Monday, November 28, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree!

This weekend was a great weekend for family time.  Matt had to work on Thanksgiving and due to some last minute change of plans, James and I ended up having a lot of down time together, so we ended up spending part of it at the hospital playroom.  I was a little slow to come around to this but it ended up being just a really nice little day for us!

Matt was off the rest of the weekend and I can't tell you how nice it is to have 2.5 days together as a family.  It has been months since we had a weekend where we were both home.  We spent parts of the weekend relaxing with friends and family and part of the weekend working on our life list.  Some great things accomplished this weekend were decorating for the holidays, James' 2nd birthday party and first purchases for the baby's room.

My favorite part of the weekend was buying our Christmas Tree.  Matt picked it out and even though he was in the 'big tree' section, I didn't think much of it until we got it home. 

For perspective, Matt is 6' 5".  I would think it's towering in at around 9 feet.  It's pretty, enormous and full of gusto. 

I guess this is what happens when tall people shop for trees.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet Baby James

I can't believe it is already two years!    Here is a recap of the many first of James' life that happened between years 1 and 2-- first steps, first haircut, first bike ride plus many more!  More than anything, I think about this year as the love of learning and life.  I remember at Christmas time when he was just figuring out how to walk.  We were in Florida and he was determined to practice so we walked up and down the halls of the holiday inn with him holding my hand.  Now he is fascinated by words and letters wanting to understand, communicate and be more a part of this world.   The year for us has been about Gusto and so much of that has been about James and getting to see the world through his eyes.

What a fun year it has been for us all, love you buddy!

For Reference: Here is year 1. I know all parents say this, but time really does fly.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Impressive Dance!

Welcome Red Fish

James got his birthday present a little early since Matt is working nights the next few days.

Meet "Red Fish."  Named by James himself.   

We have been practicing waving at the "Red Fish."   Hello Red Fish!!    We have been tempted to hug "Red Fish" a few times, but have saved him so far.  "Red Fish" is going to live on a higher shelf.

We presented several fish to James and he kept coming back to this particular guy.  Love at first swim.

Welcome Red.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Christmas Card. . . Behind the Scenes

We kind of forgot about the whole holiday card thing until this weekend.  In my defense, I have been sick for a few days. .. . and yeah.  Oops!  We also realized that we don't have a lot of great pictures of James this year due to the whole 2 thing and our preference for more natural photos.  James can say cheese but the grin that accompanies the cheese isn't exactly natural.   More like Jim Carrey in the Mask.  Case in point: 
CHEEEEEESE.  It's a little toothy.  and scary. 

So we had this great idea to do a nice photo with James in a cute scarf.   Cute scarf: 10 dollars I will never see again.     This is one of the better photos.  Really captures the photo shoot.  

You will not be receiving this card from the Fitz's this year. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

ThanksLiving (follow up)

As you may have caught in earlier posts, I have a friend who is very ill.  A few weeks ago, we talked about the stress of being very ill and dealing with the many folks who want to help, stop in and say hi etc.   It's overwhelming.  I proposed the idea of doing a concert in her honor (she is a performer) so that she could take in a little theater and also have the opportunity to connect with many well-wishers.  Well, my little concert grew in scope and vision. ;)  Shocking, right?

Well as it turns out, this was the biggest party I have ever thrown.  (which says a lot considering directing plays and two weddings).   It was also far and away the most satisfying "production" I have ever been involved with.   Based on programs printed, we think we had nearly 500 people attend this event, 130 silent auction items, 1500 pieces of dessert,  500 ThanksLiving bracelets, 100+ awesome volunteers, 99 balloons (one popped) 25 strings of lights, 60 performers including 2 bands, 2 choirs, a photo booth, a putt putt game and a giant chicken.
I was so excited about this. I don't think I have shut up about the big chicken for two weeks. 

(Yesterday, I thought of having a face painter.  Ugh, where was that idea 2 weeks ago-- that would have been awesome.  Let the record note, that if I ever have a living wake, I want my face painted.)

So for as much as this was gratifying work, it was also very heavy work.  I quickly came to realize how much my friend means to so many people.  Many of the emails that I worked through mentioned their love for her and how much her life has touched theirs.  It's pretty humbling to have awesome friends like these.  It also meant that I was in a very reflective space for the last month or so.

Also humbling, was realizing how much my community supported me in taking this on.  I got several notes from friends who had never met my childhood friend but wanted to send good vibes for the weekend.  My sweet husband even begged his way out of a Saturday night shift so that he could come down to Rochester (on very little sleep) and spend the day with me blowing up balloons, moving tables and providing a shoulder for the occasional tear.    I really appreciate all the kindness given from all directions.

