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!

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

OMG I’m CRYING!! 😂

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.)

End of Soccer Season

This soccer season was an interesting one. They were shut down for awhile, then opened for practices and eventually games with a bunch of safety rules in place. It was hard deciding whether or not to let her play due to COVID, but ultimately she loves it and her soul needed it. She played goalkeeper and killed it! I am so proud of her. She has really grown as a player!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! We definitely got into the spirit this year!

The kids’ dad used to go crazy decorating his yard for the holidays. Chloe wanted me to take all of his decorations after he died, but it was a LOT and let’s just say… not my style. So I told her we could totally decorate outside this year to honor that memory, but on my terms lol. This is our start. I figure we’ll add to it little by little throughout the years. Chloe had a lot of fun shopping for the decorations with me, and we actually made the ghosts ourselves (thanks, Martha Stewart)!

We carved pumpkins in the spirit of our new COVID life:

Last night we did a little Halloween “festival-ing”. We first went to this cool sounding place in Georgetown but when we got there NOBODY was wearing a mask and the kids were the ones to say “never mind” first. They couldn’t believe people weren’t taking the pandemic seriously. (I was so proud!) Chase said it perfectly:

“Think of a mask as a video game upgrade: ‘+50% disease resistance.’” I thought that was a hilarious perspective!

Anyway, we left that place and went to Pioneer Farms, which was lots less crowded and had lots of safety measures in place. It was really low key but we had a lot of fun. Just exploring old houses in the dark with few others around was creepily fabulous.

And then of course we had to dress up! We had a “Stranger Things” costume theme this year. It happened by accident. Chase said he wanted to wear a hazmat suit this year (because COVID). And Chloe wanted to be Eleven from Stranger Things. They wear hazmat suits in Stranger Things so we decided to make it an all-out theme and dress the dogs up as demogorgons (whose costumes Chloe and I made ourselves)!

For reference:

And here’s our take!

Of course I had to join the fun!

Trick-or-Treating looked different this year, but in a fun way! Chloe got to go with one of her best friends she hadn’t seen since we shut down in March, so that was awesome. Now we are quarantining her candy for a few days before she can touch it. (Don’t worry, I bought extra for her to have until then!)

Chase spent the night at a close friend’s house (someone he has lunch with at school every day, anyway). They ran around his neighborhood trick-or-treating and played video games all night.

Happy Halloween!

One Year Ago….

One year ago today my kids’ dad didn’t show up to Chloe’s soccer game. I called his work, asking them to please tell his ex-wife if he had reported to work. He hadn’t. Standing on the back porch so my kids couldn’t hear my concern, I called the police. They called me several times after that initial call to ask questions: “Do you know the garage code?” “Could he have gone out of town?” “Are the dogs friendly?” I tried to keep things as normal as possible so I took Chase to Tae Kwon Do, standing outside the studio clutching my phone, waiting to hear something… trying to keep a smile on my face for every time Chase looked at me through the window. The longer I waited for news the tighter the knot clenched in my stomach. When the police called and asked me to come to his house I knew. I told the kids I was going to check on things, and cried to my mom on the phone the whole way there. I pulled up and saw several official vehicles out front and two officers in the driveway. I got the news very matter-of-factly right there, and ended up in Brian’s dining room with the detective answering questions, knowing he was laying in the bedroom 10 feet away from me. I made it back to the car and called his sister before driving home. I had to tell my kids their dad was gone. How does a person do that? I still feel like I did it wrong (knowing full well there was no right way).

This day one year ago changed our worlds forever. It has been one helluva year… but you know what? We’re good. Nothing can prepare you for something like that, but we’ve moved past the surviving part, and on to the thriving part. What doesn’t kill you truly does make you stronger.

The kids chose to honor him tonight by eating at one of his favorite places and watching one of his favorite movies.

P.S. I can’t believe they convinced me to go to a buffet in the middle of a pandemic but I was actually really impressed with all the safety measures they had in place.

COVID Getaway

I rented a house with a pool for the long weekend to give our little family a mini COVID-safe getaway. We’ve been cooped up for so long, without a vacation, and we just needed it! I made it a total surprise. They knew we were going somewhere but that’s it. The only reason they knew that was because Chloe saw “COVID Getaway” on my calendar. Whoops! They were continuously guessing and I just kept saying, “I don’t know!” It was sooooo fun torturing them!

The morning of the day we left Chase said, “I hope it’s not camping” and I chose to use my acting skills to mess with him. I gasped and said in my best defensive/hurt voice, “Wait! What’s so wrong with camping! Camping is fun!” He immediately stopped and said, “Wait… We are camping? I mean, camping isn’t bad, but…” and I just told him to go away and let me get ready. What worked out so perfectly is that I had bought stuff to make s’mores in the fireplace, so I made sure I packed that stuff on top of the food bag/cooler so it reinforced his suspicions even more. Hee hee! I’m so mean.

Anyway, after Chloe’s soccer game we started driving to Dallas and they watched the time count down on my GPS. When we were about 5 minutes away they got super confused because we were obviously not in some remote camping area. I pulled into the driveway of the house, turned off the car and said, “Come on!” They followed me to the front door and when I entered the code and opened the door they looked at me like I was crazy. That’s when I told them the house was ours for the weekend. They were in shock! It was the best.

The weekend was way too short, but we enjoyed every second of it! We swam….

…watched movies…

…played pool…

…and ping pong…

…and made s’mores!

It was a weekend that proved to be good for the soul. The kids didn’t fight at all! It was amazing….