Pandemic Musings

It was my intention to have make posts regularly this year and I have really had a lot to say but I have been overwhelmed and overwrought often all at once. This pandemic has made me an emotional basket case and there have been two events this year that I will mention that brought me to tears.

RIP Chris

The first one was the brutal slaying of the homeless persons downtown. That morning as I heard the news, my first thought was “I hope Christopher was not one of them”. As I drove home that evening, I looked for him at his regular spot, which was near where the bodies were found, but I did not see him. I was optimistic and thought he just was not around at the time. There had been other evenings where I did not see him. The following day I got the news that he was in fact one of the persons who had died, and I cried. I am not sure if his real name was Christopher but one evening when I had stopped at the light at the intersection of East Street and East Queen Street, as was his usual custom he asked me for money. This time he told me that his name was Christopher and that he needed the money because he had an interview the next day. He handed him some money and smiled. He was not one of the brash ones. He begged without the expectation of some that you were somehow indebted to them and who thought that if you said you didn’t have it to give you were lying. He was always well dressed, clean, did not intimidate and was very pleasant. I have spent quite a bit of time doing the same commute and along the way there have been sights that become familiar, licence plates you realize you see most mornings, some you see both in the mornings and in the evenings, and people too…. like Chris. I give to persons in need as much as I am able to but seeing persons in need not only makes me sad it makes me angry too. It makes me angry because I think we can do better as a country to take care of our most vulnerable people – persons with disabilities (mental, developmental, physical), the homeless, older persons, at risk youth, and the list goes on. We have much to say in crises and when horrible things happen but in no time all is forgotten and its back to “out of sight, out of mind”. We all need to be a little kinder. Think about if the shoe was on the other foot. Think about why people do the things they do and less about the act and respond to that. We all are human and need the same basic things. It’s only the “how we get them” that differs.


So the second thing was us getting our first shipment of coronavirus vaccines and having my mom get an appointment to get hers. Over the past year I have been afraid to visit my parents because I fear being asymptomatic and giving it to them. I have been to see them but with each visit comes the worry and I don’t stop worrying until an incubation period has passed since I visited and they are ok. And I know they could get it somewhere else but it would be devastating if I was the one who gave it to them since they both have co-morbidities. I worry about my dad because I think if he gets sick and hospitalized he will not be able to survive isolation. I worry about my mom because she has more than one health issue, one which can be debilitating enough at times and I do not even want to imagine that plus COVID. So I cried because the truth is physically my hands have taken the brunt of this pandemic but the mental strain has been the worst and I just can’t wait to start worrying less about the people I love. I am getting ready to celebrate my kid’s second birthday during this pandemic and even though he will not be able to appreciate it, the best birthday present would be having all his people get at least their first shot.

Have you ever had a COVID test?

Over the last few weeks the number of cases of COVID-19 have been rising uncomfortably in Jamaica. So much so, as a result, I finally got what I consider to be my most decent work from home arrangement so far during this whole ordeal. Because of the pandemic I have been avoiding going to the doctor’s office because I expect that the possibility of someone there being ill with COVID is higher than the other places I frequent because, well, sick people go to the doctor and they will quite possibly be symptomatic. I haven’t been to the doctor since last year and this was earlier on in the pandemic. I had some issues I wanted to go in to see him about but I decided I could live with them. Fast forward to last week. I had been having an issue for a few days and on Thursday it had gotten worse so I decided to bite the bullet and go in on Friday. Because of what it was, out of an abundance of caution, he sent me to do a rapid COVID test. I was actually in the office that day and had told everyone I was just going for an appointment and then coming back. I did not get the test result at the same time so he advised me to go home and wait for the result. The nasal swab itself was just a little uncomfortable for me and nothing to write home about, but everyone has his own experience. I overheard one man saying it was going up into his eye LOL. I got my test results that afternoon and I was negative so I’ve since been back to regularly scheduled programming.

Staying connected

COVID 19 has meant that I have not been running into persons because I happen to be in the same building and can catch up, visits and plans for in person meetups have been placed on pause. Then I overthink everything so before getting in touch I wonder if someone is busy mothering, working from home, home schooling and then once the day is over I wonder if they are too exhausted to talk, cause I sure am. Then I spend the weekend running after my kid and yes there are texts that can be answered whenever and I have done those but the quality of my exchanges with friends has tanked especially in the last month or so but I plan to get back on the wagon, I do.

