Wednesday, July 1, 2020

What We Read in June

I was surprised to see that I read 8 books in June! It didn't feel like I read that many books but I guess all the time I spent reading before bed adds up. That is pretty much when I do all of my readings - I go upstairs between 8-8:30 every night and read until 9-9:30. I do read when I lay down during Paul's weekend naps but the exhaustion takes over and my reading session turns into a nap. Hopefully that will change some day but I think I will probably use nap time to, well, nap during this pregnancy!


Once again I did not have any misses this month for the 2nd month in a row. It's tough to pick favorites but the books that stuck with me are:

- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi - This is clearly a heavy read. I took it slow and only read one chapter/day as there was a lot to soak in. It's very research based and while he uses some of his personal life experience in the book, it's not narrative non-fiction. But it really made me think about the unconscious biases I have and it made for a great book club discussion.

- In Five Years by Rebecca  Serle - This the biggest page turner for me. If I wasn't disciplined about my bedtime, I would have stayed up late at night to finish this book. It's about a woman who has dream the night she gets engaged. In her dream, it's five years later. But the man she is with in this dream is not her fiance. This dream haunts for her the five years to come and makes her question the decisions she makes.

- City Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller - This was another easy, breezy light read that felt like a spin-off of The Gilmore Girls. There is a lot of baking in the book, too, so it might make you want to bake a pie (I feel more motivated than ever to bake a pie from scratch but this will not happen when it's 90 degrees outside - maybe this fall I will bake my first pie from scatch)!

- If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais - This is the 2nd book I read by this author. She's from South Africa so her books are set there and they tend to deal with the Apartheid. This book was set during post-Apartheid South Africa. Nelson Mandela was recently elected but there is still so much racial tension. It's narrated by 3 people - 2 white sisters and a black women who lives in a resettlement camp close to the sisters. Their lives become intertwined and the story unfolds from there.


- Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center - This is kind of a mix between romance and women's fiction. It's a lighter page turner but it also covers from heavier topics so it wasn't 'fluff' (not that there is anything wrong with reading a fluffy book!). It was very difficult to put down and I found myself trying to find extra times during the day to read, like while Paul takes his bath (I give him his bath every night and sometimes I need a little entertainment while he sings to his toys, etc). 

Paul's reading:

Paul got 3 new books this month and really loves all of them!

In an effort to diversify to diversify Paul's library, I ordered some books. 3 of them were too mature for Paul's age but he loves We're Different, We're the Same, and We'll All Wonderful (he's obsessed with Elmo) and Citizen Baby: My Vote. I'm honestly surprised he likes the voting book so much. He asks us to read it all the time. There are other Citizen Baby books so I think I will get more for him.


My parents also got him this Big Brother book and a new t-shirt, too. He loves this book! 



He continues to be our little book worm. On Sunday afternoon, he brought me some books, crawled into my lap and said, "I love books!" And then I brushed my hands together and said - well my job here is done! Ha. But seriously, raising a reader is super important to us. I mean, we had a book-themed wedding so you knew our child was going to have to love books! We've read to him from the early infancy days and books are just part of every day life for him. But it makes me very very happy to see how much he loves to read!


Have you read anything great lately? 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Hot Hot Hot!

Oof, summer is really bringing the heat this year. Earlier this month I heard we had 4 90+ degree days compared to 6 in all of 2019! And this week it's going to be in the 90s nearly every day. I do like summer, but this is a little bit intense! I'm not complaining, it's just... um... HOT. Like too hot to go to the playground after about 9am because the equipment is too hot to play on - try explaining that to a playground-obsessed 2 year old! People are often surprised to hear it gets hot and humid here in Minnesota, but trust me - it does! We are a unique area of the country as we get get down to like -20F in the winter and close to or sometimes over 100F in the summer!

We did manage to keep cool/entertained this past weekend. Even though it's pretty steamy outside, being outside with a toddler is better than being cooped up indoors!

On Friday night, I got his water table set up as soon as we got home from school. He loves this table so much and it take all of 3 minutes to fill it up. He gets drenched but I don't care since it's the end of the day. This is definitely one of the best purchases we've made for Paul!



On Saturday morning, after Facetiming with my mom, we headed out to water my garden and stopped by the park. He was a bit limited on what he could play on since all the slides are metal so any in the sun were too hot to go down. But he still entertained himself for 25 minutes. Swinging was his favorite activity that morning.


