10 Things

I’ve spent a lot of time reading and learning over the last couple of weeks, which I feel is of the utmost importance right now. (And always. I recently read Between the World and Me and was so moved by it. More below.) But as I ease back into blogging while looking at life through a different lens, I thought I’d do one of those “10 Things” posts, or whatever I called them back in the day–in which I’d write about the first 10 things that come to mind at 11:30 pm. (Which really just proves that I’m a insane insomniac, but whatever. 😜)

So here goes. In no order of importance:

  • Getting our kids in bed on time is proving to be IMPOSSIBLE. We seriously can’t do it. On one hand, it’s not really that big of a deal considering no one needs to get up early to go to school or camp. On the other, though, it is a big deal because the girls feel it the following day. Mitch and I also struggle to keep the house clean, get our work done, and find time for our marriage! BAH. I know this sounds like an easy fix, but woo-ee. Not so easy. Part of it has to do with falling behind throughout the day due to a zillion different scenarios that can take place when you have little kids, and then it all snowballs. (Stuff gets pushed back–maybe even due to something little like a longer-than-usual nap–and suddenly it’s 8 p.m. and we’re only finishing dinner.) And then another part of it has to do with pandemic guilt. Lucy is pretty easy; cuddle her, sing to her, and read her a book and she’s all smiles. But Emma is older and therefore things are more complex. If she has a particularly tough day because she misses school and her friends and her old life in general, hugs and stories might not do it. And to make up for it, I might try to squeeze in an extra activity or prolong something fun we’re doing at the end of the day so she goes to bed happy. I know it’s my own fault and I’m perpetuating the cycle and this is not good, but… sigh.
  • I loved Between the World and Me. The Atlantic is definitely my favorite literary/commentary magazine, and the author, Ta-Nehisi Coates, was a national correspondent for the publication. The book is a letter to Coates’ teenage son, in which he describes what it’s like to be Black in America. (And obviously so much more.) I’m not in any way an expert on antiracist literature, but this was an extraordinarily powerful read and it made me re-think so much. Five stars.
  • The house is clean… which is nuts. It’s been a struggle, but I’ve been keeping up with the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry… and Mitch and I tidy every single day so we don’t feel like we’re drowning in kid clutter. There are, however, those deep-cleaning things that have fallen through the cracks over these last few months due to time constraints, and I was starting to feel kind of hopeless about it. (I do realize how pathetic and out-of-touch that sounds, but it is what it is.) I rallied on Friday, though, and Mitch played with the girls while I went into battle mode. It’s not perfect, but WOW do I feel better. (Btw: I bought this Bissel steam mop a while ago because my friend Anna was raving about it, and can’t believe what a difference it makes! And it only uses WATER, so you don’t need to constantly buy refills of whatever cleaning solution most companies say you need.)
  • We’re putting in laundry room cabinets! I have very little idea what’s going on, haha, but I’m PUMPED. Mitch coordinated the whole thing with Kira David Design and Elkay (with which this is a partnership). I’ll be honest here and say that when it comes to big projects like this, Mitch is almost always a “yes” and I’m almost always a “no.” I get overwhelmed! So for the most part, Mitch spearheads everything and I do things like pick hardware and paint colors–and the same has been the case with the laundry room. 😂 But it’ll be really nice. I spend a ton of time in there, and it’ll be so helpful to have storage cabinets, a functional sink, and a place to steam/iron clothing. :) The best part about this whole thing is that it’s being done extremely safely. When the idea was first proposed, I was a hard no because of the pandemic. But Kira’s crew has figured out a way to seal off that entire part of the house with plastic–and come and go only through the second-floor entrance to the house so that there isn’t any risk to us or the crew. It’s pretty amazing, and I surprisingly feel completely comfortable with it. It’s also a great way to support my best bud’s small business. ♥️
  • We waved to Margot’s room at Children’s Hospital. The daughter of one of my best friends, Danielle, was recently diagnosed with Leukemia, and my heart goes out to the Scanlon Fam. :( We’ve been trying to think of little (safe) things we can do/send/drop off to make their days a little brighter, so we recently drove down to Margot’s hospital to drop off an interactive “Frozen” book and so Emma could wave to her from the car. Margot was sleeping, but it was a sweet moment that I could at least tell Danielle about. Sigh. You might remember that my cousin, Annie, battled cancer in her 20s a few years ago… but if anyone has any good ideas for lifting the spirits of tiny cancer patients and their families, I would so appreciate hearing from you! We’ve done a lot of Pinteresting and Googling but coming from you is certainly more meaningful. Thank you!
  • We have new neighbors and they’re GREAT. Okay, we’ve technically never hung out in person, unless you count yelling at each other in an attempt to have a conversation across three decks that are between our houses. But we text with them a lot, they have kids around Emma’s age, and they seem like our people. :) And while there are a zillion reasons why I can’t wait for all this to be over, it helps knowing that when we come out of it, we have new friends to get to know! So grateful for our block, which so many young families call home.
  • Who else is still on the organizational train? I just finished the crafting desk in the kitchen, and everything now has a place! Next up is the linen closet. That thing is my nemesis. I don’t know why I stockpile bedding and towels. I mean, even during a pandemic, one does not need three full-size duvet covers when she has zero full-size beds in her home. I’m a lunatic.
  • Cheerios sent Lucy the personalized cereal box you see above and we freaked out. I don’t know who’s responsible for this brilliant marketing strategy or how he/she found our address, but that person should probably be promoted. 😜
  • We’re trying to diversify our children’s library. Again, I’m no expert so please take my “recommendations” with a grain of salt. But I ordered Vashti Harrison’s Leaders & Dreamers set, and Hair Like Mine by LaTashia M. Perry. Emma and I read Hair Like Mine last week, and she asked to read it the following night, too. (Favorite game right now is playing hairdresser, so it was definitely high-interest reading for her!) The book prompted a great discussion about what makes people special, both inside and out, and how those differences make us unique. (Albeit on a very, very simple level as Emma is three years old.) Small steps!
  • As Chicago begins to re-open, Mitch and I are discussing how to move forward and continue to do our part to slow the spread. We’ve been extraordinarily cautious throughout the pandemic, and now that the city is easing restrictions, we’re morally conflicted about whether we want to change our daily lives. We miss our families. A lot. We’re sad; Emma’s sad. Yet there are so many unknowns. We worry about a second spike in the coming weeks/months, we fear for our families, and we want to do the right thing. But yeah. We miss them. Are you struggling with this? What are your thoughts? Have you made any changes to your day-to-day?