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On My Mind This Week: 12.27.21

On My Mind This Week: 12.27.21

10 Things: What’s On My Mind This Week, 12.27.21

1. Christmas with the girls was magic but I’m ready to move on.

I went a little overboard on toys but we’re going to be at home until this c*vid wave (and cold and flu season) die down. It’s about to get really, really cold, and we’re ready to spend a few months mostly indoors. I’ll get to work on a post about what the girls play with most these days. 

There was a time when I’d put off taking down the tree but this year, woke up on the 26th and felt so ready to say goodbye to Christmas. It all started with a little tidying up in the office. One thing lead to another and I took down everything but the tree. It would have come down, too, but I needed a new ornament box for all our ball ornaments and I didn’t give Margot a heads up, so that would have felt unfair. She was so sad when all the Halloween decor went down, so this felt like a nice transition. 

2. Speaking of a new year and fresh start, I need a reset.

I fell in one of those lazy food/life ruts where I haven’t been working out regularly and some days, will only have a snack and dinner. It’s not good. In a former life, I was very into CrossFit and paleo, and eating clean felt so good. So starting January 1, I’m going to begin a personal paleo “challenge” similar to the one I did years ago. When I do this, it’s basically clean eating, low fat, and low sugar (in the form of berries). Not nearly as extreme as Whole30  – just a clean diet with no refined sugar, dairy, grains, or processed food. When I did a two month challenge years ago, one of the rules was that once a week, I could have whatever I want for one meal. Both tequila and red wine (just one glass) are allowed, but I will limit to 1-2 drinks a week.

I just have to get back into a groove of being healthy and taking care of myself. It does require some work in the form of meal prep, but I hope it will help. Sounds super-fun, right? 😜Who wants to join me? 

3. I keep thinking about how some of you are struggling in your friendships.

This was a hard year for friendships, and I can’t shake what I shared in last week’s post, and how so many of you have gone through this. It is, in my opinion, worse than a breakup. As adults, we think we’ve found our people, and when you’re close with someone and then they’re just…gone…it hurts. But it happens and it’s completely normal. I want to write more about this soon, but for now, just wanted to say that those of you who are struggling right now are on my mind. Please remember that you are not alone. 

4. I’m already dreaming about summer but not for the usual reasons.

Over a nine day period starting at the end of June, Kate will turn two, Margot will turn four, and Margot will have her port removed! A few weeks later, she will take her last dose of chemo. I know summer probably feels far away to most of you, but this all started 590 days ago, so it feels very close. 2022 can’t come soon enough! I’m so ready for a new year, and just hope we can experience some normalcy this summer. I really miss seeing my friends. 

5. I signed off my computer for four days.

I know that doesn’t sound like much but I can’t remember the last time I checked out for more than a weekend and most weekends, end up doing a little bit of work. And I have a lot of flexibility (and do not take it for granted – huge perk). It’s very normal for me to take a break and get things done during the day, only to sign on and work from 7:30-11PM. Probably not the best habit, but I enjoy it. It’s so nice to be able to spend time with the girls, tidy up, work out, or in normal times, go do things. Can’t wait until that’s a thing again. My point is that it was really nice to slow down and unplug for a few days, and I good reminder that I need to do a little more unplugging.

6. Kate is 18 months old today!

I can’t believe she’s already six months away from turning two! Her newest thing is walking up to me and giving me a big hug and kiss. She’ll kiss whatever she has access to (usually my leg). 😂 She is such a love! I forgot how much I love this stage. 

7. I wanted to share links to a few things I got questions about this week. 

Playroom rainbow garland

Giant coloring poster

Balance beam

KN95 masks

Margot’s backpack

My sunglasses

My half-zip sweatshirt

8. Dexter! 

I don’t want to give anything away but I’ll just say based on the first episode, I did not think I was going to be into this new series. It’s getting really good. We really need a new show. Something light and funny because I can’t deal with anything sad and Dexter is all the intensity I can handle. 