One positive aspect of the heat is that it's making things grow like crazy in my garden! Check out the radishes I harvested on Saturday morning. I should have taken a picture of them before trimming them. They were so huge that Phil thought they must be turnips. I was worried they wouldn't taste good since they were so huge (I thought they might get a 'woody' taste) but they taste excellent. Phil doesn't like radishes and Paul tried a bite and immediately spit it out. So I get them all to myself! They are the perfect vessel for guacamole!!


On Saturday afternoon, we went to Phil's HS friend's home on a lake. I failed to take any pictures! We hadn't seen this group since January so we had a lot of catching up to do and I was busy keep track of Paul. They have a beautiful home on a lake with a massive lot (over an acre) so there was plenty of room for us to all socially distance. They were excellent hosts - they even bought some bottles of bubbles to entertain the kids. So Paul was in heaven when Phil's friend blew bubbles for Paul for a good 20 minutes. We also went in the lake which was crazy warm - 88F!

On Sunday morning, we headed to the local lake where Phil swims. Last weekend didn't go so great as we went to the beach with some playground equipment that is too big for Paul and it was just too distracting for him. This time I coaxed him into the water and talked him into letting me take him out further so we could practice what we've learned in swimming lessons (which are on a very grand pause until COVID is under control). He had the best time and kept asking to go on his tummy so he could swim. We were in the water the whole time Phil was swimming the course which is probably 30-40 minutes. Now that I know he enjoys lake swimming we will go to the beach even more often on hot days. I had talked to Phil about how we needed to turn him into a lake kid so I am glad he took to the water well this weekend. I grew up going to the lake and if this was a normal summer, we'd be at my parents at least once a month. So I am glad he likes the water now, especially since we have decided to visit my parents lake home for a week in August. We will all get tested for COVID before going up to make sure we don't infect my parents!



On Sunday afternoon we spent more time outside after Paul's nap. Paul played with his water table and some other outdoor toys and sort of helped while Phil and I weeded/put down mulch (we are super behind on putting down mulch since the deck project took up much of May/June).

I'll close by sharing some pictures of Paul wearing MY hat. As you can see, it basically fits him! So yes, that means we pretty much have the same sized head. My head is smaller than normal - like I had to wear youth goggles when I did my triathlons and it's hard to find glasses that fit right because I have such a narrow face. Paul is super petite - like 4th percentile for weight at his last Dr appt - but his head is and has always been huge. Like 99th percentile. He is starting to grow into it but when he was a baby, he was a total bobble head. We do not know where he got his huge head from because Phil's head is also on the smaller size. Hopefully big head = big brain!



How is the weather in your neck of the woods? Is it crazy hot/humid? It's currently raining here and I am SO happy because I need a break from the heat for at least a day!

Friday, June 26, 2020

TGIF

Hello, Friday! Anyone else in shock that the year will be half over in a matter of days? Parts of 2020 crawled by, like when we were just starting to adjust to COVID life. But it's crazy to think the year is half over. 

The book I'm reading is If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais. This is the 2nd book I've read by this South African author. I discovered her thanks to Modern Mrs. Darcy. Her books are so good! This one is set around the time that Nelson Mandela is elected president so it deals with the racial tension between whites and blacks. There are 3 narrators to the story - 2 white sisters and a black woman who lives in an encampment close to the sisters. The lives of the 3 narrators become entwined. I've been cruising through this book as I have a hard time putting it down each night. 

The high of my week was the milder summer weather we've had this week. We've had quite a few super humid 90+ degree days but this week it's been sunny and around 75 which is just perfect. Granted I haven't enjoyed much of the nice weather since I've been mostly indoors thanks to the head cold I'm battling. 

The low of my week was not feeling well. I ended up getting tested for COVID on Monday because I felt so off on Sat/Sun. By Monday afternoon it was pretty clear I had a head cold but I still got tested since the appointment was set up. I went to a site that uses a 3rd party lab so it takes longer to get your results (2-3 days) and they only call you if you tested positive - otherwise they mail you a letter. I had my telehealth visit with my rheumatologist yesterday and she was able to pull up the results and confirm it was negative. So that was a relief! In the future if I need to get tested again, we'll go to Hennepin Healthcare as they have an onsite lab and you get your results in 24 hours. I started to feel better on Thursday but this head cold is a doosy! 