An email may suffice

Watched this video today and just thought I will share with you my readers. If you take nothing else away (and that first part should be a given so if it isn’t for you, please take that away), ask yourself this, will an email suffice?

Love and light…


Happy New Year…

To put it simply, last year was difficult. The cumulative impact of all the things that happened plus all the things that did not happen because of the one big thing that did happen (the COVID 19 pandemic) took its toll. I survived 2020 and that is my accomplishment for the year.

The year started with much hope and optimism as the year usually does. I even made a post about not shrinking but shrink I did. Perhaps it was an attempt to diminish my body’s surface area leaving less areas for the coronavirus to invade or latch onto. Though I learned some things, the exponential growth that I had been planning for did not happen. What I did learn was to be kinder/gentler with myself. I was more aware of the things that really matter, the things that I should give prominence in my mind. I suffered from PTSD. I realized that I was stronger than I knew. I grew my faith. I decided to be more open and share my stories more, even with total strangers. I will share some of my stories here.

A little after the pandemic hit Jamaica’s shores, my toddler’s surgeon advised that she recommended that he have surgery for his tongue-tie. At the time, because of COVID, the hospital was not allowing elective surgeries. So we waited for her to get back to us. Eventually this moratorium was lifted. My husband and I decided to go ahead with the surgery. Of course I was filled with trepidation. It was not a heart transplant but things can go wrong. Things go wrong all the time for surgeries that are considered routine. He had blood drawn, we shared the trauma. We met with the anesthesiologist a few days before surgery after googling him of course. This helped a little, he was experienced and our little bug seemed to like him. Surgery went well and we survived the experience. As a first time parent the lessons, that no matter how much you try to prevent your child from experiencing pain you won’t be able to, have come hard and fast but I still haven’t learnt them.

One of the hardest parts of living through this pandemic has been not being able to see family. My sister lives overseas and I haven’t seen her since 2019. We had made plans to visit at Easter but that was not able to be realized. The country in which she lives was placed on lock down for many months and even with its limited opening later in the year, it was not feasible to travel in either direction due to quarantine and re-entry requirements. Yes, we speak or video chat and have kept up with each other’s lives but it is not the same as seeing each other in the flesh. The pandemic has taken away so much – lives and livelihoods, some sanity but it is often the little things that break us. One of those little things for me was regular mail to my sister. I had gotten her something small for her birthday in November and I put it in the card from her nephew that he had “signed” himself and made my way to the post office. Because her country was on lock down, no regular mail was being sent there. I would have had to pay much more than the actual value of the item I was sending just to get it to her. I was deflated. We instead settled for a virtual opening so she could see the card and gift.

My parents live in another parish on the other end of the island. When Jamaica recorded its first case, my mom was actually with me but she went home later that week. My biggest fear throughout all of this has not been getting the virus myself but getting it and giving it to someone else and having them not make it. I did not see my parents for many weeks and then my parish was placed on lock down. Eventually I would bring myself to go and see them while filled with fear. The pandemic also took away our son’s first birthday party which we ended up hosting virtually while we were still on lock down.

Near the end of the year I hosted a virtual fika with gal pals. A Christmas tea party was on my to do list for 2020 but that turned into the virtual fika. One of the activities we did was to fill out a gratitude worksheet. I had adapted it from the Thanksgiving worksheet below from Real Simple. In it I wrote that I wish I hadn’t spent so much time in hospitals which brings me to the event that had the most impact on me in 2020.

