Goodbye, Grandma Paine

Today I lost my last living grandparent, my Grandma Paine. She was the one I said I always wanted to be like when I grew up. After my grandpa died she became the hottie of the senior center where she lived… and she LOVED IT. Even as her eyesight worsened she continued to tear up the dance floor and perform on stage in the center’s shows. She told me once that the other performers on stage would just steer her away from the edge if she got too close!

When we went to visit she was always so upbeat and friendly to everyone. At one point she had this adorable boyfriend and they were the social butterflies of the place. Chase got to meet her twice in Florida while visiting when he was little.

When her health got worse she moved northwest to be with her daughter and she suffered from Dementia. I hadn’t seen her in a long time… too long… but she made an impression on me that I’ll hold onto forever. Love you, Grandma! I hope to one day be the hottie in the old folks home in your memory.


COVID Quarantine Experience

Well, I tested positive for COVID-19. Here is my diary of my 10 days in quarantine:

Monday, December 14

I went to work, which was not a normal work day. I was with a group of people all day doing sort of a “tour” of our central office, learning how all the departments work, etc. I noticed my throat started feeling scratchy and immediately got nervous, because a close colleague of mine tested positive for COVID this weekend and that was his first sign. At the end of the day I went back to my office to get some other things done and I started feeling warm. I left at that point and when I got home I immediately took my temperature. No fever, so I crossed my fingers and went right to bed.

Tuesday, December 15 (Day 1)

I woke up after a rough night of waking up often, hot, and immediately took my temperature. Sure enough: 100.9. I informed my boss and luckily I already had a video doctor’s appointment set up for my migraines so I told my doctor what was going on and she put in an order for me to get tested for COVID and the flu, and said to start quarantining. I went to the drive-through clinic and got my brain probed through both nostrils.

It was not fun.

I spent the rest of the afternoon in bed, taking meds to keep my fever down. Started feeling achy and had some chills.

Chloe took good care of me. She took it upon herself to make me a lunch and leave it at my door for me. I managed to eat about half of it:

I had already scheduled a grocery order for that evening to get everything I needed to make Chase’s birthday cupcakes so I had to pick it up, but I was not going to expose myself to the workers so I put this up on my window when they approached and just popped my trunk.

The plan was to talk Chloe through how to make them, but the grocery store was apparently out of the red velvet cupcake mix I ordered, so I had to go to plan B and order Nothing Bundt Cakes instead. Chloe was relieved!

Wednesday, December 16 (Day 2)

Chloe continues to take care of me. She wanted to make chicken nachos so we FaceTimed so I could walk her through what to do.

I have to come out once a day to wake up the kids and let the dogs out, so I gear up with my mask and wear socks on my hands as gloves. Chloe is easy to wake so I just open her door and say good morning. Chase is harder so I use my long legs to kick him from as far away as possible!

Every time I walk downstairs I shudder at what my kids have done to it. *sigh*

We had to get creative for Chase’s birthday party (see previous post).

I’m feeling better. The fever seems to be gone. I don’t have much of an appetite and my body is still a little achy, but it’s definitely better. I got a new toy (thanks to Amazon) and for some reason I’m obsessed with testing my blood oxygen level. It’s always good but there’s something about this little thing that makes me test it all the time, anyway. I mean, look at it…. It’s pink! And little! It’s just so cute!

Thursday, December 17 (Day 3)

I got an email notification I had a new test result, so I checked and it was the flu test: negative. That didn’t give me much confidence. A couple hours later my phone rang, and when I saw it was my doctor I thought, “Well, that can’t be good.” Sure enough, I’m COVID positive. I feel better, though. The doctor says as long as continue feeling better I can come out of my room Christmas Eve (Day 10). Phew! I had no idea how I was going to make Christmas work!

I know this virus is famous for its ups and downs, though, so I’m trying to take it easy and I have a good vitamin regimen:

I started binge watching “The Good Place”, and ordered pizza for the kids (again). My amazing neighbor offered to run an errand for me so I asked her if she would mind taking a Christmas package to the post office for me. She said yes! It was a personalized photo frame for the kids’ aunt and I was so sad because I didn’t think I’d be able to get it to her by Christmas. My friend Celeste picked up the pictures I had ordered to complete the gift, and Chloe put the frame together and boxed it up. She had to do everything herself because I didn’t want to touch the package before my neighbor got it. It was a little stressful for both of us with me talking her through everything, but we got through it!

