A Day in the Life – Quarantine Edition: March 24, 2020
Hey, there, friends! I love to read “day in the life” posts on other blogs and I thought I’d put one together here. I think it’s fun to see how other people live their lives and thought maybe you do, too. If anything, this post will be a great way to look back at this time in our lives when our family’s world was changing, in more ways than one. We were adjusting to life with a new baby in the family and also dealing with the effects of COVID-19 spreading through our community.
On March 24, 2020, we had been quarantining as a family for almost a month. We pulled Fiona out of daycare on February 28th after learning of the first case of community spread of COVID-19 in the state of Washington. We avoided unnecessary outings and limited contact with family members outside of our home. This is an account of what our life looked like the day before the rest of the state began staying home, too.
Ada (2 months old) dream feeds 2 ounces of formula from a bottle before I crawl into bed. I’m hoping to get at least six or seven hours of sleep before Ada wakes up again.
Ada wakes up for the day. She is not a big crier, but she wiggles around in her swaddle, her feet raising up and her mouth making little snorts. I groggily get up, put on the sweater and pants I wore yesterday, which are hanging from two knobs on the dresser, and let the dog, Pono, out of his kennel in our closet. (Don’t worry, the closet door is open.)
Baby, dog, and I go to the dining room/living area where we can’t be heard by Kevin or Fiona on the opposite side of the house. I even close the pocket door to the kitchen so the dog can’t escape and go “check on” Fiona (3 years old), resulting in an early awakening.
I change Ada’s diaper and breastfeed her. I start watching a class on the Modern Mrs. Darcy website called “Genius Moves for the Reading Life”, but decide to torture myself instead and read the New York Times newsletters in my email inbox. I quickly become overwhelmed by the latest COVID-19 news, yet keep reading long past when Ada’s finished feeding.
I move one of Ada’s playmats to the dining room/living area. I don’t know what else to call this part of our house. Our house is a ranch-style home built in 1955 and has some interesting features. One is a living room that is much too wide for a sensible furniture arrangement and thus has a wide assortment of things in addition to furniture, such as a treadmill, Fiona’s toys, and Ada’s pack ‘n play.
Our dining room is also interesting, as it has a fireplace and some extra space next to the dining area that is hard to fill. It, too, has an assortment of things, including a leather couch, a filing cabinet, an armchair, a large dog kennel, Fiona’s kitchen safety step stool, and Ada’s rock ‘n play. It’s functional, but not aesthetically pleasing. At some point during this quarantine, we’ll go through everything and weed out and rearrange spaces, but that is not happening right now!
While Ada does tummy time and plays on her playmat, I start writing a new blog post on my computer. (This eventually becomes “The Two Lives That Wait for You on the Other Side of the Pandemic”.)
Ada naps in her rock ‘n play and I continue writing. I don’t finish. It’s not coming out the way I thought it would and I’m not sure if it’s something to share with the world. I don’t know how the thoughts I wrote down will be useful to anyone. If anything, they just might make people sadder in an already morose time.
I nap on the couch.
Ada wakes up. Drat. I get up and feed the dog breakfast and let him outside to the backyard. Then I nurse Ada.
Kevin wakes up and joins us in the dining room. He makes scrambled eggs for both of us. After Ada finishes eating, I hold her while I scroll Instagram before putting her back on the playmat. She does the play and sleep routine again.
I go back to the bedroom and Kevin takes over parenting duties. Ada slept 7.5 hours last night, but I only got 6 hours. I start reading a new book on my Kindle before napping, Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo. I highlight a few lines.
Nap time for me. At some point during my nap, Fiona wakes up and Kevin makes her breakfast. Ada also wakes up and has a poopy diaper and has a couple bottles.
I wake up only somewhat refreshed as I had some bad dreams. I had a tough time after Fiona was born with postpartum depression. This time around, I don’t have PPD, but I am having difficulty sleeping given the chaos and uncertainty created by the global pandemic. It certainly does not help that the first case reported in the United States was in Snohomish County, only 50 miles away from where we live in the next county over, and that the virus had been spreading for 6 weeks before the first case of community spread was tested and reported.
I put on the clothes from yesterday again, but I do freshen up a bit. I brush my teeth, wash my face, do some light make-up (foundation, concealer, blush, brow pencil, mascara), sprinkle baby powder in my hair (I haven’t found a dry shampoo I like better than baby powder, and baby powder is much less expensive!), and do a few passes with the straightening iron on the ends of my hair. If I don’t shower, which is the norm every other day now, this is the beauty routine I do. I know no one sees me other than my family, but I hate seeing dark shadows and sullen skin when I look in the mirror. If I look more alert, I can sometimes trick myself into feeling more rested.
I bribe Fiona with a cookie so that I can pull her hair back off of her face with a hair elastic. Whenever we leave it down, her hair gets all sorts of food (jelly, crumbs, ketchup) in it from her swiping it off her face while eating. Ever since she was born, she has HATED me touching her head or her hair, so I have recently begun using the ancient parenting tradition of bribery to wash, brush, and style her hair.
In the first tragedy of the day, Fiona climbs up her kitchen safety step stool on the wrong side, to which we have attached Ada’s Wimmer-Ferguson mobile for her to look at while hanging out with us in her rock ‘n play in the dining room. The stool falls backwards on top of Fiona, who lands on her huge stuffed animal from Costco. No real damage, but a pretty good scare for the 3-year-old. We have a conversation about how to properly climb the step stool and then put the mobile back together.
Kevin makes macaroni and cheese for Fiona and gives me a bowl while I’m nursing Ada. After I finish eating, I scroll Instagram while Ada continues to nurse.