9. I can’t stop thinking about the window restoration at the new house. 

We sanded and repainted the windows black. Shared a before and after here

10. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about our c*vid protocol.

It should be fairly obvious that we are making the decision to be extra-cautious since our daughter’s immune system is compromised. We don’t know what would happen if she got sick, and we can’t get sick, because one of us always needs to be able to take Margot to the hospital or clinic in case anything should happen. She’s doing so well, and we want to keep it that way. I know too many people with with healthy kids who are getting very sick.

If things were normal for us, I would personally require tests before seeing my unvaccinated children. I would not be flying or living normally, but again, that’s just me. You have to do what feels right for you. 

But back to our protocol. If we’re going to let someone see Margot indoors, our oncology team said they need to isolate for 5 days, take a PCR test, and then a rapid test right before seeing her. We obviously wouldn’t expect anyone except family to do that, and they did for Christmas. 🤍

Our nanny is very isolated, so she was coming, but is taking a post-holiday break before testing. We are back to strictly curbside, so no errands.

When we go to clinic, I usually ask the security guard to help us get our own elevator to minimize risk. We never have to wait since there are so many of them, but when people pile in (6+ people in an elevator) it’s just too much. We did take Margot to a store on a weekday during off-hours, so it was pretty empty and we could distance there, too. At this point, I wouldn’t take the girls anywhere unless we had to (like to clinic). We haven’t dined indoors at all, but did eat on patios during summer since that felt safe.

As you may know, my husband is a realtor, and he had a great (busy) year, but most of that work conveniently came after we were vaccinated last March. He never drives clients in his car and everyone is always masked. He wears a KN95 and distances, so it feels safe since he’s not sitting face-to-face with anyone. People have to work, so it’s just about being as safe as possible. If and when he does go into our store, everyone is masked and he usually works in the back room alone. Fortunately, things have been quiet for him around the holidays, and I hope it stays that way during this wave. 

In 2020, we saw our oncology team weekly and we now see them monthly, so we have a good plan in place, and always ask what is and isn’t safe as things change. Of course everything comes with some risk, but we keep that risk very (very) minimal. 

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  • I am on the same boat with taking down Christmas! Our tree went down yesterday too. It’s real and was starting to lose its needles. I was wanting/needing the space back in the living room, but didn’t realize how sad it would make my 4 year old. She kept saying “good-bye tree, see you next year!” 😢 We are also being really extra cautious with c*vid since we have kids that are too young to be vaccinated. Personally, I am so risk averse (I know you are too) and we’ve found what works for our family and my anxiety. We see two other households indoor without masks (one being my BIL) but not since flu season ramped up and are really laying low with the new wave. And we’ll also try to isolate and test before we see anyone inside going forward. It’s hard to find a balance with so many variables. 🥴 I always appreciate your posts and hope you had a Merry Christmas with your sweet family! ❤️

  • Danielle-

    I have had empathy for you, as my cousin had cancer and was treated at Lurie a few years back – but your utter lack of self awareness is astonishing. There are HUNDREDS of patients there every day, why is your child more special where you can inconvenience others by having a security guard get you your own elevator? Cancer sucks, and I’m so happy your daughter is doing so well, truly – but please have some perspective as there are many families who aren’t getting the good news you are every visit.

    1. Hi Ellie. I’m so sorry your cousin went through that. I don’t want to assume anything but were you there to see how hard it was on your cousin’s body? Did you know their counts and when they were at-risk of a fever or how they handled that? For the midnight ED trips after a fever? It’s usually just the parents who are there at that level and truly understand.

      The elevators move very quickly – there isn’t a wait, so it’s not an inconvenience at all. If it’s not crowded and there’s just one or two people waiting we’ll go in with them, but when it’s packed and people pile in (like 6 people per elevator), that feels really scary for us. It’s way too many exposures in a small space. I always took the stairs in the parking garage but clinic is on floor 18 so that’s just not possible. Any germ or cold is really scary for a child receiving chemo. Not all children at Lurie have a compromised immune system.

      I have perspective. Please have some empathy.