Hello from COVID 19 quarantine central!
I’ve been trying to share a Jack update for MONTHS, and I’ve rewritten draft after draft that have been discarded, so I am just starting from scratch. Our sweet child is a bright light through all the darkness that is enveloping the world, and it is absolute insanity that he is a full 18 months. 1.5 years old!
One takeaway from parenthood that has made the biggest impact on me is to not get too comfortable. Enjoy all the things, but know that things will change. This can be good for the stages that bring certain challenges, but harder to stomach when all of a sudden those two beautiful 1.5 hour naps turn into one nap that is met with a lot of toddler opinions.
A little about where we are at—
Schedule (adjusted for COVID 19 quarantine 2020):
0700-0900 wake up, have breakfast, change clothes, brush teeth/wash face, take Professor out for a walk. We have been getting out early before it gets too hot.
0900 Continue playing outside. Take a nature walk around the block. Eat a snack! Trying to get in a snack early, because any later and Jack wants to eat a bigger snack that ruins his lunch.
1000-1030 snack time! Read books, play inside
1030-1145 help mama around the house doing chores, play soccer, play with Professor, prep lunch
1200 eat lunch!
1300-1500 nap (in my dreams, Jack would take a 2 hour nap, but it is usually barely an hour)
1500-1530: eat a snack, free play indoors
1530-1645: play outdoors/help mama prep dinner
1700 dinner time!
1745-1815: free play!
1815 bath, jammies, read, milk, brush teeth, prayers, sing songs
1900 bedtime! (We move his bedtime early if he wakes up before 3pm. Lately, Jack has been going to bed at 6pm)
How COVID-19 has changed our routine:
We are missing things like grocery shopping, Target runs (I had just recently in February let Jack play in the toy section at Target, and he had a lot of fun), playing at the play ground (we did this almost everyday. We scored the neighborhood jackpot by living walking distance to the playground), visiting the library, running around Northpark, story time at Northpark, meeting with friends, play dates, playing at CAMP, visiting the arboretum (We had just gotten a membership and cannot wait to use it again). We were planning to start Jack in a 2 day a week school in May, but now we are postponing until we feel comfortable sending him and when all kids are back in school. We were also planning to sign Jack up for swim lessons, but the same thing applies.
We so far have missed our Easter egg hunt that we were looking forward to, a baby shower, and my parents visiting due to the quarantine.
I haven’t written in a while, so I’m going to jot down some previous milestones that I never documented. Jack started walking at 13 months while we were visiting my family in Lake Charles for Thanksgiving. In the weeks following, his comprehension started skyrocketing. My mom and I discovered that Jack knew where his nose was and he could close his eyes on command, and we were so excited! Haha.
Currently, Jack walks and runs well. The running still scares me because he often trips over his own feet because he wants to go fast.
He doesn’t really climb into the couch, but he just started sliding down himself. He loves doing squats, and his booty is pure muscle.
Jack started talking more a few weeks ago when he was 16 months. Before that, he would sometimes say mama, but nothing consistent. He now says mama, dada, and a handful of other words including his favorite: “mail man.”
In sign language, he can say more, please, thank you, milk, eat. It’s so fun to see the progression with his signs and how much better he can control his fingers and hands as he gets older.
He follows funny commands like “turn around in a circle” or “do a squat” or “bend your knees.” He has been playing pretend with his stuffed animals for a while and will “walk” his dog Valentino, feed him water, give hugs and kisses, and put his friends down for night night.
Loves: Jack loves vehicles—he has a school bus that is was obsessed with and he played with it so much, it broke. He loves cars, trucks, and anything with wheels. He loves to read, and loves to dance. His favorite is wheels on the bus and 5 little monkey’s. He loves waving to everyone and watching the mailman drive by. We take a lot of walks around the block and Jack also loves to ride in his stroller around the park.
