The Busy Giffs

January 24, 2022

When Covid Hit

I have to tell you, getting Covid sucked. And not just because I was sick and quarantined, but there's such a stigma around having Covid.

Let me back track...

We had some New Years Eve plans this year, but at the last minute, Nick and I cancelled our plans for the sake of safety and had a quiet night in, just the two of us and our friends Ben and Jerry. The kids were with their dad. We had plans on January 1st to head to Hotel 1620 for what is becoming our annual "start the new year doing something fun" trip. 

We started New Years Day traveling to the Newport Mansions to visit the Breakers. It is legitimately the most extravagant, gorgeous place I've ever seen. We grabbed a donut at Ma's and made our way to Plymouth to check in to the hotel. We had so much fun swimming and ordered in pizza to the hotel. My mom and sister came by and ate pizza with us. 

Sunday morning, we woke up to a message that someone the kids had been with on New Years Eve hadn't felt well and tested positive. Even though the kids are vaccinated, they only had their second shot on 12/30 so they were not considered "fully vaccinated". Because it was an out of school contact, the kids were not allowed to go to school until they satisfied the quarantining guidelines. 

We immediately packed up, notified the hotel, and went to Nick's to quarantine. Going to his house for the week made more sense because it kept us out of where we lived with my grandmother. After getting everyone to Nick's, we all took rapid tests (all negative!) and I ran back to our house to load up a bag with more clothes and things to keep us entertained for the week. I've always been overly cautious with Covid but knowing my kids had a close contact, I was even more so. I'm so happy that I already stocked up on disinfectant and masks because I looked like an exterminator heading to the house. 

The rest of the week was so uneventful. Lots of playdoh, and video games, and me writing lesson plans from home. We rapid tested every morning. We tested with PCR testing on Tuesday and Wednesday (days 4 and 5), which if negative would allow the kids to go to school again. By Wednesday night, we had no results. I wanted to wait for a result before we went back to the house, even though we had hit 5 days, because again, I'm overly cautious. We went to another testing company on Thursday. Thursday afternoon we still had no results but because of an expected snow storm, we stayed at Nick's for yet another night. Friday morning we woke up to negative results from Tuesday's testing. There was a bunch of snow and since we didn't have to get back for school, I decided to stay at Nicks. Saturday morning, I woke up to a positive result from Thursday's test for Emmalee, with Tyler, Nick and I all negative. Knowing we'd need to stay at Nick's and not go back to our house, I rapid tested, threw on two masks, grabbed my disinfectant and sanitizer, and went up to get more supplies to get us threw the additional week of quarantining and isolating. Saturday night before bed, my head started to hurt and I was congested. I woke up Sunday am, took a rapid and was positive, while Nick and Tyler continued to test negative. 

The most important messages I received that week were texts checking in on how we were doing, messages from friends who were sending supplies and love, and work being so supportive. I felt like such a failure that my kid and I had gotten covid. We've continued to live great lives all throughout Covid. We went camping and hiking in New Hampshire. We took a two week road trip to Florida. Nick and I went to Nashville. Every place, we wore masks and sanitized and socially distanced and did all the things we were supposed to do, and I got sick while inside, quarantining with my kid. One friend messaged me and said "If you are hearing the narrative that this is somehow your fault or that you are a bad person for having Covid, you are wrong." and honestly, I cried. I worked so hard to stay safe and it just crumbled in front of me. I have my shots and I'm boosted because of my autoimmune disease. I know that I'm more at risk than others.

Keeping Tyler safe became the priority. With his asthma, Covid really scared me. He was hospitalized February 2021 for his asthma even though he tested negative the entire time. Sending him to his dads (who was also staying negative), was heartbreaking for me. There's no words to describe how hard it is to want to do everything to protect your kid, but knowing that you are who he needs protection from. We spent until Thursday, when we all had negative tests and the kids were considered "full vaccinated" at Nicks, and were able to go back to school and work. Thankfully, with MLK Jr Day, we had another three day weekend so we were able to do our work/school day and head right back to Nicks until Monday the 17th to be completely sure we had cleared the 14 day incubation period. Somehow, Tyler, Nick and Dave all stayed negative. 

Having Covid itself was not terrible for me. Slight head congestion. a stuffy nose. The hardest parts weren't my actual symptoms. It was missing two weeks of work with students who were ending the term and getting ready for mid-year exams. It was consoling my crying kid because she missed school and her friends. It was not being able to hug my son for 5 days because I was afraid I'd get him sick. It was having people think I would be anything but cautious, especially given my living situation.

I'm so over all this covid stuff. It's been two years and I'm still being overly cautious, but I am dreaming of the days when I can travel again without being scrutinized and this is a thing of the past. Stay six feet away, wash your hands, and let's get past this.

December 31, 2021

December Books


47. Rocks Paper Scissors, Alice Feeney

48. Because of Mr. Terupt, 

49. Maids , Katie Skelly

50. The Family Plot, Meghan Collins

51. Persephone, Loic Locatelli-Kournwsky

I loved Rocks Paper Scissors, it was a huge twist, followed by another twist and I was enthralled. I didn't go to bed until almost midnight because I had to find out what happens. 

I was literally in tears reading Because of Mr. Terupt. It reminded me so much of The Noticer but in a completely different way. I've already put the second book on hold at the library.

I'm not a huge fan of graphic novels but I was interested in Maids when I read the inside flap. I prefer the context given in longer novels but this one was a struggle for me. A quick read but also I don't really understand what happened so maybe I just need to try another graphic novel... However, this is based on a true story from the 1930s, so it might be enjoyable for you... and I didn't love Persephone, and probably because I don't like graphic novels -- my brain likes to imagine the story itself...

However, I LOVED The Family Plot. I've always tried to figure out books before the end, but man oh man, I did not see this twist coming... highly recommended!

My favorite part is that I hit 50 books this year! I haven't binged any shows and I haven't had a gym membership for a few months, but reading was a wonderful outlet for me this year. I'm curious abou how many I'll read next year!

December 29, 2021

Launch Trampoline Park, Norwood

 We needed to run off some energy this week and found ourselves at Launch Trampoline Park in Norwood, MA.

AT less than $30 per kid for an hour of play time, plus arcade tokens, it was a great value. The kids each got a wristband and every 15 minutes, the speaker would let you know if you're colored band expired. Staff was walking around but I didn't see them ask anyone to leave; most people just left when it was their time. 

My kids especially loved the ninja obstacle course area and the massive foam pits, but also had so much fun bouncing across the entire room of trampolines.

There is a concession stand for drinks and snacks and the bottle of water was exactly what we needed. 

We cooled off after our hour of playtime and used our arcade credits. A handful of the machines were out of order but the kids were still happy with the games that were up and running.

A friendly reminder that you need trampoline socks but you can purchase them at Launch for just $3!

When Covid Hit

I have to tell you, getting Covid sucked. And not just because I was sick and quarantined, but there's such a stigma around having Covid...