My husband is a diabetic. He has been since university. He has been a diabetic since before I met him and he has never had an episode of diabetic shock. All that changed early one Monday morning. I woke to a weird “snoring” sound from him. It sounded as if he was under the water. I tried to wake him up but he was unresponsive and then started convulsing. The sheets were wet and there was blood coming out of his mouth. I ran to the next room and called my brother in law. We turned him on his side and he called his cousin who is a doctor who told us to get him to the hospital NOW. He tried to get an ambulance. The ambulance service closest to us did not have an ambulance. While we were waiting I asked God to let him wake up and thought to myself that I was going to become a widow during the pandemic and ironically it would not be because of COVID. At some point, because I cannot remember the chain of events, our my BIL called our neighbour and he came over. I think it was after my husband regained consciousness. He had trouble speaking at first and after giving him something sweet to drink he improved. Eventually we got an ambulance and we persuaded him that him going to the hospital was non-negotiable and he went with my BIL driving behind the ambulance. Long story short, the private hospital which our cousin had recommended that we take him said they couldn’t while they were en route. He ended up at UHWI and ended up spending the night there under observation in A&E. He was well taken care of and after many tests and checks, they cleared him to go home the next day. I spent many nights after that not being able to sleep, waking him up just to make sure he was ok and listening extra keenly to breathing sounds that seemed out of the ordinary.

It was some weeks after that that I had resigned myself to needing therapy because I did not think I was coping well with everything. I powered through (please note that if you need therapy you should get it) and while I am not precluding having to have therapy or needing to get something prescribed at some other time, I managed to survive. The whole experience allowed me to empathize with an insta stranger turned friend who was going through something similar.

I have started my 2021 slowly. I have plans and I have made lists of things to do but I know that now is not the time for pressure. Now is the time for some introspection and planning. What 2020 took away in activity it gave back in vision. I am now being more mindful of the things I put my energy in. It has wittled away the fluff and the really important things are front and centre. I am taking one day at a time.

Here’s wishing you a happy new year and may all your dreams be realized. As you go through 2021, there is something I would like you to know/remember. There are some people who are not your people. No matter how much you would like them to be your people, they will never be your people. Be kind always but never forget that they are not your people.

Love and light.

Never Settle

I survived 8 more days of quarantine since my last post which included one visit to the supermarket. I was trying t be strategic about my visit. I decided that I would go early to get in as soon they opened but JoBear decided that he was going to sleep late so that plan had to be scrapped. I decided on another course on action. Go in the middle of the day when it is hotter with the hope that because of the temperature not man people would be there at that time.

When I arrived at the supermarket, there was a line so I joined it. Only to realize afterwards that they were handing out numbers. The person handing out the numbers was seated at the entrance to the supermarket, expecting you to read his mind so that you know that you should retrieve a number, since if you see a line your instinct is to just join it which is what I did. This meant that persons who arrived after me got numbers ahead of mine and went into the supermarket before me. Even though there was a line, it was not one of those stretch around the block kind of lines so the wait was not that long. I stood in the sun with my trusty mini umbrella from H&M. It is small enough to hold in my cross body bag and gives just enough sun protection. It has become one of my can’t live without items during this pandemic. More info to follow on this.

I went back to work the day after the quarantine period ended. On the one hand I was glad to be getting out of the house. But on the other hand I was afraid that this was going to be it. The virus was going to find me, once I set foot outside.

Sometimes the universe throws us curve balls. We may never understand why all the time, but they come. I had one such thrown my way last Friday. Long story short, my purse and phone were stolen from my desk at my office. Yes you read that correctly… from my office. Sometimes, truth is in fact stranger than fiction. The thief made off with all my bank cards, id, trn card, and some other items, as well as some cash.  I cancelled what needed to be cancelled, but not before having one of those conversations with NCB where I get exasperated.

Monday started pleasantly enough but things started going downhill as I made my way to Scotiabank to get a replacement debit card. First I went to Cross Roads and it was closed. I headed to Oxford Road and I was optimistic about things as the parking lot was nearly full of cars. After I parked and walked in I realized that they were not in fact open. So I headed to Liguanea. There was a long line but I was asked to join a line for non-cash transactions which was not very long. After 2 hours of waiting in the hot sun with my trusty H&M brollie, and not moving an inch while seeing persons just walk up to the door and be let in, it was time for drastic measures. For those of you reading this who know me, you would probably say I am the quiet one, I speak softly and you may never have heard me raise my voice. I shouted at the rep, i asked for the manager, I stood my ground and refused to be brushed off. This got me in the door shortly after and I managed to complete my transaction and get a new card.

