Friday, July 29, 2011

Opening Night

So tonight is Matt's theatrical debut.  Big news!  (ok, it's more of a triumphant return to the stage. . . he was in grade school plays)

Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tony Award Contender

This has been a very positive experience for our family-- but a bit draining as well.  This may be the last full family Fitzpatrick production.  Next time, we might take turns.  I am really proud of my sweet husband-- proud that he is trying something new and embracing this new opportunity so fully.  Yay you.

When you live with your role model, it's a constant reminder of how you can be better.  The thought Matthew puts into his life is really inspiring.  He thinks through his impact on others and really commits to self-improvement.  His Gusto activity wants me to raise my game a bit. . . maybe there will be more on that shortly.  I hope so.

Self reflection aside,  tonight we celebrate! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Balancing Act

The last month has been one of the busiest in our marriage.  We have rehearsal many nights each week (Matt more than me) and I am still reeling in 'new job-itis' and on top of this, we decided to refinance our house-- which is a good long term move, but for those of us who aren't good at the detail work of house projects, meant that we had a lot of half-baked projects to wrap up.   I am thankful for a good partner through this all-- but nonetheless, I have often thought over the last couple of weeks.  "Have we finally over-done it?"

This isn't a frequent thought of mine,  I am someone who thrives in chaos-- I actually prefer a little bit of nuts.  This time around, I have felt that things were a little beyond me though-- and I am starting to crack a bit. I love everything I am doing, but I am really missing the opportunity to connect with people well.   I had a friend who wanted to talk, another friend who had a big event and JAMES who wanted his monkey towel-- all very important things but in the back of my head I am (a little bit) thinking of my to-do list. 

This is not my standard approach to things- but I am curious if this is a natural part of adulthood. 

I often think that it would be great if I didnt have to work and I could just spend my day hanging out with James.  But I also think, oh, wouldn't it be great if I didn't have to clean my house so that I could spend more time  'connecting with my body' ' connecting with my family' 'connecting with my spirit' 'connecting with my friends.' Wouldn't it be great if you could save for retirement, and take the vacation you dream of-- life is short afterall!

It would appear that balancing the need to be dones with the LIKE to be dones is a natural part of maturity.  

I am thinking about this at the moment because I realize that this judgement call is something I encounter multiple times a day-- today for instance I am working on a presentation for tomorrow morning. . .and I want to hang out with James.  I could do one of two things, we could watch Elmo and I could continue on my laptop which kind of makes me sad.. . . or I could put it in the back of mind until he heads to bed and likely be up late.  (I don't do well on low sleep).  So Spirit or Family?  Needs, wants?  Where does the compromise occur? 

Especially in this year of gusto when putting marks in the fun column is a declared value, how do you be an advocate for what you need to do and an equal advocate for what you want? 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Warrior Dash

Matt and his brother and sister in law did the warrior dash this weekend as smurf's.    A local radio station video taped the race and they are seen in the background at minute 1:30.

Monday, July 25, 2011

On Being a Mom

My friend Elise called my attention to this old Anna Quindlen article.   I used to be a big big Anna fan back in the day.  Her novels, her essays,  I love how this woman thinks.   I used to blog about her from time to time at my old place-- and frankly I have missed her without realizing it.  Of course, her comments below resonate with me in a very different way-- but nonetheless it's like reconnecting with an old friend.

On Being A Mom
By Anna Quindlen

All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. Itake great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like. Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. 

Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past.
Everything in all the books I once pored over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, all grown obsolete. Along with "Goodnight Moon" and "Where the Wild Things Are," they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories.

What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations --what they taught me was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all.

Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One boy is toilet trained at 3, his brother at 2. When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing. Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow.

I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month-old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.

Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the Remember-When-Mom-Did Hall of Fame. The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language - mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her
geography test, and I responded, What did you get wrong? (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.

Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be. The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity.

That's what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Matt's Debut

I am sure y'all are chomping at the bit to come take in some good community theater.  Well, don't let me stop you!

Order tix here! 

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Sigh of Relief

As I wrote about before, James was showing some progression in his lower frequencies, which we were really hoping to prevent or slow with the antiviral medicines he was on to help stop the attack of the virus.

