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A birth, a wedding, and a funeral

It was an emotional week. On Saturday we began our day by learning that my sister-in-law had delivered her first child! So exciting! Then I whisked the kids off to the farmer’s market where we picked up some fruit and flowers.

That afternoon, we virtually attended a wedding. I got a little dressed up and armed with the flowers we watched the ceremony. I’m super thrilled to see my friend so happy, and really wish we could have traveled to Philadelphia to be a part of the wedding as originally planned. Still, I’m glad that in spite of the pandemic, we were able to “be there” at least a little to show our love and support. It sure did make for a whirlwind of emotions though.

We then received very sad news that an elderly relative was quite ill. She subsequently passed away on Thursday. As is Jewish tradition, her funeral was scheduled for today, and I can’t begin to describe how unsettling it is to be here, instead of scrambling to get on a plane and fly to Philadelphia for the funeral. My heart goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one during this pandemic, it’s heartbreaking to not be able to say goodbye in person, or to get the closure that a funeral helps provide.

In an attempt to get my mind off the emotional roller coaster, I’m focusing on other house projects. MJ installed some deadbolt covers on the doors to the outside so Adam can’t get outside on his own. He also got the gate at the top of the stairs installed so Adam can have slightly more freedom upstairs without us worrying that he’ll go downstairs alone. As mentioned in my last post, I did manage to get my desk cleaned out and prepared for work. Our next big project together is cleaning out MJ’s office, since he may need to use it, and it would be a good backup option for me to take conference calls or do presentations while Aaron is napping.

As the conclusion of my maternity leave is in sight, I’m happy to report that everything that needed to be done before my return was done. So even though my adult to-do list never really nears completion, I am in a good spot. Once I return, I really will have to start letting things go more, especially when it comes to the house being more cluttered than I’d like. Even with the kids being cared for while I’m at work, as soon as 5PM rolls around I’m scooping them up for dinner, playtime, bath time and bedtime, then doing chores before adult dinner. It makes for exhausting days that leave little time for other things, and I really do need other things for sanity! So maybe the boxes will pile up in the living room a bit more, or I’ll have to mop the floor less frequently and go a bit longer before doing laundry.

I’ve also prepared several places around the house for me to work as I’m still sharing my home office with baby Aaron until his sleep gets to a more stable place and he can share a room with Adam. If my office is unavailable, I have a table on the deck, a table upstairs, the couch downstairs, a big fluffy chair in the master bedroom, and even a comfy spot near Caligula by the downstairs fireplace. Work aside, it’s been fun cultivating these spots anyway, with public places still out of the question, it’s good to have a change of scenery now and then when I want to go study, read, or get some project work done on my laptop.

I also got to spend some genuinely fun time with the boys. Our back yard is not beautiful, but with a new fence and the old broken parts of fence gone, it is a bit safer back there now and I’m more comfortable taking the boys out to play back there (well, Adam plays, Aaron is still so little!). I’m also trying to find more toys that a two year old can play with out back. Sand boxes seem popular, but I know I’d struggle to cope with the mess. Water tables are popular too, maybe once it’s warmer outside. I bought a bubble gun, bean bag toss game, and some little truck toys, and so far the novelty of those are keeping him busy for a few minutes at a time.

Several things are wearing on me as I look at the coming weeks. After the initial excitement and acceptance, Adam is struggling with not being the sole recipient of attention when there’s only one caregiver around to care for both him and little Aaron. So we’re working on strategies to make sure he doesn’t melt down so often or severely. We also decided to tackle potty training while I’m on maternity leave, which by all metrics is going very well, but it’s still been an exhausting process for everyone involved. With COVID travel restrictions, there is also some uncertainty around the arrival date of our next au pair. Thankfully there are emergency care options at work, so we won’t be in a total bind if the delays we fear do occur.

Passover begins tomorrow night. It’ll be our second pandemic Passover spent entirely at home. Doing holidays at home, especially ones that are so social, has been a pretty sad part of this pandemic. Still, MJ’s picking up our catered Passover meal today and we’re going to make the most of it here with our little family. There is also a light at the end of the tunnel with all this pandemic stuff. Vaccine availability is increasing, and more places are opening in limited ways. While it will be some time before the little ones can be vaccinated, things will continue to get safer for all of us with few people who can spread it. Maybe we’ll even be able to spend Hanukkah with our family back east this year.