Monday, December 3, 2012

It's A Busy Little House

Guys, we have been busy over here-- these little people are growing up!   Daisy has passed the 9 month
mark.    Here she is demonstrating her flexibility 




Deirdre is a hoot right now-- she is the little antagonizer in our house and has started tackling-- I am sure having a big brother has something to do with this-- but she is definitely the instigater around here. James is handling it well (thank God) but it is funny how they have their own little relationship now-- they laugh and play mostly- but every once a while you will hear her yell at him or James 'tattle' on Deirdre for not sharing.  

The second big milestone around here, was our little guy started school!!  Yep- crazy.  He is doing an early intervention program for speech two mornings a week-but he gets to ride a bus, wear a back pack* and enjoy a fruit snack.  James can be a little risk averse at times so we worried about a tremendous breakdown but in the end it ended up being peachy. 


shy guy.



We got him buckled into the school bus and he asked a few times if I would sit down but we gave him his snack and went to meet him at the school.   We got there he had already beat us so we made it over to the classroom to watch.  No drama here-- he was playing away and singing songs with the rest of the kids.  In fact-- we walked in and he looked up at us- half hearted waved and went on singing.  

So much for our worries on that.  


*Fashion, always a big selling point

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New Phase

We are new to spelling--

Generally he requests us to help him spell out the basics:
J-A-M-E-S
M-O-M
D-A-D
N-A-N-A

Today:
M-I-C-R-O R-A-P-T-O-R
B-R-O-N-T-O-S-A-U-R-U-S
B-R-A-C-H-I-O-S-A-U-R-U-S

Yes, these are all dinosaurs.  More importantly, these are all pink dinosaurs.* **



*according to our book.

**Seriously, you can't make this shit up.




Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Birthday Boy

James is the big 3!  Suddenly he is very focused on being a big boy-- big boy cups, big boy boots and bigness in all things.  His language skills are doing great-- he can speak in long sentences and we are seeing improved logic every day.  It's just a delight to be around him.

Usually.  He is 3 after all.

I think about what 2 was for us-- at the start of 2 he was singing the abc's and the song would go on for several minutes because he would repeat and omit at his fancy-- at 3 he is starting to read-- sounding out small words and practicing the sounds songs make.

At 2 he was expanding his vocabulary with shapes and animals, at 3 he lets me know that the octogon says 'stop' and corrects me when I call a leopard a cougar.  (spots. . . . for those curious).

At 2 he was shy and affectionate only when he could sit still-- at 3 he is openly affectionate with a lot of people and routinely tells us "I love you"

We have done a video every year for him on his birthday-- the big thing I noticed this year was how much 'James' is in this video.  James helped pick out his favorite photos and his song.   The physical changes aren't  as apparent as they were in the first couple video's-- but you can see so much more personality.



James has always really enjoyed watching his videos and we have spent much of the last week watching ourselves age on the laptop.   It's pretty cute-- he now knows which pictures are Baby James and which pictures are Baby Deirdre.

We spent James' birthday in Seattle visiting Matt's brother and his cousins-- so we had a small party here with Matt's family prior to leaving and a party in Seattle-- yep, that means two pink cakes.*

Another benefit of 3-- repetition.  James was very clear about his desire for a pink cake.  No mistaking that request.  


Happy birthday little man.


* Here are James' first two videos-- it's amazing to see his journey so far!




**When I described what I wanted for the cake to the bakery guy he responded "I can see why you did a special order"  Apparently they don't readily stock pink football cakes.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

If I Close My Eyes, I Can Almost Smell Pain. (t)


Well, We finally got captain contractor to show up!    You can see in the first picture the status of our kitchen as of about 2 weeks ago . . . to what happened in the last week.  It's amazing what happens when you SHOW UP FOR WORK.   He made a comment about maybe having a couple small things to finish up next week-- I made a VERY DIRECT comment about him finishing this week--  2.5 half weeks AFTER he said he would and on his third revised date.    UGH. *

My attitude has improved dramatically the last couple days-- I am just super ready to go home!    In the interim, I am nesting for the holidays in different ways- doing a lot of online shopping and ordering my christmas cards!  


 
.


*Things feel so much better with caps.



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Two Baths


We asked James if he wanted to take a bath with Deirdre.  His answer (in sequence).

Nope

Nope- Thanks

I don't take the baths with the everybody. 




Turns out we should listen to the kid-- I show you two perspectives of the same bath-- our first shared bath experience in the Fitz household


Joy!





Not Joy!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Movie Referrence

Have you seen the 80's movie  "The Money Pit".   Did you think it was funny?  Because I think life is resembling art on this one.


We are now 14 days past our planned completion and I am feeling like I am MORE than ready to be done with this nonsense.  The good news is that the house is starting to look like a house again.  It's amazing what dry wall can do for a girl.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Movement!

This is a little late but here is Pebbles strutting her stuff on Halloween. Interestingly enough, James took his first steps on Christmas... I guess my kids are just festive!


http://vimeo.com/52923698

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Tale of Two Contractors

I am haunted by a comment I made here a few weeks ago about our home project- I believe I said something about how we decided to couple the projects to disrupt our life as little as possible.

