Yesterday, February 1st, was my birthday, and I was gifted with the best night that Jasper had had yet in his three weeks of life. That, and we woke up to a blanket of snow here in NYC from a nor'easter that's expected to bring more snow today. What would have snarled the pace of the city any other year isn't having nearly the same impact during the pandemic. Businesses are already closed, there are fewer commuters for subway disruptions to inconvenience.
In an unfortunate twist of timing, our boiler suddenly stopped working yesterday, and we've only been able to sporadically turn it back on for a couple of hours at a time - we're hoping to have someone to come look at it as soon as possible, weather permitting. We've dressed the baby in more layers, plugged our small space heater in, switched on our heating pad, and are roasting things in the oven every so often. Our blinds are down to help insulate against heat loss for as long as possible. I'm currently curled up on our sofa wearing woolen socks and my new super soft pile-lined hoodie from Uniqlo while a pot of water boils for chamomile tea.
This gives me a window of time to put my February list together.
In January, I wrote my to-do list just before Jasper’s arrival into the world. I’ve only been a mom for a short time, but I’m making plans for February with a better sense of what I can ask of this month with a newborn at home.
Try to enjoy the early mornings
Kev and I have lost so much sleep since baby's arrival, but I've gained many pre-dawn blue hours and many sunrises. Once Jazz goes down, I sometimes steal a bit of me-time with a cup of coffee and a book in our WFH corner. The house is so quiet and it's amazing to feel the calm in the day before it's time to take the dogs out for their morning walk.
While this is a relaxing ritual, it certainly isn't the case every morning. Sometimes, after a rough night, I crawl back into bed as soon as I can, or even doze off on the sofa. I don't expect each morning to give me this gift, but when I do have the energy, I'll be grateful for it and let it recharge me.
Continue to imagine new work
I haven't had too much time to get my hands on clay since Jasper's arrival, but I'm still finding inspiration for new pieces here and there. I've been sketching them out in my notebook, saving them for when my routine allows space for making again.
A break from clay, even if forced, is a nice chance to reset and rest. That said, I'll be really happy to finally get back to it more fully at some point (maybe this month, probably next).
Take care of my aching muscles
Motherhood has taken a toll on my posture. My back and shoulder muscles are complaining from breastfeeding and holding the baby. These are the same muscles that suffer when I make pottery too, so before these cricks develop into bigger problems, I know I need to give my body some care.
I try to stretch once in a while, but I need to pay closer attention to the way my body feels throughout the day. Luckily, I have my heated massage pillow, and the pressure happens to fall right on the areas in my neck that are tight. When I’m cleared to take baths, I might just draw up my very first bath in this new house to soak away some aches too.
Take care of administrative tasks
The beginning of the year is a good time to do a round up of paperwork and admin tasks. Getting these items out of the way helps me to feel more on top of things, which will be a nice change from this new parenthood thing where we are just trying to keep it together.
Admin tasks for me include taxes, checking on expiration dates for various business filings, re-assessing my site's platform and plan, and getting Jasper's SSN logged with my medical insurance to which he's been added.
Occupy the basement!
Our renovations are going to be complete this month. We've already moved some of our belongings out of the small bedroom and back into the closet in our master bedroom that was redone. Our basement level, where more extensive work took place, will be ready for us to live in very soon. I can't wait to furnish it, find places for our things, and finally live in that space. It'll allow us to fully clear out both the bedroom (that will be Jasper's) and the garage, for which I have some storage plans that I'm excited to implement.
To be realistic about what we can do, I think in February we'll simply shoot for moving things into the basement. We'll set up Jasper's bedroom in March, and tackle the garage when the weather is warmer.