Our first pandemic

pandemic 2020

The Coronavirus has changed so much in such a small amount of time. Things that used to be the highlight of our week are now considered dangerous activities. This is seriously such an odd time for everyone, and especially for littles. Not knowing how to explain why we can’t go to the zoo or see grandparents is tough. Bobby has handled everything like a champ, mainly because he is one and has no clue anything is even happening. But Betty is old enough to miss spending time with her cousin and going to play at the museum. Even though she is young, we believe honesty is always the best policy. We explained germs are everywhere and the places with more people have more germs. Which means we need to stay home for a while to keep from getting sick or spreading bad germs to friends and family. We may have over simplified but she gets it and, like everyone else, Betty is ready to get back to regular activities.

Toilet paper crisis

Because Betty & Bobby are so young and I stay home with them, the shelter-in place order hasn’t changed too much of our normal routine. The main difference is their Dad working from home. Which means we have to make an effort not to distract or disturb him 8-5. In toddler Time that’s like years, and since he is the fun parent the babes are struggling with this part. However, the effort has been made to spend a lot of time outside on walks, playing with bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and enjoying snacks.

Chef Betty

Making the best of things is a trait we’re actively trying to teach both littles. So we’ve been doing fun social distancing activities indoors too. Learning to bake and make treats has become one of Betty’s favorites (check out the Lucky charm treat recipe we tried here.) She has also been taking her dance class through zoom. We’ve done a ton of video chats with friends and family.  Although we cannot physically go to the zoo we watch story time from their Facebook page. Same for our favorite bookshop, Fabled, and trying activities from the Mayborn Museum’s website. We also have colored pictures and given them to a local volunteer who delivers them to residents of neighboring assisted living facilities. These residents are no longer able to see visitors or have guests, which is heart breaking. Our standard at home amusement like reading, playing dress up, building with Legos/ blocks and watching movies has stayed in rotation. However, it is not all fun and games around here. Betty & Bobby have been more involved in the household chores lately too. Bobby enjoys helping load the dryer and pushing the buttons to start it up. He also has become infatuated with the broom & Swiffer. Betty started bringing her dishes to the kitchen following her meals/ snacks and wiping off the table. I’m also happy to report that a lot of organizing, clearing out closets, and homework has been getting done on the Mommy side of things. wp-15858665761185867557227945545779.jpgOur most recent trip to the grocery store was pretty unreal. I still don’t get the whole toilet paper crisis, yet seeing bare shelves and people wearing masks and gloves felt so extreme. HEB is the best grocery store ever (you can’t change my mind) on this visit an employee approached me and asked if we happened to need wipes and we definitely did, but the shelf was empty when we looked upon arrival. She then handed me a small package of them and said they were the last in the entire store until restock and she’d been holding onto them in hopes of finding someone with a small baby to give them to. Bobby is often mistaken for Betty’s twin and far from small (94% percentile at our last check up,) but I was appreciative none the less. Thank goodness I’m a Virgo and our home usually stays properly stocked with cleaning supplies and toilet paper. 

wp-15858674780294531370733776203722.jpgKindness goes so far, in times like these I have high hopes that we as a people show compassion rather than competition. Our family is optimistic that everyone realizes how intense the pandemic is and that y’all are staying home as much as possible, this way we stop spreading the virus and can get back to living life out in the world. 

What are some activities keeping you and your babes busy during the shelter in place?  Be sure and let us know in the comments section. 

Austin Aquarium

Austin, TX

The babes and I recently tagged along on a mini road trip, with Nonnie, to Austin, TX. She was attending a housing conference for work, but we wanted to explore some of the fun activities the capitol city offers for kids. Betty was born in Austin, but Bobby was a first time visitor.

We met up with some local friends at the Austin Aquarium. I grabbed our tickets on my Groupon app before hand, I like using the app because what extra cash I save can contribute to fun stuff like snacks and souvenirs. If you use groupon please keep in mind children two and under are given free entry with a paid adult ticket. Betty’s father and I brought her to the aquarium a few months after she was born and to my surprise they have made serious updates to the facility, since then. This visit was much more hands on and they have added lemurs! Bobby immediately noticed the ring tailed lemurs in the aquarium’s lobby. His eyes widened and then started enthusiastically pointing at them, which set the tone for our entire visit. Both babies enjoyed seeing the variety of fish and animals. First thing our friends showed us was a large iguana with a sign that indicated gentle touches were welcomed. Watching them take turns petting this guy blew my mind. In a larger section of the same display were several smaller ones. A specific iguana was perched on a limb at Betty’s eye line. To all of our shock that little guy made an escape attempt by leaping straight forward in Betty’s direction. Thankfully he landed safely within the enclosure, but Betty jumped and let out a yell. She was surprised but recovered quickly once she noticed the nearby jellyfish tank.

I was so impressed by the variety of animals on display. A large eel, star fish, and an octopus really caught our attention in the first room. To top it off a staff member came by asking if we’d like to pet the bearded dragon he had in hand. The same staff member came by a second time offering a snake but Betty politely declined for all of us.

The next room held a large tank full of sting rays. I was amazed to see them swarm toward us as we approached. This was definitely one of Bobby’s favorite sections. Betty on the other hand was on the hunt for a mermaid and not interested in feeding or petting any wildlife. Although we didn’t find any mermaids on display, we did come upon a giant clam prepped for a mermaid to lounge in, complete with sparkly pillows. Betty’s aquarium outfit included: a White tank/onesie (she got a kick out if it glowing in black light) Mauve/ pink fringe skirt, Strappy tan sandals, white beaded mini purse, and white B3 bow: Use code Betty to save when shopping their site.

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As we continued through the aquarium we saw several large tanks with multi colored fish, found an area with tables for snacking, games, and even a slide! The next sections included fish and more lemurs. These lemurs looked different and whooped/ shreeked so loudly that both Betty & Bobby clung to me and started to cry. I’m not sure if the lemurs were hurt or just playing, because we skipped them and headed to the next exhibit. Home to a large tortoise (that I got to feed,) ducks, and another of Bobby’s favorites – fuzzy chickens. This aquarium is great for little humans due to the displays being low to the ground and so interactive. Bobby was only walking for about two weeks before his visit and roamed through like a pro.

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Bobby’s aquarium outfit included: an Olive green t-shirt, Dark jeans, and Black high top sneakers.

We found a hallway with snakes, parrots, and more fish; that led to the shark room. Bobby especially enjoyed this area because he could watch the sharks swim so closely to his face. This was the last stop before the gift shop, where Betty finally found her mermaid.

We had a blast at the aquarium and really enjoyed getting to spend time with our friends. If you ever find yourself in North Austin, we recommend a visit to the Austin Aquarium!

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