James went in for his second re-check (his first re-check was rescheduled because the patient record system was down.)  The test this time showed that his lower frequencies have come back up.  This is really the best case scenario-- WAY TO GO LITTLE MAN! 

Frequently I am struck by how out of sync my head and my emotions can be.   James' hearing tests have always been a source of pretty deep anxiety for me. . .  in fact, Matt usually takes him in because the fear of it keeps me awake for nights before the test.  Does this sound like rational behavior?

This time, I was actually at the Atlanta airport getting ready to board a plane. I was so distracted and tense that I did the only thing I thought would adequately mellow me out. I bought a milkshake and the second Hunger Games book. . .  now does that sound rational?  no, but it was nummy. 

Even if his hearing loss were to progress, it wouldn't be the end of the world-- I get it.  I also 'get' and have empathy for the many children with severe and profound hearing loss.  I have also seen many of these children go on to live wonderful, meaningful lives. I 'get' it.  I also get that my child has a lot of treatment options- he's a candidate for cochlear implants, which really just mean that it is a matter of technology if we were to choose that path. I 'get' it.  I also 'get' that he is a wonderful little boy and he brings so much joy-- none of that would ever change.  There is a lot to 'get' when it comes to the situation.   However. . . 

I can't seem to keep my emotions at bay though when it comes to my baby.  He has just started speaking and I love that sweet little voice and want him to hear it too.   The head and the heart don't always reconcile I guess.

So for James. . .  with these great results he is now showing fairly stable hearing since his birth, which is a great indication.  They say that the hearing stabilizes in most CMV kids by the time they are 3.  We are over half way there now--

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Short Reflection On Adoption

Here is a nice reflection on adoption written by a woman who I met through the adoption community.  Check out her blog at slowmama as well!

A Short Reflection On Adoption

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

J-Man and his Bling

A couple posts ago I made a comment about how James was all boy.  For 90% of the day, that is still true.  He has been known to walk around the house with a softball, a football while kicking a soccer ball.  He has also been known to juggle all these balls while wearing three necklaces.   Yep.  My boy likes dress up.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that James has a stronger resemblance to Matt than he does to me.  The blond hair, the blue eyes, the sunny disposition. . . and the flair for drama.    You could maybe argue that we both have a little drama in us—but Matt’s is entirely positive.  My sweet husband loves to dress up and it appears to be a genetic trait.   

All James is missing is a clock for his chain. 
James is sporting my sunglasses and necklace (which he left the house in) at the Twins game on the 4th.

The first Halloween after I met Matt, we were of the officially not dating but seeing each other phase.  Matt invited me to meet him out the weekend before Halloween and I showed up to find him in full costume.  No one else in his group was dressed up but I learned an important value for Matt.  Halloween. (which is a month, not just a day)  I was surprised and impressed with the versatility of his costume box (yes, he has one) and how he is able to create multiple ‘looks’ from a few items.  That particular Halloween he was sporting a prison outfit, a zorro mask and a cowboy hat with the divot pushed up and a curly wig.  Any guesses?  How about the hamburglar? 

He “Held” up the McDonalds by the University and the student worker “pretended” to not know who the Hamburglar was. .. .  and why some guy in a prison outfit was demanding all his hamburgers.

I am excited about this new phase for James. . . I have always loved when parents let their kids express their style at an early age despite their outcomes.  Celebrate away folks,  my kid likes balls and glam!  Just like his daddy.  :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Do (Nope) Run Run

So, everything probably happens for a reason.  The great 5k that I finally decided to train for, then sprained my ankle, then adjusted my running plan. . . never happened.  Turns out that it was an early morning for those Fitz's.

It was just fine in the end though, I kind of wanted to sleep as well!

As I was saying, the Fitz weekend was an extravaganza.  The grand total of siblings, nieces and nephews puts us over 20 all in.  We had a great time although mornings weren't high on anyones list.

What was high on that list. Boats.  James and his cousin couldn't stop talking about them-- which is hard to avoid when you are on spending the weekend on the lake.