It’s honestly amazing that I am even finding the energy or time to write this post. But I also want to remember this time that our family struggled and persisted! It’s been just that; a struggle and persistence to manage through these past few weeks. It’s felt like a never-ending saga, and I’m ready for it to come to an end.
It really started a full two weeks ago, when we were notified that Lottie tested positive less than 12 hours after leaving our house. We pulled Reese out of school and immediately got everyone in our household tested with a PCR test, all of which came back negative. We got Reese back in school and just as we were hoping that we narrowly missed getting infected, Bryan messages me Friday morning to say that he’s positive and staying in the nursery/office. Um, okay, here we go. It’s me and the two girls and no school for Reese and I’m not even sure what I have in store for myself.
So now that Bryan is essentially out of the picture, I’m juggling my rambunctious and high-energy three year old and my two month old by myself. And I do this for a week! The three of us all went to get another round of PCR tests that first day that Bryan tested positive and after waiting 24 hours again, they all come back negative. At this point, I am not too concerned with still going out to public, however we don’t do a whole lot of that. On Friday, we managed a nice long walk with the double stroller to go pick up some Chinese noodles for takeout in Capitol Hill to bring back for all of us. On Saturday, I piled the girls in the car to head south to Maple Valley and a friend’s recommendation for the Gnome Trail. This was a 1/2 mile walk in the woods where thousands of gnomes are placed along the path and is a big hit with kids. Well, Brooke hates car rides so she wasn’t down for the 45 minute drive each way, and Reese felt the need to first collect the gnomes (which I immediately stopped) and then touch every single gnome on the trail. I about lost my mind on this trip. I had packed a lunch in Reese’s bento box for her and settled in for the 45 minutes of screaming from Brooke in the backseat.
On Sunday, we stuck with our plans for gymnastic class and I was happy to have something organized for Reese to go to. She loved it and the weather was beautiful so we walked to the park nearby afterwards to play in the sunshine and give Bryan some time to get out of his room if he desired. On Monday we took the car (and Reese) to the car wash and then set out to St Edward State Park in Kirkland to explore this new to us park. I would have loved to walk the trails with the girls but it was sprinkling and not pleasant so we just played in the empty but amazing playground for some time and then got fast food on our way home. In the afternoon we baked some cookies and took the double stroller up the hill to drop them off at Lottie’s and talked to them through their windows for about 10 minutes. And our last day at home during our quarantine from Bryan’s exposure was Tuesday and Reese wanted to go to the bounce house. Our normal one wasn’t open on Tuesday so we drove to Redmond to check out theirs. It was lame in comparison but also completely empty. Reese had the three structures to herself and then spent about 15 minutes kicking a soccer ball around with me and running sprints across the length of the field several times. We finished the afternoon off with a long walk to pick up our Seattle Fish Guys meal kit (that I am now so happy I had ordered this time around).
Finally on Wednesday I got to drop Reese back off at school and I took a long walk to get a coffee and then home to just decompress. By Wednesday, Reese was done with me, my games, my demands, and me not being able to give her the attention that she wants or needs with a newborn attached to me at all times. I felt like a zombie but at least I had the relief of her in school. And I also thought we were again in the clear. So Reese was at school for Wednesday and Thursday, giving me two days of mild relaxation, but also nights alone putting both girls to bed and doing dinner with just the girls. Friday morning was the worst. I give all three of us girls home tests (as I had been doing every morning that week) and could not believe my eyes that Reese’s turned positive. I thought for a minute if I could pretend I didn’t see it, but I knew morally I could not. I still asked Reese several times if she was sick and she said no. Of course, at the same time, Bryan was taking another test and his was finally “nearly” negative. So our reunion with daddy was not with hugs and laughs but with him in a mask needing to comfort us all because Reese is now home from school for ten days.
I cried. I talked to Bryan and cried. I talked to my mom and cried. I really couldn’t take anymore stress and schedule eruption. But I did. We notified Reese’s school and fortunately they did not have to close down for our case like they had for others since the positive test came on a day she hadn’t been there yet. At least there was that. And we did have Bryan back although I knew that he would have to continue working so I would be on my own with the girls during the days again.
The weekend was quiet and mostly at home with a few walks. We finally got Brooke’s two month waffles in, and will live in infamy as Bryan is holding Brooke for the photo wearing a mask. Bryan actually didn’t take his mask off until Monday of this week and didn’t hold Brooke until today! I took the girls for a walk in the sunshine to an empty park Saturday morning and we stumbled upon a tricycle that was on the curb for free that Reese immediately took to. She practically rode it home and then proceeded to ride it up and down our street (but not the hill) countless times the past several days. We sat at the dinner table for the first time as a family on Saturday night with a delicious dinner of halibut from our meal kit. We of course did not go to gymnastics on Sunday but did more laps with the tricycle outside and then invited Sarah and Lottie over for the Super Bowl and nachos and just to give me one more dosage of exposure to make sure I am good and exposed. All of us adults were grateful for the adult social interaction as none of us have had any and Reese and Lottie thoroughly enjoyed one another.
This week so far has been okay. I am still trying my best to get Reese out of the house for at least some time everyday otherwise both of us go crazy. On Monday we drove downtown for curbside pickup of donuts and lattes from Top Pot who continues to have monthlong promotions in celebration of their 20 year anniversary. Reese gets a donut and my latte comes free. We did some more laps with the trike and then for our Valentine’s Day dinner we had a very indulgent surf and turf dinner from the Seattle Fish Guys, plus some ice cream and opera cake, also from our meal kit. And this morning we drove out east to Bellevue to Kelsey Creek Farm to walk around their paths and look at the animals and check out their very cute playground. Of course it was somewhat sprinkling on us the whole time and Reese was bummed that she couldn’t pet the animals, which I honestly was bummed too because I wanted to see if Reese would really try to touch the animals. We’ve also painted at home, had baths with the two girls, and tried other activities that I feel like only get Reese mildly interested in.
I’m hanging in there but knowing that I am only about 2 of 7 days into this whole home from school experience is a lot to take in. Plus, we were supposed to go to Michigan on Friday but have rescheduled that trip to leave the following Friday. We will then essentially go straight from Michigan to Arizona and I have now put in a request with my supervisor to extend my maternity leave by two weeks, to push it out past our trip dates. Honestly, I need another three months of leave as right now I don’t feel mentally or emotionally able to return to work. Hopefully the trips will do me good, and not add additional stress, so that when I return I feel like working again. I really wish Reese could be in school more before I am back at work, unfortunately I think she has only been in school about three weeks total of my entire maternity leave! I’m beyond worn out.
*To add: This morning Brooke tested positive…ugh.