A Day in the Life of Isolation
May 17, 2020 § Leave a comment
Ever since that Friday the thirteenth in March where everything changed, I’ve been getting up at 5:30AM every other day to make sure I have enough time to do my yoga practice before the whole house wakes up. My alarm goes off at 5:30, I head downstairs right away to turn on the coffee maker, then back upstairs wash my face and carry down the baby monitor and my phone. Then I sip my coffee and eat a banana while scrolling through my phone, waiting for the caffeine to kick in.
This morning, I read this satisfying piece in the Atlantic by Stanley Tucci in which he recounts a normal day for he and his family during this phase of not normal (bonus: it includes recipes). It’s so relatable and reassuring to read that we’re all more or less doing the same things. Those of us with children anyways. Even though we’ve been doing this stay-at-home and physical distancing thing for 66 days and it’s very exhausting with two small children, I am wise enough to know that when it’s over, I will miss it. In the spirit of indulging my sentimental side, here’s a typical day for the Storches in these COVID times.
(I already mentioned that I’ve been waking up early every other day to practice yoga, so let’s say this is an off day.)
Henry jumps into bed between Nick and I, humming the Highway Thru Hell theme song. He cuddles with us for a few minutes, while also compiling a long to-do list for the day, 95% of which are things for US to do for HIM (Nick to build new LEGO tow trucks with him, Nick to order specific LEGO pieces online for a vision of a tow truck he has, me to look up how-to’s in Minecraft, me to be his camera person for filming his own videos).
Henry gets free reign of the TV downstairs while Nick stays in bed as long as possible and I get Charlie The Wonder Sleeper from his room.
All four of us sit on the couch, watching Henry’s choice of TV, most likely a LEGO/Highway Thru Hell Youtube DIY video made by a very nerdy Canadian teenager.
Nick and I are awake now, drinking our various caffeinated beverages. Charlie gets tired of Henry’s show and plays nicely by himself with Duplo or a puzzle. I look at the clock and remember how this time used to mean that I’d be telling everyone to do their last minute before school things – teeth brushed, lunch packed, library books in backpack, etc and wonder how hard it will be when we finally have somewhere to be again.
Finally turn off the TV and have breakfast at the table, usually accompanied by toys.
I shower while Nick hangs out with the kids downstairs.
Nick retreats upstairs for the rest of the morning to shower and work. I get the boys into the backyard and/or alley. I am already tired by this time from getting them and myself dressed, brushing teeth, tying tow truck hooks back on strings, solving and cleaning up puzzles, opening and taking out play-doh from containers, drawing things Henry wants me to draw so he can colour in, and other little things that add up to a lot of frantic movement.
Kids start fighting over random toys in the backyard they don’t care enough about to bring inside when it rains, but are somehow the most special item to them because the other one started playing with it. Time to distract with snacks!
A few minutes of near-silence while kids wander the backyard aimlessly, munch on goldfish, and drink juice boxes.
Kids are playing pretty happily so I slip inside, literally right on the other side of the glass door from where they are, to start making lunch. They notice immediately and start opening and closing the door 46 times calling for me to “come see this!”
Herd kids inside and to the sink to wash their hands. Henry eats his daily grilled cheese with the crust cut off and mini cucumbers. Charlie eats one of his daily selections of Amy’s mac & cheese. I eat with them, but usually a third option (because I enjoy being a short order cook?)
Both kids have a second (or third) wind and go crazy until nap time.
I put Charlie down for his nap.
Henry video chats with his teacher and a couple of his other classmates that also feel like joining in. Henry treats this time as show-and-tell.
I work furiously for an hour and a half and drink my second coffee, while sitting beside Henry who’s watching TV or doing one of his video game-like school assignments.
I bust out my most subtle influencing skills (this is so exhausting and challenging) to convince Henry to do some schoolwork online that he never wants to do, no matter what it is. This usually includes bringing tow trucks or Highway Thru Hell or even bathroom humour into the assignment to get him to think it’s fun and actually complete it. Then I light a candle on my shrine to elementary teachers in gratitude and appreciation.
Time to wake up Charlie. He doesn’t want to wake up yet, but I want him to go to bed again 4 hours later, so too bad, kid. Henry follows us into his room, yell-talking and making Charlie whine because it’s not an enjoyable way to wake up.
I begin dinner and it’s time to switch from coffee to beer or wine. I attempt to deflect all the kids’ various needs back to the TV so that I can cook while Nick takes his 400th phone call of the day upstairs.
We eat. Henry finishes first and asks for “I-C-E cream” as though Charlie hasn’t figured out his sneaky secret code by now.
I pretend to be an ice cream truck and make paper money for the kids to spend on ice cream. SHHHHH DON’T TELL HENRY THAT HE’S LEARNING ANYTHING.
Bath time. Charlie whines that he doesn’t want to get into the tub. Henry leaps and runs around naked and screaming. I convince Charlie to get into the tub by filling it with various baking tools or offering an “ice cream bath” if we’ve held off on ice cream until this time. Nick and I switch back and forth off of bath duty until the floor is soaked and they’ve made me several “coffees” from their bath tub coffee shop.
We drain the water and Charlie won’t get out even though Henry’s gone and he’s naked and wet in an empty tub. I pull him out into a towel despite his protests.
Nick yells at Henry to get his pajamas on while trying to deal with last minute work emails and calls. Henry huddles into a troll-like shape in his towel and crawls along the hallway. I get Charlie into pajamas while he looks at Henry in the hallway and shrieks with laughter at his weirdo brother.