Dislikes: naps, diaper changes, sitting down in the bathtub for bath time, brushing his teeth (Yet he let his Auntie T (Trang!) brush them perfectly when she visited. She is a dentist, and he was showing off!). The teeth brushing has recently gotten better because we have made up a song that he dances to about brushing, and it’s helping him keep his mouth open for us to help.
Sleep: Jack started dropping his second nap around January, and his daytime sleep has since become inconsistent. At the beginning of April, Jack adjusted himself by waking up around 7am versus 5am. I didn’t do anything differently, didn’t change his nap, etc. It just happened, and I am not questioning it, or getting too comfortable with it because again, kids change daily. He went through what we are calling sleep regression around 16 months (right around the time change/quarantine) where he would look scared when we put him down for bedtime and shake his head no. He also didn’t want us to sing our usual bedtime songs. That lasted about a week, and then he started loving bedtime again. Now his naps. This sweet child needs a nap, but for the past few weeks, when I work and Yung’s parents watch him, he hasn’t been napping consistently. This only happens 1-2x/week because I’ve been coming home early. On the days that I am home, his nap on average 1 hour, but he had a 30 min one the other day. For a few weeks, Jack was napping mainly in the car, but thankfully, I think we are past that.
Eating: Jack eats roughly 3 meals and 2 snacks. He drinks milk (pea protein or oat milk) with breakfast, and I offer it before his nap and bedtime. I would define him as picky. It helps if he sees you eat something first, and he is more likely to try it, but a lot of times, he puts it in his mouth, and spits it out shortly after. He loves fruit, red beans and sausage, noodles (with soy sauce and sesame oil. he is an Asian baby. He does not like spaghetti), chicken nuggets, brown rice and kale, and packaged snacks (of course. I try to bake him healthy things so we aren’t turning to these too much). I do feel like I’m struggling with variety, but hopefully that will get better and better.
We can tell that Jack is growing taller because he can now reach books from his lowest wall shelf with ease, and he has fun taking them out and putting them back. It’s so cute to watch him discover new things each day and see the joy and pride in his eyes when he accomplishes something all by himself. His zest for life is also met with stubbornness, which certainly makes our life interesting.
In other news, our lives came to a halt about a month ago. It was Wednesday, March 11th. I brought Jack to the mall to have brunch with friends and I had dinner with a friend that night. I hadn’t had any kind of friend outing since December, so it was totally meant to be that it was my last day of normalcy. Jack had one last go at running around Northpark, an activity that we had recently grown to love, and we had just gone to the arboretum and zoo as a family the weekend before. The very next day, I had a haircut scheduled for after Jack went to bed, but he was going through his sleep regression, so that plus the fear novel fear of COVID-19 made me cancel that appointment, and now my hair is destined to be in a bun for the foreseeable future. The very next week, I was assigned to see only sick patients and eventually when they became available, start COVID-19 testing behind our building in a drive through line.
Despite all the heaviness, we seek joy in the little things, are grateful for technology and video chatting, and are literally taking this hour by hour. It took me a month to catch up with all of my charts at work, and I feel like I am now able to move on and take care of things better at home, and maybe read a new book or do some weeding. The previous owners of our house left us with the most gorgeous landscaping that is begging for some TLC. Hoping to also start some fun activities with Jack and compile a list of snack recipes we have tried and share them here. I am also working on being okay with not doing anything and taking life slower.
Yung and I have been having more movie nights on the couch and watching a lot more TV than usual. Of everything we have watched, I would recommend The Morning Show and Little Fires Everywhere.
Next up! I do want to get organized with all of Jack’s recipes and I want to go on a cleaning spree. I just learned that you are supposed to deep clean your clothes washer and there are filters that I didn’t know existed that need to be cleaned.. I’m sure our dryer and dishwasher could use a good cleaning as well. Grateful to be adulting, but most of the time, I just want to sit on the couch and eat string cheese.
Sending you love and peace, Connie