ThanksLiving Indeed. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Adventures in Diction

I think all parents work on clarity of speech with toddlers.  (at least that's what I tell myself).

The most common phrase at our house is More Nuk Pease.  translated: More Milk Please.

We are working on stringing words together to say I would like or I want more milk please.

Believe it or not, this is actually a fun little game we play!  James like repeating words and can hear himself getting better at it.  Nuk is slowly becoming MMMMMMMMMuk which a definite step in the right direction.  Go J go!

Dana:"I want more mmmmilk please." (medium speed)
J: Repeat
Dana: "I. Want." (pause) (slow speed)
J: "A COOKIE!! Yeah!"

Nice try, kid.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Tomorrow is the big event for my friend Lora.  If you are in the Rochester area, please stop by! 

Old Navy. . . Really?

On a recent shopping trip with little man, I came across these in the boys section.

My sweet child who isn't even 2 yet wears 4T (with an elastic waist, thank you).  We will be passing on the 'skinny jean' trend at the Fitz household. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Once again, we are at the two steps forward, one step back on our CMV journey.  James had an audiology appointment today and he showed a substantial loss on his lower frequencies.   Really disheartening.

There is a lot about the testing protocol, the two year old wild card, the gunk in his ear and his developing language skills that just don't seem to add up to the results we saw today. 

For reference, here is how decibels rate out:

10 a light whisper
20 quiet conversation
30 normal conversation
40 light traffic
50 typewriter, loud conversation
60 noisy office
70 normal traffic, quiet train
80 rock music, subway
90 heavy traffic, thunder
100 jet plane at takeoff

James was showing hearing loss in high frequencies (high pitches) up to 35 decibels which is considered by many to be low to moderate hearing loss.  He had no loss in his low frequencies.   The test today showed that his high pitches are still the same but his low pitches are now not registering below 55 decibels.  UGH.   

As I said above, this doesn't totally make sense.  James is tracking really well on his language acquisition.  He finds new words ever day, mimic's like a trained parrot and seems to love words.  Even with his hearing aids, the aids are not programmed to amplify low frequencies at all, so the fact that we know he responds to subtle noise doesn't seem consistent with the test today.  

We are going back in a week to re-test.  He was pretty distracted with toys and this may have caused him to not 'take the test seriously'  Or as 'seriously' as any two year old would take a test.

Regardless, the familiar, dull CMV ache that resides in my chest is back.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Need a Banana Like I Need a Hole in my Head

We are back from a last ditch vacation!  With having another baby and trying to adopt a baby, we thought this might be the last time when we can get away for more than a night.  :)  
We had a great time overall and even had some keen accomplishments: 
  • As much as I want to like snorkeling, I don't like being near fish.  This makes it hard to adopt this hobby despite my thinking that it seems cool. Matthew loved snorkeling and I loved napping in the lounging chairs by the pool so everybody won. 
  • I am very good at bingo.  What?! Bingo isn't a skill-based game?!  Whatever, I won twice. 
  • I don't need to eat for a month.   I was inexplicably stuffed the entire trip.  Inexplicable until I realized that every "smoothie" (adult beverage sans adult sauce) had half a banana in it. My potassium is through the roof and I put on five pounds.  But those five pounds were Yummy. 
  • Although I have the height of a fashion model, I lack some serious modeling skills.  We had a free photo session with a professional photographer. It was a great way to get some memories of the trip and to capture the belly at 25 weeks. 
  • I think we picked a name for baby girl!  It will be a surprise if I can keep my mouth shut.
  • Although we loved spending some time together, we missed our little man and were ready to come home. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

R + R

Matthew and I are taking a little Rest and Relaxation over the next few days.  Pretty excited about it.  I will be on email through the trip to make sure things keep tracking with my big event.  Who knows- I may even post a little to say hi!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Busy Work, Meaningful Work

I have been pretty busy lately-- so I apologize for the lack of posting.  My nights and weekends have been dedicated to a pretty cool project. I have a very good friend (my oldest friend actually) who is battling cancer.  She was told recently that her cancer is going to be a part of the rest of her life.  

We are planning a party/extravaganza in her honor that is turning into a lovely event. I have been managing this remotely via email and it is truly humbling. There are so many people who care about her, her girls, her extended family and want to celebrate life with her.  At this point, I have over 100 volunteers and am expecting several HUNDRED people.  Talk about a loved woman.  Really neat to see the impact she has had on her community first hand.

It's also been pretty heavy work.  This is a tough situation for all involved.  She was really there for me when my mom passed away as a teenager and I find it hard to not go back to that place when I think of her and her daughters.  I really love this woman and hope you keep my friend in your prayers.