Both kids are dressed and Nick’s back. Kids go bananas in Henry’s room. I say goodnight to Henry while pulling Charlie off his bed.
Nick and I collapse into bed and watch TV, scroll on phones, and if we have the energy, talk.
Whine that we don’t want to go to bed yet because it’s going to start all over the next day.
Signs You’re A New Mom
March 27, 2014 § Leave a comment
Goodbye, Liz Lemon
January 30, 2013 § Leave a comment
After seven years of making me laugh on a weekly basis, 30 Rock is ending. Tina Fey’s masterpiece (yes, I think it deserves that title) and my blog’s namesake will have a one hour season finale tomorrow night. Only a few TV shows have made me laugh in a way that 30 Rock did; including Arrested Development and The Simpsons in the mid-90s. I will really miss this show.
There’s nothing left to do but drown your sorrows in some classic 30 Rock moments on Youtube, and join me (physically or via text message) tomorrow night in watching the series finale at 8:00.
Chocolate chocolate chocolate ack!
Happy Valentine’s, no one:
P.S. did anyone else almost tear up last week when Kenneth became President of NBC and Liz adopted mini Tracy & Jennas? No? Just Me? G.D., I love that show.
October 10, 2012 § 3 Comments
Yesterday’s birthday was wonderful. Having a birthday on a Tuesday kind of takes the pressure off, you know? Instead of planning anything huge for it, I used my day to its full potential, concentrating on doing what I wanted to do instead of what I should do.
I woke up at 6:30 to get ready and head into Midtown for Grind’s “Rethink the Interest Graph” at 8:00, which was a talk about online social media content. Noah Brier spoke while I sipped Intelligentsia coffee and ate a bagel.
I decided to take the 7 train home specifically because I’ve been meaning to take photos of the group of buildings it passes in Long Island City that are absolutely covered in brightly coloured graffiti. Gotcha!
Daytime was work as usual, but broken up by constant Facebook comments, Tweets, Instagram posts, emails, and phone calls wishing me a happy birthday. You guys sure know how to make a birthday girl (or should I say lady? 31!) feel special. Also thanks to Starbucks for my free birthday drink and don’t mind my yoga hair-do.
Nick came home early to make me feel even more special. Roses!
A Howard Wolowitz bobblehead!
A Kate Spade wallet!!!
And then we ate pizza.
One of my favourite birthday gifts was just this video of my niece and nephew sent from Jenn. I mean….!!!
I wasn’t called a cougar this year, but what a great birthday. The celebrations continue tonight at a Yankees game as we head into Nick’s birthday tomorrow!
August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
The first time I heard Mitch Hedberg‘s goofy observational stand up was driving in a car with my friend Amy Taylor. He was the first comedian I ever wanted to listen to full albums of; his style definitely spoke to me as a silly girl in her early twenties who liked to laugh. At one point, I was listening to him so much at work that I started to talk like him. Unfortunately, by the time I got into him he had already died so I never got to see him live. Lucky for me, he released three comedy records and every once in a while, something like this video pops up.
Lynn Shawcroft was married to Mitch for the last six years of his life and seems pretty funny herself. In this mini-documentary, she remembers some of his quirks, shows us some of his many notebooks, and tells us his secret to writing: write down anything funny and don’t be lazy! Makes sense.
See also: The Mitch Hedberg Joke Collection!
Record Set: World’s Largest Rainbow Parade
May 1, 2012 § 1 Comment
For those of you wondering how the World’s Largest Rainbow Parade went, let me tell you – in photos!
We gathered under the Manhattan Bridge to prepare.
Jessi Arrington, parade founder, gave us a pep talk and went over the parade protocol.
Jacob Krupnick of Girl Walk All Day got his camera ready to film.
Soon, we were in rainbow order and escorted by police to the Brooklyn Bridge, where we began our march.
Shortly after this photo was taken, my camera strap came off and my camera went skidding across the bridge. I put it away until we crossed after that. Luckily it’s fine except for a few dents.
This is what we looked like from an apartment balcony. (Photo)
Thanks for getting a picture with me in it, Underground Dining NYC!
The record was a success! 179 people dressed head to toe in a solid colour marched in the World’s Largest Rainbow Parade.
Sure, it’s an activity you could have easily completed in kindergarten, but what a fun and funny way to spend an early Saturday afternoon. The best part of the event was seeing strangers’ surprised smiles as we passed them on the bridge. I was expected far more annoyed bikers and walkers, but everyone seemed to be genuinely happy to see us! Who says New Yorkers are grumps?
World’s Largest Rainbow Parade
April 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
What are you doing this Saturday? If you live in NYC, you should be taking part in Record Setter‘s attempt at the World’s Largest Rainbow Parade!
This event is free and open to people of all ages and will kick off in DUMBO’s Brooklyn Bridge Park at noon. Dress in your favourite colour of the rainbow and be prepared to march across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan behind a marching band, while dancing and waving flags.
You might remember my enthusiastic post about the Creative Mornings Rainbow Parade I participated in in November – well this one should be even better! I hope to see you there – I’ll be green :)
More info: Facebook event | Eventbrite Event | Rainbow Parade creator Jessi Arrington | Kickstarter
February 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
The new HBO series, “Girls”, looks hilarious! Judd Apatow is producing and I’m crossing my fingers that this show has a longer life than his previous ones I loved, Freaks & Geeks and Undeclared. We may even see some of the same characters – it looks like Hannah’s mom is played by Becky Ann Baker, the mom from Freaks & Geeks!
The series kicks off Sunday April 15 at 10:30pm EST.