One card replaced, many more to go. I am being optimistic and thinking that the contents of my purse, will be recovered, before I go and stand in any other long lines. I hope that the thief needed the money more than I do and that it was not used for frivolous things.

I don’t usually get too attached to material things, but I am disappointed that this was how my relationship with my One Plus Three ended. I got this phone in 2016. I was in the process of scientific inquiry trying to determine just how long it would last under moderate use. Lately it had seemed to be losing its charge a little quicker than normally but otherwise it was fine. I was even going to get a new case. It was in my amazon cart and everything. This was the longest I had ever had a phone, possibly including those indestructible ones of yesteryear. I dropped it many times without fear. It would fall and people would gasp and I would drop it again so they would see that I did not have anything to worry about and I have also been trying to live by the tagline “Never Settle”.

These few weeks have been a trip and there were a few lessons learnt:

  1. There are other things to worry about other than Covid-19, like getting robbed.
  2. While this pandemic continues and the measures put in place continue to be observed, it doesn’t hurt to have a small, light brollie for those long waits in line.
  3. Never Settle for mediocre customer service.
  4. Sometimes shouting helps.
  5. Don’t forget what is most important. In most cases, it is not things.





Quarantine Days 5, 6 ,7 and 8 and Happy Birthday!

I hope you have not taken the radio silence during my time in quarantine to mean that I got COVID-19. That my exercise out to obtain the necessities of life may have done me in. That is not the case. I have just been a little busy and was not able to write.

Day 5

Went to virtual church. The thing that I have found during this corona period is that it is easy to forget to show up for virtual events. If I don’t have a reminder in my phone, I will not be showing up.

My essential worker hubby had to go to work this Sunday so I spend the day basically doing child care and when JoBear went to sleep, I crafted, because we had to have decorations for his virtual birthday party.

There had been rumours that the Prime Minister (PM) was going to announce on this day, that the entire country would be placed on lock down. I kepy checking my phone for notifications from the PM, Minister of Health and the Ministry of Health indicating that there would have been a press briefing, no such notification came. That meant that whatever annoucements were going to be made would happen on Monday. In the mean time, cases were increasing and we were inching towards the 200 cases mark.

The farmer who was meant to sell me the produce still has not showed with narry a word from him. I hope he is alright.

Day 6

The days have started to roll into one another. I woke up thinking it was Tuesday (JoBear’s birthday) and started wondering what I would make him wear since it was his birthday and all. I almost screamed happy birthday when he woke up but I realized before than that it was in fact Monday and not Tuesday.

It being a work day and all, I tried to work while doing child care. There was baking prep after JoBear went to sleep.

This evening, the Prime Minister announced that the lock down would continue in St. Catherine for at least another 7 days but with an increase in the number of shopping days. These would be Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Monday. Also pharmacies would be able to open everyday. In addition, the doctor’s offices would be allowed to open (very important or me as JoBear would be due his next checkup and vaccine), and the island wide curfew starting on the 22nd would be changed from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. There would be some concomitant changes to hours of operation as a result. We now have over 200 cases.

Day 7

It’s party day! I woke up early so I could bake before work starts.

One baby friendly cake and a bread pudding later, I almost burnt my rum cake in the middle of accepting a delivery from Tara and sending off a package the same way. Since my friendly farmer had not shown up, I had asked my parents in Westmoreland if they could get some produce for me and send it via Tara, since I was desperate and was not sure what would happen with the lock down going forward. They sent it off yesterday and it arrived today. I paid more to get the items than the items cost but you cannot put a dollar value on peace of mind. The peace of mind knowing you have fresh fruits and vegetables. We have to keep the immune system in tip top shape to beat this thing!

In between work and child care, I did some chores.

With the work day officially over, it was time to set up for the party! We had some glitches, but we managed to start things right with a prayer, sing happy birthday, cut the cake and watch JoBear go at it. From the looks of it he had a good time with the cake. He was then over his high chair so he was let out and allowed to run amok for the rest of the party.


Day 8

More of the same. JoBear slept long enough today for me to get some work done and I managed to get in touch with some persons to see how they were doing.

If I was not a parent of a now one year lockdown would have meant, reading the stack of books I have, colouring and takine online courses in the hopes that the cabin fever would not get to me. And it perhaps would not. That’s the main part of this situation that I’m not loving, the inability to just get up as go as I want to. I probably would not have gone anywhere but just to have the option, makes a world of difference.