Well friends, intention very rarely turns into reality.

We started with the basement team and they have been AWESOME.   In fact, we have asked if our general contractor wants to move in-- he is is here that much.  Just awesome customer service, pride in his work and committment to good communication.

Case in point, after we came back to the house after being gone for a couple days, he showed up at our door at 9:00 at night to make sure we got our internet hooked up ok.   So damn nice.  

He says that we need Cinemax to get him to move in, and we are thinking about it.

The other guy started his project on October 10 and has been there less than 1.5 days a week since.   Now a  note-- we don't really use our basement but we really do use our upstairs. I sent him a nice, but firm email on Friday saying something to the extent that would like to come home soon. . . . and have received no response.  UGH.

So, at the in-laws we continue to camp.  Thank God they are awesome. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Progress

Also titled: When my house most resembled a meth kitchen.   Much of my lack of posting lately is accredited to the fact that we have no place to call home currently.   We have done a pretty fine job of ripping apart our upstairs--and unlike our downstairs project, we actually USE our upstairs which means that we have no safe place for kids.* **

*Although lockjaw seems like an appealing parenting option at times, we are going to go ahead and skip the tetanus risk in favor for time-outs. 
**Matt's parents have been a very gracious host for the last couple weeks.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

Developments

So our sweet Daisy is starting that steady march into girlhood.  The other day she started "singing" along to the abc's- which really consisted of a soft hum with a consonent here or there.  Still awfully sweet. 


I am behind on the development shots but here is 6-7-8. (None of which were actually taken on time!)  




Friday, October 19, 2012

This Guy

We have had a lot of fun celebrating Matt during the last couple weeks.  For his 40th birthday, I took the day off as a surprise and we bummed around Stillwater.  For those of you with young children know, the idea of spending an extended period with your honey is pretty remarkable and beautiful.  So fun.  

We started the day with a trip to the spa-- we sat in a hot tub for a while -- which was awesome post marathon-- then got a couple massage.  Afterward we went to the Green Room for a pretty incredible lunch and then did some light shopping. 

We finished the day with seeing an afternoon movie (Looper).   Oh so much fun!


Not a day over 39.  


Last weekend we had a little gathering at Gastof's for Octoberfest.  I haven't done that in years- but it was a blast!   Thanks to all those who made it a special night for Matt!

I love birthdays and 40 is a legitimate one!    Matt has made me promise to stop asking people to sing to him going forward. . . . despite the fact that it's AWESOME.   So this is it-- Matt's 40!!!!!

Other reasons why we should celebrate Matt?  He took his boards yesterday!  Whew!   Matt is taking three boards in total but is deferring two until next year.  The one he took yesterday was the hardest of the three so we are keeping our fingers crossed!    Congrats Matt!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fun Times Had by All

Also titled, How I thought I couldn't run a marathon, but then did and had a blast. Also titled: Shut up and do it. Also titled: If you think you can't you're right. . . etc. etc.



Truth be told the marathon was a lot of fun.  We P-A-C-E-D ourselves the whole way and it worked-- no wall!   We really struggled to not speed up for the first 18 miles or so and the last 8 were filled with bathroom breaks and chats with friends* so the pacing happened naturally.  


Mad props to my sweet husband! I am amazed by this guy so often-- but especially after the marathon. Matt got hurt earlier in the 'season' and was only able to complete a handful of runs-- he planned to run the first 13 with me but then decided at mile 13 to just do another 13. Now that's gusto.


Earlier I talked about wanting to meet a specific goal.  I have to say in retrospect, not having a goal was a LOT of fun.  It meant that I didn't feel badly when this mom** had to go to the restroom a couple extra times, nor did I feel rushed when I stopped to talk to someone. . . but more importantly, I didn't feel like I was dying!  (Let's not understate this one) -- it was just a beautiful day to be outside trotting along with a few thousand  friends.  I am a big fan of the marathon because of the work that goes into you getting to the starting line-- but I am also thankful for the opportunity to be part of a big community of runners with varying degrees of skill-- it's a pretty awesome group of folks.    

 So so so glad I did it.  
The other note, is just a call out to those who helped make it possible.  As you can imagine, when Matt and I both want to do something we need a strong support team to get us over the finish line.  Special thanks to my mother in law who took the kids a couple times so that I could do my long run while Matt worked and to my cousins Jackie and Jon who baby sat (at the crack of dawn no less) our kids during the race.  Oh, and to the internets-- thanks for all the support and encouragement.  


I am not sure what the future*** of marathoning is for Miss Dana--it's awfully hard to fit it in with other life priorities but it was great post-baby goal and gave me a focus for the year of health!  Kicking ass makes you smile a lot.    ;)





*Thanks to those who came out to support us on the course-- you made our day!   **Kegels ladies.  . . .kegels.
***After the Monster Dash 1/2 marathon in three weeks.