Time for our daily outdoor activity. We get Fiona dressed (she’s refused to put on clothes and has been naked all day), change Ada’s diaper and zip her in her fleece jumpsuit, put the dog’s harness on him and clip his leash to it, and then pack Fiona, Ada, and the dog (in that order) into the car.
We walk on the trail around Heart Lake in our local community forest lands. We choose this spot because it’s relatively flat and I am still recovering from labor and can’t climb too many hills without physical repercussions. I have found with both of my births that I need to take my postpartum recovery slowly.
On our walk, we spot a heron by the lake and Kevin teaches Fiona the difference between fir and cedar trees. We look at different trees on the trail and talk about what kinds they are. Fiona gets tired quickly, so we go back to the car. We notice there are many more cars in the parking lot than the single car that was there when we arrived, yet we didn’t come across anyone else on our hike.
At the car, we put Fiona in a diaper in case she falls asleep when we start driving. We are hoping she does. We drive around town to see how busy it is. The governor issued a stay home order yesterday that will go into effect tomorrow night. The Safeway parking lot is packed and restaurants all have to-go curbside pick-up. Kevin and I talk a lot about the latest news on the coronavirus.
Back at home, we take the dog and Fiona inside first. (Fiona never fell asleep.) Kevin brings Ada in, who is still in her car seat. She is sleeping. We all take off our boots and coats, then wash our hands, followed by a pump of hand sanitizer each.
I take Ada out of her car seat and zip off her jumpsuit. I grab some string cheese from the fridge and eat it while I nurse her.
I put Ada on her playmat for tummy time. She’s pretty grouchy and is sucking on her hands, so I make a bottle of formula for her since she’s still hungry and I just finished nursing her.
Ada goes back on the playmat, kicking her piano keys. Pono naps on the couch next to me and Fiona plays with her toys. Kevin calls his parents, and I simultaneously go on Facebook and text a recipe to my aunt.
Fiona starts watching her favorite cartoon, True, on Netflix. I fill out the Census form online. Kevin and I look at our Ancestry DNA accounts and figure out our children are English, Irish, Norwegian, German, and Swedish. Ada takes a nap.
Kevin makes dinner and Ada wakes from her nap. I nurse Ada while I read my book on my Kindle.
We eat dinner: Turkey meatballs and pasta in a sauce with vegetable bouillon, Moscato wine, sage, garlic, onion, sour cream, and cornstarch for thickening. There’s a side of broccoli, as well. Kevin and I are opposite in our cooking styles. He just makes things up as he goes along while I follow recipes to the T.
I help Fiona in the bathroom. Afterward, I notice my nail is breaking, so I give myself an impromptu and somewhat hasty mani/pedi (a.k.a I just cut and file my nails really fast).
I consolidate the garbage in the bedrooms and the bathroom into one bag and put it outside the front door. Kevin cleans up the kitchen.
I get Ada’s bath ready and Kevin takes out the kitchen garbage and the recycling, grabs the other garbage bag I put out, and takes them all to the curb for tomorrow’s garbage pick-up.
I bathe Ada, and she is not a fan of the bath tonight. She is actually pretty grumpy and cries quite a bit. I think she must be tired.
I put lotion on Ada after the bath, get her into her pajamas, and wrap her swaddle around her. I nurse Ada while Kevin bathes Fiona and reads her a book in the bath.
Kevin helps Fiona brush her teeth, then they go into Fiona’s room with Pono. Kevin reads her another book. Ada and I join them when Ada finishes nursing, and Ada falls asleep while Kevin reads. We sing Fiona her good-night songs and then Kevin goes out of the room to refill Fiona’s water. While he’s out, I swear Ada laughs and smiles in her sleep!
We tuck Fiona in when Kevin comes back and Fiona tells us, “I won’t get out of my bed!” She says this every night because that’s what we told her for months and months. She used to immediately get out of her bed when we left the room after tucking her in. We still haven’t transitioned her to a big girl bed. That was going to be a project during my maternity leave, but then a pandemic got in the way…
Both Fiona and Ada are in bed. Whoo hoo!
I gather coronavirus stress snacks and read my book for a while.
I check my work e-mail and see I missed an important one from Monday regarding my Health Savings Account. I will have to make a call tomorrow.
I get ready for bed.
I dream feed Ada with a bottle, but she only drinks 1 ounce.
Ada is stirring, so I dream feed her another ounce from the bottle and go back to bed. As always, I hope she sleeps a solid six or seven hours after this dream feed before she wakes up for the day. I crawl back into bed to get as much shut-eye as possible.
*Epilogue: Tonight is not my night. Ada wakes up again at 12:25 a.m., 3:30 a.m., and 4:30 a.m. Kevin does the 3:30 feeding and I don’t even bother trying to go back to bed after the 4:30 wake-up. One day I’ll sleep again, but that day is not today!
It’s been three weeks since I recorded this day and it’s amazing to me how different our lives are now. First of all, I’m getting a lot more sleep at night and haven’t had to nap to catch up on sleep in a few days. Also, we don’t go to the community forest lands anymore, even though the trails are open. I am still working on my postpartum recovery and we figure the flatter trails are probably clogged with people. Instead, we go on neighborhood walks and don’t stray too far from home as a way to heed our state’s stay home order. It will be interesting to see how much our lives change in the next three weeks when my maternity leave ends and I officially return to work (from home). I will get to join the ranks of other joint work from home/stay at home mothers during the pandemic and then I will truly understand all the memes that have been floating around social media!