Week 36 – COVID, Cookies, and Charmanders

It’s week 36, which means at the very longest we will be meeting Baby Simonet in five weeks. However, Kristin could wake me up at 3:00am tomorrow morning and we could meet the kiddo tomorrow. That uncertainty is very exciting, like Christmas except you’re not really sure when the presents, or in this case one big present, are going to show up.


I mentioned in my last post that I started a leave from my office last week and Kristin has been working from home since the middle of March. With all this extra time at home, and all the restaurants being closed, we’ve really started to get better at cooking

Kristin’s Beef and Broccoli

We weren’t bad before, or at least Kristin wasn’t. Previous to this I had focused on a few meals and got them down pat, just enough to lead a woman on to thinking I can cook. You can keep up the illusion of being a good cook for a few months with just that. Anyway, with all our free time we’ve both been working on getting a few more home cooked meals under our belt. Kristin made the above Beef and Broccoli this weekend and boy was it delicious.

Last week I attempted to make, for the first time in my life, chocolate chip cookies from scratch. Kristin swears up and down they were good, but they turned out more like biscuits than they did cookies. I misread the recipe I was following and instead of putting two cups of chocolate chips I put two tablespoons. I know what you’re thinking – how in the hell did he not realize that wasn’t enough chocolate chips? At the time it didn’t even occur to me, I just thought the person writing this recipe knows a hell of a lot more than I do. Additionally, I wasn’t aware how precise you need to be with the flour measurements, I definitely put in too much which resulted in some awfully dry cookies.

Matt’s (second attempt) Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ah, but it was time for redemption. Sunday night Kristin went upstairs for a bath and once I heard the bathroom door shut I whipped out cooking supplies and went to town. Later delivering some delicious moist cookies, with an appropriate number of chocolate chips, directly to the bath tub. A small victory for most people in the kitchen but I gotta take the baking wins when I get them.

Homemade Beer Crust Pizza

We also found out that a 12 ounce can of Mich Golden works great to make pizza dough if you don’t have any yeast. Pizza on the grill, also an awesome idea if you like crispy grill-marked pizza crust.


Besides the cooking, this week brought one of many growth ultrasounds we’ve had to have. Kristin has marginal cord insertion and if you have no idea what that means you’re in good company because neither did I. Long story short the umbilical cord is supposed to attach to the placenta, where it gets all it’s blood and nutrients, in the center. If your cord is within an inch or two of the edge of the placenta, it’s considered a “marginal cord insertion.” This is completely fine, and extremely common, as long as it stays an inch or two away from the edge. Where you get into trouble is if, as the placenta grows, the cords insertion point goes over the edge which is much more rare. One of the symptoms of this is a sudden slow down in your baby’s growth. To make sure this isn’t happening we have more frequent ultrasounds to make sure our kiddo is right on schedule.

36 week 3D ultrasound

While this probably doesn’t sound great to you it’s really not a big deal. I know it sounds a little weird but I’ve honestly enjoyed it because we get to see Char way more often on these frequent ultrasound visits.

No, you didn’t misread that, I referred to our expectant kiddo as “Char”. Kristin and I are not finding out the gender and it always felt weird to refer to our kid as “it”. Early on we decided to just use him or her interchangeably. At week seven our kid got his first nickname. Kristin sent me the below picture from an app she had that gives her a weekly update on how the baby is developing. I immediately thought of the Pokemon, Charmander. Somehow that stuck and ever since week seven we’ve been referring to her as Char, a nickname I’m betting will stick long after birth.


I briefly touched on it my last post, but it’s hard not to talk about COVID-19. We’ve done everything we possibly can to ensure we’re both healthy when Char arrives. Basically we never leave the house except to go to Doctors appointments and on leisure drives. At this point if we catch it, we were always going to catch it and there’s nothing else we can do.

For a period of time, two major NYC hospital systems banned birth partners, leaving all mothers giving birth alone. It loomed as a reality Kristin and I might have to accept, and not a welcome one. Our biggest concern proceeding this news was accepting there likely wouldn’t be any family allowed at the hospital. That now seemed insignificant as we faced the possibility that I’d have to meet my first kid over video chat and Kristin would have to give birth alone. A week or two after these hospital chains announced this new policy, the Governor of New York signed an executive order requiring hospitals to allow at least one birth partner. This offered some relief as it seemed likely other states would take similar measures if hospitals tried to enact strict no birth partner policies. All of the sudden not having our families able to be at the hospital during the birth didn’t seem that bad. It’s a bummer but at this point we’ll be happy as long as Kristin and I can be together through the whole thing and we bring a healthy baby home.

We’ve yet to talk to our pediatrician about how we should deal with visitors once we bring Char home but that’s definitely floating in the back of our minds. The Minnesota stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 4th, although it seems likely it’ll get extended, I would assume our pediatrician will tell us to avoid visitors for some period of time. Hopefully our parents can meet their new grandchild fairly soon. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to last not showing her (or him) off to every single person I meet.

Week 37?

I’ve been slowly writing this blog post over the course of the week, it’s now 7:55PM on Wednesday the 23rd. Barring labor starting in the next 28 hours, we are going to make it to week 37, but you never know…

Just a forewarning, continue reading this blog at your own risk. Since I won’t likely be able to show off my new kiddo in person to everyone, this blog will basically be all baby pictures and videos going forward once Char arrives.

You’ve be warned.