I have begun to make a mental list of the things I am going to do once this is over. Go to the beach tops it. I’ll post the list in a post to come.

In all the mayhem, madness, anxiety, uncertainty, I hope we do not lose sight of the things that are important, that we will see agendas for what they are and we will have a greater appreciation for what really is important.

Quarantine Day 4

I left my house for the first time since we were placed on lock down. First I went to purchase petrol. There were definitely more persons than normal at the gas station. In fact there was a line to get into the convenience store.

Later in the afternoon I drove to Portmore to collect a few things that someone who works in Portmore brought across for me from Kingston. The lines for the grocery stores and supermarkets that I encountered were long. That mission accomplished I made my way in the direction of home but I had one thing left to do.

Ordinarily we would purchase drinking water at Blake’s Water Store in Portmore but I figured that would definitely have been a no go. My brother in law had gone to Angels earlier in the morning and he noticed that there was a water filling station at a gas station there. I made my way to Angels and got the water. The convenience store was definitely busier than an average Saturday but there was no line to get in. The staff were all wearing masks and your hands were sanitized at the door. There was however a line to get into the Tastee at the location.

Most persons that I encountered were wearing their masks as per the Order, but there were still some persons without masks or who had them on but they were wearing them properly.

In other news, my delivery of produce has yet to arrive and I have had zero luck with getting in touch with the farmer. Sampars website is still not up. Dropoffs at the border may be the next best thing as long as we aren’t all placed on lock down.

Quarantine Day 3

One day when we are telling stories about “2020 and the coronavirus” I will tell you a story about Quarantine Day 3.

We are up to 163 cases now. That is 20 more in the last 24 hours. The update came late in the evening. No presser, just a press release and tweets. The release said that information on 17 of the cases will be made available in the next 24 hours. What?!!!!! Two cases were employees of the Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) outfit (aka call centre) from which the case came that started this spiral, and the other was under investigation.

I am dreading having to leave the house for anything and it seems like this quarantine continuing past day seven is a done deal.

I am still waiting and keeping my fingers crossed that I will actually get the produce I ordered tomorrow. This morning in the wee hours when my kid woke up I found out that Sampars had actually started doing deliveries in St. Catherine. By the time I attempted to place an order via whatsapp, there was a message to say that they would be taking no more orders for this week. Later in the day their status pic directed you to shop at their website. I just tried to place an order but as luck would have it, the website is undergoing scheduled maintenance and I need to check back around midnight. Their website said that they do deliveries in Spanish Town on Thursdays. There isn’t anything that I think I will need before then so that can work for me.

Finally the Order detailing this lock down were made public and as it goes for my shopping slot, I am in the last slot for Saturday as there are now four slots – one for senior citizens, the disabled and pregnant; and three based on your last name. Now everyone in my household are in the same slot. There are now different times on Saturday and Wednesday, except for the senior citizens, disabled and pregnant, so you do not have the same slot both days unless you fall into one of those categories. All very confusing and I get that they are trying for equity but for me equity (and possible a safer arrangement) would have been one day for each group of names with the elderly, senior citizens and pregnant having a dedicated slot each day still based on their last names instead of having everyone going out on the same day.

I also saw that HiLo Portmore is going to be doing curbside pickup and Sampars in Old Harbour will be doing pick up in store. I’m still waiting for Shoppers Fair to get with the times man.

While I continue worrying about my sister and my parents, I wish I could be more like my kid. For him it’s eat, sleep, play, repeat, not necessarily in that order. He is used to the “quarantine” life. Quite frankly, I do not mind the quarantine life as I don’t have to worry about going anywhere and potentially being exposed to the virus unless I really have to. Thankfully we have the means to be somewhat prepared but my thoughts are with those who are not in such a position and while I am trying to be alright and remain that way, I am also thinking about how I can help others. Right now and in the less than ideal times to come. I can’t wait to see the light at the end of this very long, dark tunnel.

Quarantine Day 2

Today was more of the same – attempt to work while managing child care. Today hubby had to go to work so that just upped the level of difficulty. I managed to half participate in a webinar.