Chloe reads to me every night in my doorway. It’s so very sweet.

Friday, December 18 (Day 4)

I’m bored.

Chloe put the box on our front porch for our neighbor to pick up, spraying it down with Lysol for her. It is now in the mail and should get there by Christmas! YES!

I feel better except that my hips (including my lower back and upper quads) are soooooo sore. I started doing hip stretches and walking around my room to try to loosen things up but the second I lay back down it hurts again. It’s hard to sleep. I’ve busted out the heating pad and pain relievers.

I finished all four seasons of “The Good Place”. I decided to stop watching on my laptop in bed and moved to my little couch, hoping the change would help my hips. I watched a lot of TV standing up.

I ordered pizza for the kids (yes, again). And they had a “buy 1, get 1” deal so now they have pizza leftovers!

I also ordered groceries, including some stuff I can keep in my room because Chloe is getting sick of waiting on me. I’m pretty much living off croissants and pop-tarts. The kids had to put the groceries away and you would have thought I was torturing them.

Saturday, December 19 (Day 5)

I decided to wrap all the Christmas presents yesterday. That was my big accomplishment.

I made my kids clean up downstairs. I have no idea how well they did, but they did something, at least!

I started updating the family blog but didn’t get far due to internet issues.

I am feeling better, COVID symptom-wise, except my nose is stuffier. I can live with that. My hips still hurt like crazy. I just took Tylenol PM in tears. Today is Chase’s “all nighter virtual gaming party” and Chloe begged me to stay up til midnight since Chase was going to be up late. Fine, whatever. I told them to lock up and said goodnight.

Sunday, December 20 (Day 6)

The Tylenol PM knocked me right out and I slept like a baby! Today I worked all day on updating this family blog. I hadn’t updated it since January. So when you read a post in March saying, “Today we…” it’s a lie. I wrote it today. Thank goodness I keep good records!

My hips feel a ton better today! I’m hoping it stays that way.

I ordered Dairy Queen from Uber Eats. I got a plain vanilla milkshake. Still don’t have 100% of my appetite back so I prefer things “plain Jane”.

Chase was in his room playing games online with his friends when we heard him yell, “I’m riskin’ it for the biscuits, boys!!” Chloe and I were dying.

Nose is still stuffy. Just got done walking aimlessly around the room to keep my hips loose.

I had to place another grocery delivery order because we are just about out of dog food. I also had to get cookie dough and frosting so we can make cookies on Christmas Eve when I come out. I realized we haven’t been able to watch our Christmas movies so we were brainstorming which movies we need to watch. We may just play them all day Christmas Eve, back to back:

  • Polar Express
  • Jingle Jangle
  • Home Alone
  • Elf again (Chloe’s request)
  • The Santa Clause
  • A Christmas Story

And of course I have to watch “Love Actually” (without the kids).

The dogs keep whining and trying to come in my room. It makes me feel like a terrible person but my instructions literally say to stay away from family members and pets while in quarantine. Crazy, huh?

Watched the musical “The Prom” on Netflix and stood up for most of it. Shook my booty to the dance tunes. Kids opened the door on me dancing during the final show-stopping number and thought I’d lost my mind.

Monday, December 21 (Day 7)

My hips hurt again. I woke up at 2am and had to take pain relievers and bust out the heating pad. Ugh.

Took a shower. Mainly because I was bored.

Started watching “Dead to Me” on Netflix and finished Season 1. Talked to my mom on the phone. FaceTimed with my BFF Katie. Ordered food for all of us from DoorDash (man that’s getting expensive).

That is all.

Tuesday, December 22 (Day 8)

2 more days til I can come out!! I cannot WAIT. Note to self: Make the kids clean the house before I come out so I don’t immediately retreat back in.

Finished watching the only 2 seasons of “Dead to Me” available on Netflix and I am eager for the third to air (whenever that’s supposed to be)!

