Staying Sane This Summer

August 31, 2020, Hailey Cain

It’s safe to say that summertime has looked a little different this year. And not all of the changes this summer are COVID-19 related, because we’re also adjusting to our first summer with a new baby in the house.

Normally, we’d be spending the summer swimming at the lake, taking day trips to the coast, or having dinner with family and friends. Delilah’s still too little for full day trips at the lake without somewhere to take her out of the direct sunlight, plus the deep water is too cold for her to play in. And travel or gathering with friends isn’t recommended, of course.

Even downtime at home this summer is something I’ve had to adjust to. Typically, I would have the house to myself during the day and I would take advantage of that time to do chores without anyone in my way. Now everyone is always home, all the time and it has taken some adjustment by everyone. So, we’ve tried to find ways to have some fun at home and keep us from going crazy, or driving each other crazy!

Going For Walks

Ever since we got home from California, Delilah and I have been going on walks in our neighborhood in the mornings before it gets too hot. I had been wanting to go on walks with Delilah for a while to get her out of the house more, but I always find a reason not to – it was too hot already, she needed a nap, it was too close to time to feed her again, etc.

It took a little practice to get it worked into our routine but our morning walks have actually helped make our mornings go a bit smoother. We usually take a morning walk right after she has her solid food breakfast in the morning. Depending on how long it takes me to get out the door, she sometimes has a bottle before we leave and on most days she’s fast asleep before we even get to the end of our street. It’s been perfect for this time, instead of using her nap time as a reason not to walk. The walk helps her fall asleep and it’s taken some stress out of the morning routine.

Exploring Hobbies

I have a lot of hobbies and this time at home has been great for working on them! From time to time I get bored with my hobbies and want to work on something else. Usually I bounce back and forth between crocheting, knitting, sewing, reading, jewelry making, and occasionally dungeons and dragons.

Recently I have been sticking to crocheting because I can do it while relaxing in bed or while holding Delilah during her naps (we’re still working on getting her to nap in her crib). But I was getting a little bored with it so I decided to practice making earrings. I pulled out all my supplies and spent an entire day sorting beads and then finding an excuse to go to Hobby Lobby to buy more beads. It has been a lot of fun working on some old hobbies again although nothing beats crocheting because I can do it from almost anywhere.

Hobbies are important because parents need time to reconnect with themselves, especially moms with little babies. It can be so helpful for us to spend a bit of time on a hobby that is just for us.

Getting Creative With Baby Food

Another hobby I love is cooking so this time at home has been such an amazing opportunity to get really creative with Delilah’s baby food. We’ve had so much fun as a family going out to the farmers markets to find all the different fruits and vegetables we can make for her. It has also been so cool to take fresh produce like green beans and zucchini that we grew in our own garden and turn it into baby food for her.

Now that she’s gotten used to solid foods we’ve also had a lot of fun coming up with different combinations for her baby food and she has had just as much fun eating them. Joshua even teased me a few times for trying to layer the flavors in her baby food by making a baby food version of blackberry crisp. I tried putting blackberries on the bottom and cinnamon oatmeal on top and I swear it smelled just like blackberry crisp baking in the oven!

In my defense I saw ads for gourmet baby food delivery services online and figured I could make them just as good myself. Next, we are going to try using whipped coconut milk as a mock whipped cream with bananas, to make a banana cream pie baby food. If it comes out good I might have to make a big enough batch for me to snack on some too!