A recipe I made was pasta with sausage and peppers. We probably make this twice a month as it's something we know Paul will eat.There isn't much originality to our meal planning right now. I haven't felt motivated to try new recipes so we just keep making the same tried and true things over and over. 

A show we are watching is Space Force on Netflix. This is a new show with Steve Carrell in it (whom I love!). It's goofy and silly but that's kind of what we need right now. We were watching Brooklyn 9-9 but we got to a season (I think season 4?) we were both feeling kind of 'meh' about so we decided to take a break. 

The best money spent was on some N/A Prosecco that I ordered after hearing about it on a podcast. I love white wine and prosecco but am obviously not drinking any right now since I'm pregnant! So when I heard 2 podcast hosts rave about this N/A Prosecco I decided to treat myself to some. It's nice to have a fun drink to enjoy on a hot summer night - and it only has 50 calories! 

My plans this weekend include going out to Phil's HS friend's house after Paul's nap on Saturday. He lives on a lake and has a huge lot so it will be easy for us to social distance. I think there will be 3-4 families there? We haven't seen them since January when we hosted this group for a brunch to celebrate the wedding of one of the couples so it will be good to see each other. And it will be a good way to tell them we are expecting - Phil isn't a fan of texting people with our news. On Sunday morning we will go to the lake while Phil does his swim. He's part of a local swim club that has a 0.8 mile course set up at certain times during the week. Our plan is to join him on Sunday mornings when the weather is nice. 

Bonus Paul photos!

Paul loves playing in our backyard. As soon as he gets home from daycare each day he asks to go out there. This week we've been playing with chalk, blowing bubbles, and kicking/throwing a soccer ball around the yard. 


Daddy shared half of his chocolate chocolate chip cookie with Paul. We have quite the cookie monster on our hands. Paul doesn't get many sweets since I very rarely bake but when he does, boy is he happy. Cookies are definitely his favorite treat. He doesn't seem to be a fan of cake (I'm not either so can't really blame him).



How was your week? Have you made any new recipes or are you sticking with tried and true ones like us?

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Weekend Recap

Here I am with our Father's Day weekend recap, a day later than I planned to post. But such is life! Here is how our weekend shaped up!

My company gave everyone Friday afternoon off in honor of the Juneteeth holiday and encouraged us to reflect on what we can do to "be the change" which is the name of our internal campaign to right against racial unjustice. So listened to a couple of podcasts related to antiracism while working in my garden which was a HOT mess. I'm almost embarrassed to share the before and after photos. I have a MAJOR weed problem! I tried putting grass clippings down thinking that would help but it didn't. I bought a new weeding tool at the ace hardware that is a block from our house (love having a hardware store so close!) and that really helped. Previously I was getting on my hands and knees to weed and my back did NOT like that. Plus with my SCH, I'm super careful about not exerting myself too much as the last time I did that while gardening, I had a bleeding incident. My goal is to get over to the garden once a week to weed. As you can see from the picture on the right, I did not plant much this year - green beans, lettuce, beets, radishes, peppers, and cucumbers (but my cucumber plant hasn't grown so I might need to go buy a plant this week). So my garden looks total barren compared to others. But between being pregnant and having a busy toddler, I wanted to be realistic about what I had time for this summer and decided to majorly scale back what I planted.


After all that work, I felt like I had earned a treat so I picked up DQ blizzards for Phil and me. Ice cream has been a total turn-off for most of this pregnancy but it sounded good on Friday! I enjoyed my blizzard on the deck while reading my book!


That night I made lentil enchiladas and Spanish rice - Phil's favorite meal - as an early Father's Day dinner but forgot to take a picture! This is a meal that Paul also loves which surprises us because there is jalapeno in the lentil filling.

On Saturday morning, we did some reading and FaceTimed with my parents. This is Paul's favorite book lately - it's one of several that I bought to diversify his library. Some of the books I bought had to be put away for when he's older, but this one is perfect for toddlers.


Paul and I then headed out for a long walk to the lake by our house and stopped at the park on the way home. He had the best time at the park. He tried the big slide for the first time and LOVED it!


