2 weeks ago
December 2020 Q&A
What are you looking forward to in the new year?
Margot finishing “frontline” which is the more aggressive part of treatment. This felt so, so far away last May and we have two more clinic days until we’re done. I can’t say or type that without tearing up. She’ll have daily meds (at home) until July 2022 but only needs to go to clinic once a month instead of every 7-10 days, and even though it’s a long road, this feels huge! Treatment for Leukemia is so, so long but the prognosis is really incredible, and life should feel (mostly) normal soon. And a new president. And hopefully being able to see friends again. 2020 was lonely.
Three wishes for 2021?
Healthy happy girls. Hopefully staying out of the hospital. If M gets a fever of 100.3 or higher we have to go in.
An end to COVID: seeing friends, having childcare, leaving the house, and a little normalcy.
I would say travel but we can’t travel until Margot’s port is out (probably later in 2022/early 2023) and really, seeing friends and doing things sounds life-changing.
Any goals for 2021?
What a weird way to start the year. I’m still off work, no childcare, treatment, etc. I’d love to return to something that feels a bit more like normal, but I’ll never regret having so much time with my girls. I’m really grateful for the extra time with them. I’d like to get the house a bit more organized, semi-regular workouts, leaving the house? Maybe even putting real pants on. Those are goals, right?
How are you? What’s your favorite way to decompress?
I am so much better than I was months ago. Thank you to everyone who asked! We had some major struggles with getting Margot her meds and my anxiety was through the roof. Hours of what felt pretty hellish for a while there. Now that we’re through the hardest block and so close to maintenance, I’m feeling a lot better. Things are nonstop – I’m still off work but am with the girls all day and anyone with a baby and toddler knows there’s zero time for anything.
I have accepted that my “me” time is a shower or quick call with a friend if/when I can make that happen. Attempting a blog post or two is always nice, too. Those little things that feel normal are nice right now. When there’s time, I’ll get a workout in with the Mirror or Peloton, but most days, the time just isn’t there and I’m too tired. We restarted Mad Men so that’s been a nice way to unplug at the end of the day. Then there’s Margot’s dollhouse, but now that the floors are in, I think I’m ready to call it.
How do you find time for yourself?
When I have a moment I usually use it to shower. The girls have napped for an hour at the same time twice. If Kate is asleep, I’ll try to get some computer time or a workout in while Margot plays or watches a show. My “me” time is usually from 7:30-10 or 11PM when the girls are in bed. These are the days I know I’ll miss and I know it won’t be like this forever, so I’m just kind of embracing the crazy and feel grateful that Margot is doing well and Kate is a happy baby.
How are you and Conor maintaining connection?
In the beginning, we felt like a united front, and we do again now, but things were hard for a while. I knew we’d get through it but my anxiety was horrible when things were harder. I am really bad at compartmentalizing all-consuming stress and he tries to focus on the good and not stress over the hard stuff, so we both needed to process in our own way. Things feel as good as they can during treatment with no childcare and zero plans. At the end of the day, we’ll pour wine and try to unplug together for a bit. Sometimes, we’ll make dinner but most of the time we just talk about things we want to do (travels, life plans, projects etc – which is really nice) and there’s always Don Draper.
What’s your Peloton routine?
There isn’t much of a routine and I honestly prefer the Mirror to the Peloton. I’d love to get 4-5 workouts in a week and do a mix of the two – spinning, cardio, strength-training, etc. and know I’ll get there.
Favorite item in your home or closet?
Before kids, were you nervous about how you’d balance your career and being a mom?
Not really. I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t overanalyze it. I always knew I wanted to work and planned having childcare. It was the hours that I’m not working that always felt the hardest since those were the hours when I worked out or had my “me” time (nails, time with friends, errands, etc). Once you have kids, that’s your time with them, so that felt like a bigger struggle than working and being a mom. Honestly, being home full-time is a lot harder than working and having a nanny.
Do you see Chicago as a forever home?
We have so much here – family, friends, Anecdote, and now a big tie to Lurie Children’s. Forever feels so permanent but leaving is not really on our radar.
When did you decide to have baby number two? Did you always want to have them this close in age?
I think we always knew we’d have two and started talking about it fall 2019. I got pregnant right away, had a miscarriage at 6 weeks, then got pregnant again the following month.
How is Margot doing?
She is amazing and we’ve been lucky that she’s handled treatment as well as she has. The first month was horrible and we’ve definitely had hard days and moments, but overall, it’s been ok and she’s happy most of the time. We have been working with a child life specialist at the hospital who has been so helpful. said Margot has adjusted as well as she possibly can. She’s an incredible little girl.
What are some cute things Margot has said recently?
Whenever she wants to do something, she asks to do it “just for a tiny little bit longer” and it’s just the cutest.
She now adds “mommy” to everything and it melts me. “I did it, mommy!” “Mommy, you came back!” (from upstairs). “Mommy, will you play grocery store with me?”
She’s all about going “on holiday on Paris or Italy” since Peppa goes on holiday to Italy, and Margot can’t seem to get enough of this book.
Everything is “kinda like” something. Weeks ago, she bounced a soft ornament up and down on our tree and said it was kinda like a tree see saw. Then said “what? a tree see saw, Margot?” like it was the funniest thing ever.
Do you want more kids?
Yes and no. I love the idea of 3 kids later on but the last year was a lot and I think we’re done. Feeling like I’m spread pretty thin right now and can’t imagine adding to the craziness.
How is baby Kate doing?
Oh, Kate. She’s such an angel. She almost always has a big, open smile and laughs (and yells) all day. She’s been regularly sleeping through the night for two months! That was not the case with Margot at 6 months. Naps are hit or miss – sometimes 24 min and sometimes an hour and 45 min. She’s so mellow. We really like her.
Favorite baby item that you have or Kate that you didn’t have with Margot?
What did you buy and not use enough with your girls from newborn to 1 year old?
The Design Dua Basket. Used it for the first 2-3 months with Margot but barely used it with Kate since we couldn’t leave her out in the living room with a toddler running around.
How do you keep your furniture clean with a toddler?
I have our upholstered furniture cleaned every 6 months or so, and we only let Margot have snacks on her “Margot Chair” so that helps. The white chaise looks lived in but people live here, so it’s fine.
How do nurses help you most emotionally when you are at the hospital with Margot?
I love nurses. Doctors, too, but the nurses spend so much time with us when we’re inpatient and on clinic days, too. No parent wants to be on the oncology floor with their child, and nurses always ask how I’m doing and if I need anything, even though I’m not the patient. They’re wonderful. When I ordered Starbucks via Postmates and needed to run down to pick it up, our nurse stayed in the room and played with Margot. They let me take Margot’s temp since she stays more calm when I do it. They ask what works best for my baby and then listen when I tell them. They’re so stealthy when coming in at midnight and 4AM for vitals. I love nurses so so much.
I’m a mom to 3, trying to start a business. Best piece of advice?
If you don’t have childcare, I’d recommend having help a few hours a week or some sort plan in place that allows you to focus without interruption. Devote yourself to your dream and don’t apologize for doing something you love. Don’t forget to sign off and have some fun, too.
How did you find a therapist? I don’t know where to begin.
One of my oldest friends is a therapist and wrote an article on how to find a therapist. I found my therapist through a friend.