**I wrote this in a word doc and never got around to posting it. The date of the document was May 7, 2020. So here is what was on my mind back then. Enjoy!
There has been a pretty dramatic shift in the world and I’ve been wanting to document it. It is not that my usual methods of memory making (journals and my instagram) aren’t working. They are, but I wanted a different medium so here I go. First though, I realize it has been some time since my last post. The last post was in 2017, some things have changed since then while others have stayed the same. First major change: We had a new baby! Her name is Esme and she was born in September 2018 and has already crossed the year and a half threshold. Kris and I have the same jobs, and we still live in the same house. Life day to day feels very different from back in January of 2017, not just related to the global pandemic.
With this Coronavirus crisis and the requirement to stay at home, I wanted to share our story. Is it necessarily significant or dramatically different than others? Likely not. But it’s my blog, is that not what it is here for? If nothing else, I have claimed this blogspace as where I document our family’s adventures. I’ve just been doing a poor job lately.
Around mid-January, the Coronavirus began to enter my world professionally as the virus spread around China where my company had 71 students studying abroad. We also had over 1000 students around the world, who all had to end their studies and return to the US where they found newly implemented stay at home orders (for most states). There are so many adjectives but fear and creepy were among the top of how things felt in the US by mid-March. While work was already exceptionally grim, we transitioned our personal worlds to work from home and typical work duties went out the window. As a small company with a huge operation, it was time for outside the box thinking and lots of waiting to see what happens. My team is pretty great so thankfully this has not been as challenging as it could have been. We live on Zoom and miss our potlucks terribly.
So each of my weekdays are still requiring me to work 8 or more hours from my new home office. The space I am working from had become a bedroom size junk drawer. It was very embarrassing when someone new would come over because off to the left of the front door is this room without a door that collected any and everything we didn’t have a place for. When the babies out grew some baby device like a bouncer or a large bag of cloth diapers, or large amazon boxes that don’t fit our recycle bin, etc. would all be thrown down here. We never spent time here. Me having to work from home has forced us to revitalize this space and keep it clean and organized and full of good juju for full time work from home. We’ve done a good job so far. Today, I am off work and down in my space typing away.
What are some of the new themes in our quarantine? As you might imagine, a great deal surrounds the kids and how we keep them from being idle too often. Two toddlers who are very close in age and together all the time usually don’t do well with too much idle time. Fighting or disastrous shenanigans inevitably ensue. This is where our Au Pair comes into the picture. Stefy. Stefy joined our family just before the pandemic hit. We got lucky. Like, really lucky, to have a third set of hands in quarantine with us. I don’t know how we would be managing without her here every day. While of course I wish I worked less, not being able to work at all and being with the kids all day every day without the mental distraction from parenting that work provides would leave me even more exhausted than I already am. So here are some of our new normals or things that have been present during this time:
New Movie Releases
Our favorites so far: Frozen II, Onward and Trolls World Tour
Walks on the trail after lunch or occasionally on the weekend
Zoom calls with family
Gardening (yes, we planted vegetables from seed in early April and just got them in the ground)
Daily white board where we talk about what day it is and what we are up to
New things for Kris and I:
Alone time in the morning. We both have been waking up at 5-5:30 which gives us a chance to sit together and chat, or watch recordings of the previous night’s late shows.
Setting the coffee pot to brew coffee automatically—because everyone needs a little extra motivation to get out of bed.
Sitting in the new patio furniture after the kids go to bed.
Shows we’ve binge watched: Tiger King, Homeland, Ozark, Derry Girls, Modern Family, Parks & Rec rewatch, Grey’s Anatomy (me only), I know I am missing some.
Special shout out to the resourcefulness of some of our late night faves who recorded from their homes to keep our spirits up: Steven Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, James Corden and Jimmy Kimmel. They are simply the best. On this note, we have really enjoyed seeing the celebrity interviews or Instagram live streams as such tangible examples that the entire world is all effected by this crazy virus. So many acts of good will and kindness. Seriously, the first part of this quarantine when Kris was out the door by 6—I would be crying and crying as I slowly let the reality of all of this settle in.