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What We’ve Been Up To

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Checking in with everyone during these strange strange times.

We celebrated Charles’s 40th birthday with a small group of friends on Saturday March 7th. We went out to one of our favorite bars, Queen Mary, and then we had dinner at Pub Royale. Things were still pretty normal then. It didn’t seem weird or irresponsible to be gathering with friends. We had so much fun and are very thankful for that night since at this point we haven’t seen our friends (in person) in months.

Things had changed enough that three days later, on Monday, I was going to Walgreens, Target, and the grocery store stocking up on hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, food, and other essentials. I thought that I might be overreacting, but since I am pregnant I wanted to be prepared. Charles had put up shelves above our washer and dryer just because I thought we’d need more storage space for baby stuff. They quickly became filled with quarantine supplies.

Things continued to change quickly; on the 13th we made the decision to self quarantine. The official order from the governor came a week later. We thought that we would be home for a few weeks, maybe a month. It’s now week 11.

We have spent the time preparing for the baby, I’m now 35 weeks along. We built the crib and put together a mini nursery. I’ve ordered all the supplies we need off Amazon and Charles has been reading The Contented Little Baby Book. My friend Jenn even threw me a virtual baby shower.

Like so many others, we bought a Peloton. My doctor wants me to be active for 30 minutes a day and the Peloton gives me the ability to work out without leaving home. Plus, it will be an easy way to workout at home once the baby comes.

I have been cooking, a lot. We are so lucky that Charles is able to work from home, which means that he’s eating three meals a day at home. After watching me make poached eggs so many times, Charles has learned to make them himself! It’s one of his biggest culinary accomplishments. (Instructions are saved in my Instagram highlights).

During this time I have worked on fewer recipes since it’s hard to get ingredients and sometimes recipe testing can result in wasted food and I want to create zero food waste during this time. The recipes that I have created during our time at home are Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, Raspberry Lemon Scones, and Blueberry Goat Cheese Crumble.

We had eaten some of our favorite meals again and again. I can’t tell you how many times we have eaten avocado toast. Luckily we never get tired of it and it is easy to make. (I cook my eggs until they are medium and only use fresh organic eggs since some doctors say to avoid runny eggs when pregnant).

We have made a point to support local restaurants by ordering takeout. We’ve had pizza from Piece, Homeslice, and Coalfire. On Mother’s Day we feasted on Indian food from Pub Royale and cupcakes from Sweet Mandy B’s. Plus we’ve had Spanish tapas from Cafe Ba Ba Reeba and barbecue from Smoke Daddy. Shake Shack cured my craving for a burger and cheese fries. And we got Thai food from Noodles in the Pot.

The company that Charles works for started doing virtual happy hours on Fridays and when I heard about the first one I dared him to wear a tux. He refused until I put up a poll on Instagram Stories and over 90% of responses agreed that he should wear a tux to the happy hour. His colleagues got a good laugh and Charles decided to keep the joke going, wearing lederhosen to the happy hour the following week.

Fun costume ideas for men: Mayhem, Harry Potter, Lederhosen, Batman, Patrick Bateman, Bond Villain, and Alan from The Hangover.

Since then, things have continued and become more elaborate. He’s been Mayhem (from the Allstate ads), Harry Potter, Batman, Patrick Bateman (American Psycho), a Bond villain, and Alan from The Hangover. Each week I create a different costume using things we have at home. Sometimes crafting or some time doing hair and makeup is involved. It has become a fun little project for me, and I am happy that the costumes are bringing a little bit of happiness to Charles’s colleagues and my Instagram followers.

Otherwise, most days are pretty much the same, we work from home at our side by side desks in our home office. Sometimes I get sad because I miss my friends and family. Charles and I never got to go on a babymoon and the babymoon my sister and I had planned to take together before our babies are born had to be cancelled.

We barely leave home. Our groceries are delivered. Sometimes we go for a walk, but half the people walking on the sidewalk aren’t wearing masks and that makes me nervous. Masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer have become essentials for anytime we leave the condo.

We have had lots of time for streaming tv shows and movies. Here are some of the ones that we have recently watched. We really loved Ozark and Upload. Ozark is especially great because there are a few seasons and the episodes are long so it takes up a bunch of time.

Charles and I have been doing our best to make the most of a less than ideal situation. As my July 2 due date inches closer, we realize that we will probably be isolated at home until the baby arrives. One of the hardest things is that we don’t know when we will see our families again. My mother had been planning to come help us after the birth of our baby, but it is looking more and more like that won’t be safe. Charles’s immediate family is spread out across three different countries at the moment and we don’t know when international travel will be safe.

I try to look at the bright side. There is no way that Charles will be away on a work trip and miss the birth. Since he will likely be working from home for quite some time, I’ll get some extra help with the baby.

It’s so surreal that life has changed so much in such a short time. I have gained a new appreciation for things like going to a restaurant and grocery shopping. Even just taking a walk is a treat! We can’t wait to see our family and friends when this is all over.

I hope that you are staying safe during these times.

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