This evening I started feeling hot again… the same feeling I had the Monday night I started having symptoms. I’ve taken my temperature several times and so far no fever… but I’m terrified it will come back tomorrow and I won’t be able to come out 12/24! Taking a Tylenol PM and crossing my fingers…. My hips and back feel better, though.

Wednesday, December 23 (Day 9)

I woke up feeling normal this morning! No fever. Woot woot! I did start feeling warm again throughout the day and have taken my temperature often. The highest it’s registered is 99, which made me nervous but it never got higher than that. My hips/back feel a lot better.

I asked the kids to clean the house today and asked for video evidence:

They did a pretty good job! I’m feeling pretty confident I won’t completely freak out when I come out tomorrow.

I. Cannot. WAIT!!!!

Thursday, December 24 (Day 10)

I’m FREEEEEEEE!!!! I showered and attempted hair and makeup, which proved to be way more difficult than it should have been… but I just had to try! I was tired of feeling disgusting! Then I had some last-minute Christmas errands to run. Of course I had to start with Starbucks because it had been way too long and I needed my fix!

Errands worked out well because I would go into the store for like 1 thing and then I got to come back out to my car and rest as I drove to the next place. Now we have cookies to bake and Christmas movies to watch. I’m going to try not to overdo it because the last thing I want to do is make my COVID body angry before Christmas.

I’m so thankful my experience has been so mild, and that my kids seem to be fine. So many people are not so lucky. Merry Christmas to us!

Happy Birthday, Chase!

Chase is 14. I can’t believe it.

I usually do a birthday experience for the kids but this year that has proven difficult. So I decided to do something he never expected me to do.

Chase has been begging for a gaming computer in his room FOREVER. So I caved. (Parental Disclaimer: He still has all the same parental controls, screen time limits, etc.)

I arranged for him to stay at a friend’s house overnight last weekend so Chloe and I could set it all up (desk, chair, computer, and rearrange the room to accommodate). When he got home the next day I asked him to put his stuff in his room (where Chloe was waiting to capture the big moment on video). He was definitely shocked and very appreciative.

I’m glad I was able to give him his birthday gift early, because now, on his actual birthday, I am awaiting test results to see if I have COVID… so I am quarantined in my room. Lovely.

Chloe helped me set up a carpet picnic outside my bedroom door. I ordered a pizza and my dear friend Celeste Schneider was kind enough to pick up my Nothing Bundt Cakes order (my first year not making a birthday cake… sad moment!) and bring me croissants and Sprite. It may not have been the perfect birthday party but it will surely be memorable. And this weekend he has a virtual gaming birthday party set up where he and his friends will game all night long.

Happy 14th Birthday, Chase M’Face!


All this for a broken nail. Poor baby! Cisco somehow split his nail down the center and had to have it removed. He’s a little drunk, which is hilarious. Alexia was very concerned.

P.S. Drunk Cisco is a lot like Drunk E.T. Hahahaha!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This isn’t “Turkey Day” in our house. We make foods we love for Thanksgiving. We tend to pick lasagna every time as the main course. This year I had some helpers in the kitchen!

And then we had our traditional pumpkin cheesecake for dessert… with my parents this year (on FaceTime)!

Chloe put this up on her easel and we all contributed to it:

We have so much to be thankful for!

Conversations With a 10-Year-Old: Treats


CHLOE: They’re having a dollar off deal at the pizza place for spirit night tonight, sooo….?????
MOM: Soooo…????
CHLOE: Sooooo… maybe we could get a little something something??
MOM: You’re going to have to be more specific.
CHLOE: You know…. Starts with a T and ends with an “EAT”……??
MOM: Teet?

Cue my own hysterical laughter. I didn’t know what it would sound like til it came out!! 😂

(She meant TREAT.)

Chase’s First Maintenance Test

Chase is on his way to testing for his black belt! To better prepare for it, he has to do two “maintenance tests” before the big test in January. His first was last night, virtually. In addition to his forms, he had to do 3 board breaking techniques and I had to hold the boards for him. It was terrifying but we got through it! Go, Chase! He’s so close to finishing!!