Phil went golfing that afternoon as his Father's Day gift so he headed out after putting Paul down for his nap. Luckily Paul took a 2 hour nap and I went to lay down before Paul went down for his nap so I slept for over 2 hours, which is not normal for me! After Paul's nap we went for a walk to water my garden and briefly stopped at the park but didn't stay long as all the equipment was way too hot as it was very sunny that day.

On Sunday morning, we all headed to the beach so Phil could swim across the lake. He's a member of a local swim club so swims their 0.8 mile course twice a week. Paul did so-so playing in the sand. He wasn't interested in playing in the water and kept asking to go to the park... but hopefully he'll enjoy the beach more soon! We plan to keep going each Sunday. 


We grabbed take-and-bake pizzas and headed home for an easy Father's Day lunch. Phil headed out after lunch to go to his mom's to help out. We would typically go with to his mom's but he wanted to stop by his dad's grave on the way so I felt it was best to give him some privacy. When Paul is older and able to understand death/passing, we'll take him with to the grave but he's not at the right age for that yet... Paul napped for 2.5 hours which is abnormally long for him, and I slept that whole time, too. When I woke up, I could tell I was getting sick. I'd felt off/super tired the last 2 days and then the soar throat started that evening. 

Phil got home in time for bed time which I was very happy about as I was really not feeling well by that point. 

So all in all, it was a good weekend although I could have done without coming down with this cold bug! 

How was your weekend? 

Friday, June 19, 2020

TGIF!

Happy Friday, everyone! I'm back to feeling more excited about weekends now that we have more options to entertain Paul. For awhile there, weekends were really hard as it's tough to entertain an energetic toddler with limited options. But now that parks and the beach are an option, I'm more excited about our weekends. Here's how our week shaped up!

The book I'm reading is American Royals by Katharine McGee. In this book, the author re-imagines the history of our country. Instead of Washington becoming our first president, he became our first king and our country is ruled by a monarchy. I am not very far into this book but I think it will be a pretty delightful read. 

The high of my week was hearing the baby's heartbeat at my OB appointment on Tuesday and sharing our exciting news with all of you! Thanks for all the kind and excited comments and emails!

The low of my week was getting a really bad RA flare in my thumbs. This is the worst flare I've had during this pregnancy. I tried to go in for steroids injections but the soonest they could see me was Monday and I called on Tuesday afternoon... I understand as clinics are still not fully staffed. So I ended up having to go on oral prednisone. I was really really hoping to avoid prednisone during this pregnancy. It introduces risks to the baby and also will cause me to have gestational diabetes because steroids raise your blood sugar. I'm really hoping this is the only time I need to be on it this pregnancy!

A recipe I made was Chicken Tikka Masala with Cauliflower and Peas in our instant pot. This is SO good! The instant pot is a great gadget to use in the summer as it doesn't heat up the house like an oven does. I mean, it does get steamy in the kitchen when you did a quick release of the pressure but it's not as bad as having the oven on. 

The best money spent was on the book White Fragility, which I ordered through Frugal Bookstore, a black-owned bookstore in Massachusetts. I am working on educating myself through reading and I felt like I needed to own a copy of this book. My library is actually giving unlimited ebook access to White Fragility, Me and White Supremacy, How to Be an Antiracist, and The New Jim Crow through August 31. I think that is really awesome! I plan to read The New Jim Crow next, but I want to own copies of White Fragility and Me and White Supremacy (which is a workbook so something it seems like you need in print). 

My plans this weekend include working in my garden on Saturday morning. It is a HOT mess. I have so many weeds and it just does not look good at all but I've struggled to get over there as regularly as I would like. Phil is going golfing on Saturday afternoon if the weather cooperates as his Father's Day gift (I gave him the gift of time off to golf which is his favorite activity) so Paul and I will have to entertain ourselves. If it's nice out I am sure we will be outdoors most of the day. Sunday is Father's Day but we don't have much planned. I will make Phil's favorite meal (lentil enchiladas) on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, he will swim across the lake by our house and Paul and I will play at the beach. He needs to go out to his mom's to help her with some things around the house so Paul and I will be on our own again for part of the day... which is fine! I do wish I had a hobby or excuse to be gone for like 4 hours on a weekend... but I do take a nap when Paul naps so I get a nice break then. 

Bonus Paul photos!