The number of COVID-19 cases increased by 18. For the first time a briefing was held by the government earlier in the day.

Yesterday my sister welcomed me to the “lock down life”. She lives in Cayman and they have been in lock down mode for a while. I would prefer their lock down to ours though. Currently, based on the “rules” of her lock down she gets time for exercise and she can go out every other day for the essentials (the alphabet has been split in two with alternating days) except on  Sundays. Our lock down could potentially do more harm than good.

I am mentally making a game plan for Saturday for the supermarket. While we won’t starve if we don’t make it, an extension to the lock down seems inevitable so we need to stock up on a few things. We also have to get cake ingredients because we will have to bake a cake instead of getting one from sugar and spice for JBear’s virtual party next Tuesday.

I have learnt a few things in the past few days. One of them is that HiPro Ace is open and does delivery. You can get 2 day delivery (at a cost) around Spanish Town and there are other options delivery time wise. My two day delivery actually arrived in a matter of hours. Now if only Shoppers Fair did delivery or at least curbside pickup

The Possibilities

Quarantine Day 1

I live in St. Catherine, Jamaica. Despite the efforts of some, perhaps most, Jamaicans our COVID-19 cases reached triple figures yesterday. Based on the majority of the cases which resulted in the increase, our Prime Minister announced yesterday evening that the entire parish of St. Catherine would be placed on lock down for 7 days starting today, Wednesday, April 15 at 5 a.m.. For the seven-day period, 2 days would be used (today and Saturday) to access the essentials – food and medicine -, with the days split into three blocks:

  • the earliest block for persons over 65 and pregnant women,
  • the second for persons with surnames in the first half of the alphabet; and
  • the final block for persons with surnames in the second half of the alphabet.

My first day in quarantine started in the usual manner. I woke up, fed my 11 month old and read him his favourite book. By 10 a.m. I had fielded one call from my supervisor and returned one call from a colleague. St. Catherine being quarantined means that my nanny is also in quarantine. Even though I have been working from home some days in the last few weeks, most of those days I still had to have the nanny come so that I could actually get work done between work hours. If I did not do this, I may not have been be able to get any work done until after my son goes to sleep. My spouse has had to go out to work every day.

We were fortunate to have enough food at home so we did not have to rush out to the supermarket today. Can you imagine the lines? I had however made an appointment yesterday to see a doctor today for an issue that would not be considered an emergency but that was causing me some discomfort. That was no longer on, but thankfully I got a prescription written and sent to me via WhatsApp. So even though we did not have to go to the supermarket, my husband had to go to the pharmacy during his allotted block to fill the prescription for me at the pharmacy.

I fielded some more work calls and tried to complete the tasks requested of me while ensuring my child was safe, fed, clean and happy. Being quarantined with an 11 month old means that as much as I am trying to do my best to respond to work queries and complete work related tasks, I will also have to be seeing to my child’s needs. It means that while he is feeding himself a starfruit I have to be watching to ensure that he does not choke. It means meeting his emotional needs.

As much as we would all like things to go back to normal, COVID-19 will/has changed us. Hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol being sold out was not normal. I started checking everywhere I went that could possibly sell hand sanitizer and alcohol for these items. I stopped going out to some of the places I usually go to get lunch because they would be too crowded. I have done curbside pick-up, had everything I could get delivered including bread, delivered, worn a mask in public, been afraid to help someone out in the bank because I would have to touch their money and paperwork. My kid’s first birthday party will be a virtual one.

This pandemic is showing us at our worst and our best – people who put profits before people, a restauranteur who helps a farmer sell his produce at no cost to him and many other scenarios. It would be ideal if we came out a better world from this experience but I have no high hopes, the narcissists will remain, the self centred, the ones who do not understand that to lead is to serve, those quick to make a buck with no thought of the cost to others. As we navigate these rough seas, it is therefore essential to remember who and what are important to us, who we are important to and always deal in the possibilities.



My tired is tired

Boogie turned 11 months yesterday. I can’t believe how time has flown. It’s almost the end of March and so much as happened since the year started. In just a few weeks I have had to replace planning Boogie’s first birthday party with planning a virtual party thanks to COVID-19.

