I have found a great use for all of those vacation days I have to burn. I can coordinate with Paul’s schedule for grad school.

He had to drive about an hour away for an in-person session last weekend, meaning I’d be on my own with Charlie for basically the entire evening, which I can handle–we’ve both left each other to hold down the fort for a few hours at a time, and I had all of election day on my own when Paul worked the polls. But I knew I’d feel a little more focused and present if I didn’t work eight hours then go straight into an evening without help, so I took the day off and had a good day of alternating between taking care of and playing with Charlie and reading and watching Netflix and such.

We stayed home that weekend, doing little more than running errands.

This weekend, I headed out Friday night to pick up a gifts for a baby shower. I am still very much against people holding any kind of event right now, but a drive-by option was offered and I’d be sending a gift whether I took them up on that or not. So I made a trip for that, threw in an iced coffee, picked up Taco Bell for Paul on my way home, and that was that. That’s my version of “me time” as a new parent during a pandemic.

I should note, though, that aside from maybe a couple hours to read or stream something (Liar through AMC+ at the moment), I don’t feel like I need any alone time or a break or anything like that. I don’t judge those who do. It’s more like I don’t want someone to think, “Oh, how sad, running errands and getting Starbucks in the process is all she has for herself,” when not only is that not the case but even if it were, I’d honestly be okay with it.

The shower was Saturday, and we visited with Paul’s parents first, plus Julie, who made the trip down from Erie and made one of her favorite Hello Fresh recipes for us all for lunch. It certainly won me over. I struggle with figuring out what to eat for dinner, and I am more than happy to have found an easy, fairly healthy meal I can add to my week.

Part of the appeal of the drive-by shower slot was I felt comfortable taking Charlie, so he finally got to meet a few of Paul’s cousins, two of his aunts, and the other new baby in the family, and one of the aunts gave us a gift of a super cute raincoat and outfit for Charlie that’ll probably get much use next spring. Although we were there before the official start, we ended up lingering long enough that the official guests started coming in, and after being sent with haluski and cookies–plus taking pictures with the current babies.

We made a quick stop at the mall on our way home for some Snoopy planters my mom found online, and I happened to accidentally stumble upon a baby activity scarf in the process. My mom and I both have given them as gifts before, and I’ve been wanting one but don’t see them in many stores and even online searches didn’t turn up much. It’s a scarf with toys for baby on the ends, like a mirror, textured fabrics, and so on. It would probably get the most use if we were going out, like to restaurants or if we were churchgoers, but I still liked the option to have something like that to easily entertain him. And I’ve already gotten good use out of it at home.

On Sunday, we celebrated my mom’s birthday two days early with takeout, presents, cake, and, of course, time with both of her grandkids. It was a nice visit.

Meanwhile, I’ve been making progress on getting the house a little more in order. With new shelves in the side room, we’ve ditched the smaller ones. In their place, we’ve added a bench and shelves. The unit I found is a little smaller than I expected, but it’ll do what I want it to–it’s a space for people to sit and put on/take off shoes, with little cubbies for said shoes underneath and a small set of drawers on the left. The drawers are housing things like candles and wax for my various burners, plus winter gear like gloves and scarves. There’s an odd built-in shelf, for lack of a better word, mounted on the wall, and I say that because it’s sort of two intersecting squares that have absolutely no real function other than holding a few small knickknacks, but I think they look old and dumb and even though I have a few things on them, I don’t think they provide any real function. So at some point, they’re gonna come down, and I’m thinking of mounting a coat rack in their place. Floating shelves would be great, too, but I think I’m gonna have to pick one or the other. Both will look too busy.

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