When I am making dinner, Paul likes to spread out a bunch of bowls and uses this wooden spoon to either play them as drums or to pretend to make something. In this picture, he's "eating" some pasta he made. He is allowed to play with anything on the bottom shelf of this cupboard and will usually entertain himself pretty well. 

On Wednesday night, he ran down the sidewalk in front of our house and fell. He has a nasty abrasion on his forehead. It looks really, really bad but does not seem to bother him. That night he was trying to do somersaults and headstands on our couch and when Phil dropped him at daycare the next day, he proudly showed off his owies. But gosh he looks tough! Also note that he is still eating with his left hand. He does everything else with his right, like throwing balls/toys/etc. Phil also eats with his left hand and uses his left hand for a bunch of other things like brushing his teeth and using his computer mouse. His parents are/were both lefties so we figure he picked it up watching them but I don't know why Paul eats with his left as I right handed! Maybe he sits next to a leftie when he eats meals at school? Who knows!



How was your week? What was your high of the week? 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Our Growing Family

This has been a heavy year so far with COVID, the resulting economic hardship many are experiencing as a result, and the social unrest from the systemic racism that has plagued our country for so many years and is finally getting the attention it deserves. But in the midst of all this darkness and difficulty, we have some good news to share...

 Our waving baby at 11 weeks.

WE ARE EXPECTING!! 

It's been a much harder road to a 2nd child than it was having Paul. For those who haven't read my blog for a long time we got pregnant with Paul the month after we got married in 2017. We knew we were incredibly lucky then but now I really know how lucky we were after having a harder time having a 2nd child. Longer-time readers know that we had a miscarriage at 8 weeks in October which was a very difficult and heartbreaking experience for us. And then the path to getting pregnant again was not easy as my cycle was impacted by being on and off steroids to treat RA flares.

But... here we are - expecting our 2nd child. I do not take for granted how lucky we are and my heart goes out to those struggling with infertility. It breaks my heart that the ability to grow a family is out of the hands of so many couples. So for those you dealing with that - I see you and I have so much compassion and empathy for what you are going through.

Now for the details!

How far along are you?

I am 15 weeks along!

What's the official due date?

December 8th, 2020 but I will have a scheduled C-section around 39 weeks so baby S will arrive in early December. I'm opting for a scheduled C-section as I can't handle repeating what happened with Paul - I labored for over a day, got to 9cm (without an epidural as I wasn't allowed to get one due to being on blood thinners) and then needed a C-section because his head wouldn't descend and his heart rate was dropping. Also, having a scheduled C-section makes sense since I am on blood thinners again due to a genetic mutation that makes me prone to clots (I had a massive blood clot at 34 weeks with Paul). It's just easy to manage all around as being on blood thinners really complicates things. I know I don't need to defend our decision to have a planned C-section but I do feel a little defensive about it. I would have to NOT have to have major surgery to bring a child into the world but after discussing it with my OB, we feel it's the safest decision all around.

Are you showing at all?

Yes, this time around I am showing. I have a fairly small bump. With Paul I did not show until closer to 18 weeks so this is a very different experience for me! The lighting in this picture isn't great but it shows you my little bump. I'm in that awkward stage where it's hard to tell if I am pregnant or just eating a little too much ice cream. Ha.



How did you tell Phil?

Once again, there was no pomp and circumstance to telling Phil. I had to do a lot of monitoring when we were trying for #2 so he knew exactly when I was going to take the test and was anxiously waiting in the bedroom while I was in our master bathroom. Earlier that week he had said, "you know we are going to have a positive test now that COVID-19 is happening!" We found out I was expecting in late March right when things were starting to get bad.

How did you tell your family?


I called my parents the weekend before the 8 week ultrasound to share the news. I was extremely anxious about the 8 week ultrasound as that's when we found out our last baby didn't have a heartbeat and I had to go to this appointment (and all appointments for this pregnancy alone). So I needed the extra prayers and support of my parents. I also told my little sister via text the day we got the positive pregnancy test as we are very close and share everything. I told my other siblings via text after the 8-week ultrasound. Again, it's on the early side to tell people but I knew they'd keep it to themselves and we wanted the extra support and prayers.