I had been meaning to write this blog post for a few weeks but I just wasn’t able to get to it. What I have found in my very brief time in the motherhood chair is that no matter how sympathetic or understanding you think you are, this is one thing that you really have to be in it to really appreciate what it entails.

This post is titled my tired is tired because up until a few weeks ago I have been pretty much going around in a fog. I haven’t run off the road or run anyone off the road, I’ve managed to make myself presentable each day I showed up for work and got some things done but I have been anything but my usual productive self.

I took 6 months off work when I had Boogie and for someone looking on the outside, they must be thinking what a long break I had. But it was anything but. Early on, Boogie decided that he was anti-sleep and he pretty much didn’t get into naps until I was about to go to back work. Even with lots of help, he on many occasions decided that he could only be consoled by mama bear. He refused to bottle feed, still hasn’t, so I was on all the time. Before I got pregnant I hadn’t had a decent vacation in a while and once I got pregnant, I didn’t take much of a break except a few days to do some shopping for baby because I wanted to have as much time as I could with Boogie. I was the person who worked all the way up to giving birth. In fact on what, unknown to me at the time, was my last day before I ended up in hospital I worked late.

I work better in the evenings when the office is quiet and no one much is around and so my modus operandi had been to stay late and just be super productive in those few hours and doing the things that have to be done in regular work hours during that time. Since going back to work it has been difficult to adjust to making sure everything gets done in regular work hours because as soon as it is time to clock out I’ll be heading out the door, failing which I would not be able to see Boogie before he goes to bed.

Now we have the novel coronavirus and added to my physical tired is my mental tired. I worry for my family, I have a baby, parents who are not young, spouse with an underlying issue, sister living in another country who is a social worker who is being called into situations where she could possibly be exposed and the list goes on. I worry that I will be the one to bring it home. I worry that I won’t be able to wash my hands as often as I need to, I worry that washing and sanitizing won’t be enough.

In the midst of my worry I try to remind myself to be kind and to show love. I have been consumed with being “prepared” for COVID-19. I didn’t get a chance to panic buy because everyone else beat me to it. Got the last two large bottles of alcohol at one pharmacy, managed to get sanitizer through the kindness of someone who up to the point where she dropped it off for me we had never met. I think I have enough diapers, wipes, diaper cream, formula and cereal for Boogie. I remind myself that if the diapers run out we have cloth ones and if the wipes run out we have water and wash cloths. He has other food, just his fresh produce might eventually be an issue? I managed to get some supplements online. Still haven’t picked them up yet but at least they’re here. Got some bleach. But I still haven’t got some OTC meds and I have a party to plan which means cake and decorations at least.

Earlier I mentioned kind. Because of the anxieties surrounding COVID-19 it can result in you not being kind. I was in the bank recently and I had to join the teller line. I waited patiently for my turn and when it was almost my turn, a young man came up to me to ask me if I could make a payment for him as he was already over this lunch time. Alarm bells started going off in my head, I would have to touch his voucher and money, should I really do this. I am not sure if the crisis was written all over my face. A part of me really wanted to say no but I didn’t have the heart to do it. I thought to myself how he must have been sizing up the persons in the line trying to decide who to approach. I took his voucher and his money and did my good deed for that day and sanitized my hands as soon as I got out of the bank. 

I worked from home last Friday and I am working from home tomorrow and Tuesday. I’ll be flying solo both days. The nanny will be off and I will have to be my productive self while minding an active 11 month old. I am grateful that we have been forced into alternative work and meeting arrangements, but employers need to understand that this is not business as usual and in normal situations when working from home, you would be able to make arrangements for your kids but in this case with social distancing, trying to minimize use of public transportation which is quite likely the way your help gets to work, you are the arrangement and that is quite possibly going to cut into your productivity so understanding is crucial.  Right now I’m doing some work so I can be ahead of the game tomorrow in case Boogie is really out of sorts tomorrow.

I can’t end this post before saying thanks to the people on the frontline who don’t get to work from home but are doing all they can to ensure that this thing is contained and that while we do that we can have some sense of normalcy. Healthcare workers, supermarket employees, restaurant employees, garbage collectors, social workers, etc., a big thank you to you and your families.

