slides at the YMCA. I never wound up doing this. I wasn’t able to go in pools for a while post-birth, and then after that we had been somewhat wary of picking up germs and bringing them home to a newborn. Now it’s not an option. But when the YMCA opens back up, the indoor pool will still be there, so I’m adding this to the list of things to try when life gets back to normal. And probably by then we could bring the baby too!
Visit an art museum. My husband and I went on a date night to the Philadelphia Art Museum in January. We took the baby with us and — newborn style — he slept in the Ergo carrier the whole time.
Watch a basketball game on TV. This is another one I’m glad I did before basketball seasons ended abruptly, though the experience itself was strange in terms of timing. I watched the 76ers play the Lakers, and this was the night that LaBron James passed Kobe Bryant’s scoring record. I realized I hadn’t thought about Bryant in ages, so I jumped down various Internet rabbit holes reading about him. Then the next day the helicopter crash happened (another bit of tragic news that now seems like it happened a lifetime ago).
Do a date night somewhere cozy. We had a lovely Valentine’s Day dinner at Urban Farmer downtown. That was reasonably cozy. I’m looking forward to going out to eat again in the future.
Take a sleigh ride. Didn’t happen — because the Philadelphia region never got the 3-plus inches of stable snow cover required to make this a possibility. I’ll keep it on the bucket list, though. I’m sure it will happen someday, though possibly on a ski trip or something where snow cover is more predictable.
It’s a little strange reading over this list, knowing very few of these activities would even be possible now. Same with the photos from 2019. It’s a reminder to me to make memories when we can.