Phil wanted to wait until we had the genetic testing back to tell his mom so we told her when I was almost 14 weeks. We went out to her house for the afternoon and had Paul wear this shirt (it says Soon to be a big brother). She quickly read what was on his shirt and was so excited!



Will you find out the sex of the baby?

We decided to do things differently this time and found out during the genetic testing (we did not find out the gender with Paul). Drumroll..... it's another boy!! I was not the least bit surprised because this pregnancy is exactly like my pregnancy with Paul. Plus, Phil's family tends to have boys. I was obviously open to either gender but I've kind of always pictured myself as being a mom of boys. We would have of course been excited to have a girl but I never felt strongly about really wanting to have a daughter like many women do. Now we need to figure out a name though - having a girl would have been nice as we had a girl named picked up if Paul had been a girl. But we've got 5 months to figure that out!

How have you been feeling physically? 

Overall, I've been feeling pretty good. My RA is much better managed this time around. Back in February I was able to go back on the drug I was on before getting pregnant with Paul as there is more evidence that it is safe for pregnancy. My RA definitely isn't in remission (it goes into remission for over 50% of women) but it's not terrible. I've been able to manage all of my flares with a topical anti-inflammatory gel.

I did have the same bleeding issue that I had with Paul - it's called a subchorionic hemorrhage (SCH). It's a area of bleeding that develops around the placenta. I had some bleeding the day I put in my garden fence so that scared the heck out of me. I was able to get in for an ultrasound the next day which confirmed I have an SCH. Being on blood thinners complicates things as it's harder for the bleeding issue to resolve. So I have been taking it easy and sticking to just walks as heavier activity would likely result in more bleeding.

But as far as pregnancy-specific symptoms, I am pretty lucky. I had the same aversions as I did with Paul (coffee and sweets). They are getting better and I'm back to treating myself to the occasional coffee (I packed away my coffee pot during the 5th week when the smell was making me gag). There are still things I can't/won't eat like yogurt and hard-boiled eggs, which were staples in my diet before. But overall, I'm incredibly lucky and my nausea has been very minor and I have not thrown up!

How have you been feeling emotionally? 

Oof. This has been the hardest aspect of the pregnancy. After having a miscarriage with no signs in the fall, I was so anxious it would happen again. Plus 2 good friends had miscarriages in Feb/Mar around 12 weeks after hearing the heartbeat at 8 weeks. So I was so paranoid that was going to happen to us. Now that I'm 15 weeks, I'm feeling more confident in things and trying to trust it will all work out.

How have you been sleeping?

My sleep has been hit or miss. The exhaustion during this pregnancy is unreal, but I think chasing a 2-year old around is way different than being pregnant with no kids in the house! Also, COVID has really turned life upside down and we had Paul home with until I hit the 8 week mark of pregnancy. I purposely waited until we saw the heartbeat at 8 weeks to send him back to daycare as I was worried I'd have another miscarriage and would need my mom to come watch him if I needed a D and C. And I wouldn't have felt right having her watch him if he'd been at daycare and exposed to who knows what. This is just an example of where your mind goes when you've experienced a loss...

I definitely live for weekend naps and nearly always nap while Paul is napping.

Have you had any aversions or cravings?

As I mentioned above, I had an aversion to coffee and sweets but that's getting better. I don't really have any strong cravings although I have been eating a lot of pickles but that's not super abnormal for me since pickles are one of my favorite foods!

What have you been doing for exercise?

Just walking! But my OB wanted me to take it easy due to the SCH issue and I feel like I can still get a good workout with walks as there are lots of hills in our area that get my heart racing. I do really miss running and now is when I could easily fit it in since I'm working from home. But I just keep telling myself that this is not the season of life for running. Some day I will return to that sport but not in the near future.

So there you have it, a long post with lots of details. I think I will post every 4 weeks like I did with Paul, starting at 18 weeks. I know pregnancy posts are not everyone's cup of tea, but I know some like to read them (I really do!) and I love being able to look back on the posts from my pregnancy with Paul. 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. This past weekend felt like the first truly 'normalish' weekend since COVID struck in March. We are still being super cautious so I don't want it sound like we are back to life as usual. We wear masks when in indoor public spaces and we don't take Paul to any public indoor spaces since we can't get him to wear a mask. We are mostly seeing daycare friend and if I see other girlfriends, we meet for outdoor walks or coffee dates. But this weekend we went to a park and to the beach so it felt normalish, which was really nice. Here's how our weekend shaped up!

