We’ve been in Colorado for about two months now. It seems like we’ve been here forever, but it also feels like we just got here.
It took me a good month to feel recovered from the trip out here. That trip took a lot out of me. And as soon as we got here, the movers dumped all of our stuff in our house and we had to start unpacking. We didn’t really get a break between the trip and unpacking.
Now, the house is good enough – there aren’t boxes everywhere, the kitchen and bedrooms are set up, and we know where everything is. But we still have a lot of stuff in the basement to go through. Our closets and guest room also need to be organized. I think that this week, Nick and I will work on the closets and guest room and then we’ll leave the basement for last.
People keep asking me what I think about Colorado. To be honest, I’m not sure. I don’t like how dry it is here. My skin always hurts because it’s so dry here. I miss how perfectly humid Hawaii is! Because of the altitude, the sun is also really strong, which is nice in the winter but not great overall.
But I haven’t really been out and about enough to get a pulse on life here. We don’t go to restaurants or anything like that. The only places we go now are playgrounds and parks. Luckily, Colorado has some gorgeous parks.
The past two weeks, it’s been too cold to take M out. But before that, I had gotten into a routine where on day per week, I would take her to a new park or playground that we hadn’t been to yet before. We’ve been to some really beautiful places and I am looking forward to doing some trailer camping when it gets warmer.
It’s been difficult to adjust to a new routine here in Colorado because Nick’s work schedule changed drastically. He has a lot more responsibilities in this new job, so he has more meetings and longer hours. Luckily, he works 100% of the time from home! So no commute. He can be playing with M one minute and then downstairs starting his day the next. The time saved in commuting has helped a lot.
But we’ve made a few changes that seem to be working as we get into our groove. I think I shared before that for the past year, we had been eating pretty much the same things every week. Now that M is older and is eating what we eat, I want her to get more variety in her diet. So that routine won’t work anymore.
She is also old enough to hang out in this kitchen helper I scored for free from someone in our neighborhood. She LOVES being in it! I either give her something to do, like books or play food or crayons, or I try to get her involved in whatever I am doing, like helping me make a salad.
She enjoys tasting whatever I am cooking, which is awesome because I feel like it’s gotten her to try so many more new foods.
I feel like it’s a lot easier to get things done like cooking and cleaning now that she can entertain herself a bit or “help.” So, I’ve been experimenting a bit with different recipes.
I’ve been doing a lot of meal prep in the mornings while M hangs out in the kitchen tower. It makes the evenings a lot smoother to just be able to pop it in the oven. I’ve also been trying to make sure that whatever I cook has enough leftovers for at least one more meal. Nick got inspired by my experimenting and started doing some meal prepping on the weekends, too, which is nice. He has been making some awesome stuff.
Nick and I used to have a routine where on Saturdays, we would take turns hanging out with M and cleaning. One of us would clean half the house, and the other would hang out with M. And then we would switch. Now Nick often works in the mornings on the weekend and is just working a lot more. So I’ve been trying to take on the cleaning and laundry to make it more fair. When M was younger, I felt like I could not get anything done when I was with her. Now that she’s older, I’ve gotten into a nice cleaning routine where M helps me.
Now that we don’t have to clean on Saturdays, we still take some turns having alone time on Saturdays. It’s so good for me because I can crochet, read, work on my blog – do whatever I want for a nice block of time. And I think it’s good for Nick to have alone time with M.
As sad as I was to see her move out of babyhood and into toddlerhood, she’s so much fun right now. I feel like every age she’s at is the best age! And it’s so fun to have her help me clean or just see her be able to play independently while I clean. I really want to teach her how to play on her own and help her become independent. I love when she helps me with laundry or cleaning or whatever and gets so excited about it.
So now, one day we meal prep, one day we bake, one day we clean, one day we go somewhere new, and the other day I usually try to do a big sensory activity or just do whatever. Having a bit of a loose schedule has helped me mentally a lot. We made scones last week and they turned out pretty good.
I also recently got a jogging stroller! It was another free find. I’ve only gotten to take M in it a few times because of the weather, but it’s just another fun thing we can to together. And it’s so good for my mental health when I workout. I started another routine where I do 20 minutes of yoga as soon as she goes down for a nap. This way, I make sure to get it in, no matter how short her nap is. I’ve been making my mental health a priority because otherwise I will struggle.
I have been saying this entire pandemic that I feel extremely lucky to be quarantined with Nick and M. They are two people I can’t get sick of. I love hanging out with both of them, but it’s been a bit lonely and isolating here having no friends and family around.
I’m really looking forward to things getting better as more people get vaccinated. I want to do all of the things I didn’t get to do with M throughout the pandemic. I want to take her to the zoo and the aquarium. I want to have play dates and make new friends. I want people to come visit us and I want to go visit people.
But I’m also trying to be grateful for everything we have. M and I are BFFS. We do everything together. I love that we can just hang out in our pajamas all morning. I love that we don’t have anywhere we have to be. I’ve been trying to come up with lots of different activities for us to to together to help stimulate her, and I actually really enjoy thinking of and making them and seeing her enjoy them.
I am completely ready for this pandemic to be over and for life to go back to normal, but I know lucky and privileged we are. We have so many pandemic privileges – housing and food security, job security, healthcare, Nick working from home, being able to get groceries and whatever else we need delivered, our health, a private backyard, having workout equipment at home…… I’m grateful.