All the things baby did not use

Hubby and I didn’t have a physical or online baby registry. I had a list in Google sheets that anyone could access once they had the link.  It was basically a list of things that we needed or thought we needed for baby and we just asked persons to indicate in a column whether they would be purchasing or had purchased the item. There were possibly only two items that were specific as to brand/colour/size etc. Most things were generic and just listed quantities or if there was a particular feature I was looking for I put that in a “notes” column. I did this for two reasons:

  1. I had had enough of reading reviews. Invariably there is going to be one person who has an absolutely terrible experience with a product even thought it worked great for everyone else and I did not want to get bogged down trying to decide whose bad review was less of an issue. I trusted our gift givers to read the reviews and use their own experience.
  2. We wanted persons to be able to get what they could afford, so they could have opted to purchase something online if it was cheaper as opposed to having a physical registry at a store.

This also had a sort of added fun benefit, because we really did not know what we were getting. I had not thought of this before, but I think it made opening presents more fun.

This post is really about all the things that we bought/got that baby did not use. Having not been specific about what we wanted helped with this in some ways because we had different types to try without having to run out to the store to get another type.

Let’s start with bottles/nipples. I had committed myself to trying as best as I could to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months. In the picture I painted of  myself during this time, I would be expressing in between feeds to keep my supply up, putting together a stash for when I went back to work and also to give myself a break from physically feeding or for when I may not be with baby. We got/bought several brands – Avent, Tommy Tippee, Evenflo, Dr. Brown’s Minbie, Nuby.

Baby’s introduction to formula, came about 2 days after I came home from the hospital. We were having trouble with him latching so we had to feed him some formula which we did using a spoon and a cup. We patched things up and feeding was going ok again by the next day. Everything was going well until I fell ill a few weeks later and I was too sick to feed him. Daddy made him some formula and gave him from the bottle and he drank it before we left home for the doctor and while we were at the doctor he had some more.

Fast forward to a few weeks before my paid leave would be up and having not heard if my unpaid leave would be approved, I started trying to give him the bottle. He refused formula and breast milk from all the bottles I listed above. There will be eventually be a post about feeding, but the short version as to how this ended was that he drinks out of a cup called a Doidy Cup and we got sealing discs/lids for the Avent and Tommy Tippee bottles and we use them to mix his formula. 


Doidy Cup - Red color (Dispatched From USA)
Doidy Cup


He also did not show any appreciation for pacifiers.

Now to baby carriers. I read some reviews and settled on one of those carriers which was like a wrap but supposedly easier to work than a wrap and I thought this is going to be so great, baby is going to love the closeness. I settled on the Baby K’tan Breeze Baby Wrap Carrier, Infant and Child Sling He hated it. I thought maybe it might be too snug so I got the next size up, he still hated it. We eventually bought one of those cheaper, regular looking ones and he was ok with that one.

Baby K’Tan Breeze Bay Wrap


This next item was not on our registry list but it was gifted to us from a friend. The Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup.  We got two. It is supposed to be spill proof and baby has to suck the liquid out. Notice a theme? This is one product that we actually use but not in the way the manufacturer intended. We take liquids out with us in it or store in the refrigerator but baby drinks from it without the cover.

Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup

We also got some sippy cups. They are still in the packaging.

Remember I told you all about the breastfeeding plan, well I also planned to express at work and I did not want to put my breast milk in the refrigerator at work so I searched and I read the reviews and decided on this cooler bag.

Kiinde Twist Breast Milk Storage Bag and Ice Pack Kit

Again, long story short (more to come with the feeding post), it has never stored breast milk. Instead we use it as a caddy, minus the ice packs, to take bottles, water, one serving of formula and his Doidy cup upstairs at night so we do not have to worry about having to go downstairs to make him a “bottle” in the mornings.

There are a few other items that I bought for me, like a sitz bath and witch hazel pads which I did not use because I had a C-section. I ended up giving these away.

For moms to be, just know there will be things you will end up not using, you can re-purpose, sell, gift, keep for the next little one.  And a tip for the bottles, if you can shop online, babylist has a bottle box with 5 different brands for about 30 USD (today) so you can try a few types before settling on the one your baby likes and buy multiples of that one.