On Friday night, Paul played with chalk in the backyard when we got home from school. We had leftovers for dinner so it was a low key night!



On Saturday morning I headed out for a long walk with Paul while Phil did our weekly grocery shopping.

My favorite walking buddy!
 We saw a beautiful blue heron (I think that's what it is?) taking a leisurely stroll along the creek!


I had done some research and found out that our parks aren't closed anymore. As this sign says, it's 'play at your own risk'. There was only one other family there (a father and daughter) and they were not remotely close to what Paul was interested in so it felt pretty safe. I just wiped his hands before, during, and after and made sure he didn't put them in his mouth.


He was in heaven! His favorite thing to do was the tornado slide. He went down it over and over and over again. Of course there were tears when we left. He never wants to leave the park.


When we got home, I threw together this egg bake for lunch. We make a couple of modification such as using ground sausage instead of sausage patties and getting tator tots with onions instead of chopping green onions. I also find it needs to bake for an hour instead of 45 minutes. It is not a 'light meal' by any stretch of the imagination as it has a pound of sausage AND a pound of bacon and 3 cups of cheese!! But we figure we are very active in the summer and can handle the heavier meal. Plus the leftovers are so good. I forgot to take a picture because we were both starving so we dug right in!

I laid down for a nap when Paul went down for his nap as I had slept really poorly the night before. Phil got Paul up for his nap so I headed out to our (newly-finished) deck to do some reading. I think part of the reason I did not sleep well on Friday night is due to this book - "The Island of Sea Women." A read a really horrible, heart-breaking section right because I stopped reading for the night and could not shake it from my mind. But I think that's a sign of a talented author - she really made me feel things when I read this book (I finished it on Saturday night).


On Saturday night, we grilled a pork tenderloin and had that with asparagus and a baked potato. In case you were wondering, Paul ate none of this. His eating is getting better, but he only likes ground or shredded meat with the exception of turkey. He also does not like asparagus, nor does he seem to like potatoes? I don't get it. But we just keep offering him things and hope he will come around soon. In his defense, there are things he loves that I don't think many toddlers would - like lentil enchiladas that are made with a jalapeno!

We woke up to a super windy day on Sunday. Phil is part of a local swim club that sets up a course so you can swim across a lake on certain times during the week, one of which is Sunday morning. Phil was planning to swim that morning, despite the wind, but we could not find his swim goggles! We both looked in so many places and just could not find them. We had already told Paul we were going to the beach and he was all dressed to go so we still went. In March, our parks and rec dept said beaches were closed for the summer but they provided clarification that by closed they mean no lifeguards. We obviously don't need a lifeguard so it's nice to have this as another activity to entertain Paul. It was not the nicest morning given the wind but Paul still enjoyed playing in the sand. Hopefully next week it's warmer/less windy so we can play close to the water. The beach is pretty large and it was not at all crowded. So again, this seemed like a very safe activity for us to do.


We also stopped at the park on the way home so it was a very full morning for Paul!

Paul went down for his nap and I read my latest read - "The City Baker's Guide to Country Living." It's such a cozy, delightful read and just what I need in my life right now!

After Paul's nap, we went over to our friend's house for some play time. We ordered takeout Indian for dinner.


We were mostly outdoors but we did go inside to eat dinner. The boys all go to the same daycare so are exposed to the same stuff so it seemed low risk to eat indoors. Plus, in Minnesota we are allowed to gather indoors in groups of 10 or less so we were following the rules!


Paul was definitely exhausted when we got home after all the play time and time outdoors!

I closed out my night by logging into the Brandi Carlile Live Stream event. This is her 2nd live stream event this month. She's been playing one album in it's entirely. She started with her most recent album a couple of weeks ago and will be moving back through the years over the course of the summer/fall. It's only $10 to access the live stream. She's putting on these concerts so they can continue to play their band/staff despite not being on tour. The events are around 1.5 hours so more than worth my $10 (you can pay more or less. I paid $30 for the first one as I felt like it was a worthy contribution since Brandi is my all-time favorite artist).


And that's a wrap! So all in all a really good weekend full of time outdoors and some time with friends!

How was your weekend? Is your life starting to feel a bit more normal?