It has been a while since I last checked in because life has frankly just been a rollercoaster! We moved out of the AirBnB at the end of July and in with my parents in the suburbs. After searching and searching and continuing to pay crazy AirBnB rates, it just didn’t make sense anymore. So, we graciously took my parents up on their offer and have been here the last 30 days.
I’m more halfway through pregnancy
I can hardly believe I’m 25 weeks pregnant. We have been so busy that the time has flown by! Thank goodness this pregnancy has been easier than my last pregnancy because it’s definitely a chaotic time. I’m feeling tired, but I don’t know if that’s pregnancy, lack of routine, or just pandemic fatigue. Probably all three! Overall, feeling pretty good though. My body was crazy sore until about 20-22 weeks, and I’m finally able to work out again. Thank goodness for the Peloton!
My dairy cravings have subsided, thank goodness. I feel like that’s such a gross thing to crave, ha! Now, I’m really into fruits and vegetables and I’m feeling good about that. Every week, I feel like there’s a new batch of clothes that don’t fit. However, it’s almost easier because I can just pack them away until we move… again! Oh, about that…
We found a house!
Yes! Finally! I am so thrilled to share with you that we’ll be moving to the North Shore in Chicago. When we redid our Roscoe Village home, we absolutely did not intend on leaving it. (Have you seen the home tour?? It’s saved here). The pandemic has left us craving safety and the ability to easily see our family, which led us to the North Shore.
It might sound crazy to you, but we have dreams of hosting big family holidays at our home. Over the last year, we realized that (and so many other things) would never happen in the city. Our families are not “city people.” While they’ve been good sports about coming down, it’s not their ideal place.
I always thought we’d be a city family, so it took me longer than Matt to get on the bus. Katie Cassman has been such a good resource for exploring the area, and our Realtor, Brandie Malay, was an absolute bulldog at finding the right places, negotiating on our behalf and helping us write strong offers. Yes, offers plural because we all lose at least once in this market, right?
We won’t move until mid-October, but we’re grateful that everything is moving in the right direction.
Everyone I’ve told says… Is it a fixer upper?
No! Frankly, I’m surprised it’s not. I thought we were going to have to buy a fixer upper in order to land in the location we wanted, but we lucked out. Well, kind of, it took us 6 months to find a house while we were without a home of our own…. so lucky but depending on how you define it. It’s definitely been a process that has required WAY more sacrifice than Matt and I expected. If you told me a year ago that I’d be a pregnant vagabond with a toddler, I’d say no way – that’s very off brand. But I guess, you could have me anything a year ago and it would not have gone according to plan, right??
What’s it like?
It is our dream home! We both fell in love with it when we walked through, which I did not expect to happen! When we found our Roscoe Village home, I liked it enough, but I always figured I didn’t love it because we had to re-do the whole thing. Even after it was done though, I wasn’t in love with it, and I always felt so guilty about that. Don’t get me wrong, I was obsessed with the kitchen and it was a beautiful space, but it didn’t feel like home.
This house is different. Maybe it’s because we are more settled in our plans. I can picture the kids in the house – running around, going to school, throwing their backpacks down in the mudroom. My office will now have a door, which I always wanted, but especially after the pandemic, I can’t wait to close, ha! Each of the kids will have their own room. The backyard is dreamy, and we will have a really fun play space for them, which will come in handy this year because …..
We completely changed our childcare plans… again!
Jessie sent me this article the other day about being tired, and truer words have not been spoken. I can’t believe we’re still in a place of pivoting plans because of the pandemic. All parents are put in a tough position with this pandemic. I feel it especially as a new(er), pregnant business owner. Childcare is a huge deal. Owning your own business is a privilege, but it comes with sacrifices, too. I’m prepping for my unpaid maternity leave and I don’t get paid for sick days. While we’ve done so well the last year with The Marketing Greenhouse, the fact is we’re still “new” in the grand scheme of things. We’re hustling hard behind the curtain to continue the momentum and grow a team. I talked about all of these changes in our last podcast episode: The Great Pivot.
It’s funny because I wrote about surviving as a working mom a YEAR AGO and yet we’re still here. Our childcare plans fell like a stack of dominos and I sobbed. I mean really sobbed. It broke me for a solid 2 days.
Since we had finally found a house after 6 months of searching, we decided to start figuring out childcare for the North Shore. We found the perfect spot and that meant we just needed to solve for the 2 months we were staying with my parents. I found a great daycare in the area and we decided to transition Emmie back to school while staying with my parents.
Making the right choice is hard if not impossible
I started to question her new school once we read through the parent handbook. The new policy was a 72-hour fever free rule and out of school 10-14 days if there’s a covid exposure. I love that from a safety perspective. However, I instantly got a hive on my face from a ‘business owner with a newborn at home’ perspective. I pictured myself at home with a sick kid, a newborn, trying to breastfeed again and juggle it all in Chicago winter.
I felt selfish for feeling that way because I know Emmie is ready for school and I kept it to myself. Then, Delta started spiking and Matt brought it up. I still held strong on school until Emmie came down with RSV on her 5th sick day (out of 9) for the month at daycare. Then, I caved. If we had had “Baby Brudder,” that episode of RSV would have been a big deal. Right now, school isn’t a good fit for our situation.
There are too many unknowns with Covid and how to handle cold & flu season, a limited maternity leave as a business owner, etc. So we pivoted again.
We found a nanny
After crying and feeling bad for myself, I picked myself and do what I do best… I organized and made some plans. We got really lucky and the right nanny fell into our lap. I followed a similar process to last year. She’s helping us part-time until we move, which means Matt and I are pandemic parenting the other days, but we have a plan.
Plus, the best part is that Emmie will get to be with her cousin that just moved back from England. My sister-in-law and her family recently moved back not too far from our future home, and we decided to put the girls together. I’m thrilled because not only will the get that special cousin bond, but Emmie will be able to socialize.
It’s been a challenging stretch, but I’m excited for what’s to come. Plus, I just went back to therapy after years and years, and I am SO happy to carve out that me time and work on ME. It’s fallen by the wayside and it’s time to get it back. If you made it this far, thanks for reading! It means a lot. Until next time…
Affectionately known to her friends as Millennial Martha for her love of DIY and decorating, Jen can’t help but pour her heart + soul into everything she touches. She’s loved to entertain since acquiring a table and chairs, and giving gifts is one of her favorite hobbies. Jen is the creator of Girl Meets Party. Her dream is to share her passions with the world in hopes to inspire others by making the seemingly unattainable attainable.