Thursday, October 4, 2012

Baby's Got Some Bad Bangs

We are thinking about doing something about the bad hair situation. . . . Daisy has lost all her hair with the exception of the Lyle Lovett bangs.*  I googled bad bangs and got some pretty interesting finds. I dont' know if it is a class you want to group your baby in.   





*My kid is cuter than Lyle.  Not even close.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

House Progress

As I talked about a couple months ago, with the interest rates being as low as they are, we have played with the idea of moving into a larger house that would accommodate a large family of teens. We did a little looking and just felt like we liked our house better than anything we saw. I did a bunch of contractor quotes and it turns out that it is a lot cheaper for us to finish some space as well. Win/ win! Well, after 4 months of conversations and planning we have kicked-off.




I thought I would give a little update into how the house is progressing. We are doing two projects at the same time as to disrupt our life as little as possible. Call it inertia- but it's almost easier for us if we just do it in one effort versus dragging it out over time. That said, we are going to be staying at my in-laws during part of this so that we aren’t trying to limp along without a water heater or other pleasantries.

Project 1: Finish the basement. I would like to keep working from home from time to time and we would like a way to have the kids home during the day at some point as well. (A nanny would bring us a substantial quality of life improvement and at 3 kids it’s a break-even). Goals: add a bathroom so that I am not up and down the stairs all day (and reminding the kids that I am there)—create a family room (this makes it easier to have our current family room serve as a play area), and 2 bedrooms.
This would make our house 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms—not a whole lot of square feet overall, but hopefully we are smart enough with the layout that it will work for the kids as they grow.

Here are the before shots (these are from when we moved in)




Project 2: We haven’t kicked this off yet, but we are hoping to bring more flow into our upstairs layout and better sight lines. Currently our main family room and kid play area is in a room where we need to walk down a hallway to have visibility into what the kids are doing. We also want to create a half wall by the stairs so that the awesome new basement seems more inviting.  Pictures pending !




We are stoked about this—I can’t wait to see it all finished!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Runners with Heart*

 I had a long talk with the coaches in my program and they think I can do it-- just need to adjust down a bit to feel more confident. 


So I am in-- I am going to start out doing a 12 minute mile which I am guessing is going to feel really odd after the speed work outs but eh- whatevs.   Most of my runs were very hit or miss- so my ability to stick at that pace will be dependent on whether or not it is a hit or a miss day.  The 12** minute pace gives me a little bit of a cushion to keep me under 6 in case disaster strikes.  Also, I am giving myself a back door-- if life just totally sucks early say before mile 20, I am giving myself permission to drop.***


James is wearing my new "racing" jersey.  He was excited about my new shirt so we are sharing.
Either way, I think I can finish and I am proud of that.  I was super preggers when I came up with this hare-brained plan and regardless of outcome I did improve my overall health a lot this summer which was my original goal.

So if you are free- come cheer.  My gals**** and I will be trucking along somewhere between 5-6 hours!



*The name of my running group. Appropriate right?

**The speed workout predictor indicates that  I should be able to do the marathon in 4:30, which i don't feel comfortable with-- so god willing this should be do-able. Inshallah.

***I am running the monster dash 1/2 in three weeks and I can always use that race as a goal race!

**** Katy, Britney, Carly and Lady G.

Monday, September 24, 2012

On This Very Special Episode of Blossom

Dana learns a lesson in pride.

So all summer year I have been talking here and everwhere about health.   I had these "goals" we will call them about getting back into shape post baby and making health a priority in our family life this year.    Some things have gone well and some things haven't.

Week after week I have been feeling stronger  and ready to conquer the race in two weeks.*

I had been feeling so strong that I have started to change my goals from "finishing" to looking at a goal time (for me, 5 hours).   I have done three 18 mile runs and each one got steadily better and so I thought, sure let's see what happens if I speed up a little bit.** 

I decided to do one final long run to build confidence. .  to imagine myself climbing up Summit, kicking ass taking names. ..  I set out to have this be a glorious day.

So what happens if I speed up?-- well it turns out that I totally fold.  Totally, utterly completely fold.  As in, I took a 10 minute rest on a bench and then walked crawled the last 4 miles back. I have never experienced something so profoundly wall-like. I know the term is there for a reason but man did it suck. 

I am up in the air if I am going to do the marathon at this point-- as hard as I worked- I probably didn't work hard enough. . . my summer was all about moderation and family balance as much as it was about my own health. I ran 3 days a week max which is probably short of where I should have been.  It's a bit of a bummer to pull out this late- but I really need to think about what would happen if I hit a wall like I did.  I absolutely can not walk 12 miles. . . .   and at the end of the day I want this to be a positive experience. . . .and yesterday was definitely not.

boo.

*It turns out that running is hard people.  Maybe not for "other" people but for this person it is.  I had been feeling really good despite the fact that I could run (count-em) 1 mile when I started marathon training when Deirdre was 2 months old.

**I decided to drop 1 minute a mile.  this was a mistake.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Married Life

Tonight at Costco* . . . We walked by a video screen of John Mayer singing. 


Matt: He isn't even that cute. Why do women swoon?
Dana: He writes lovely things like "your body is a wonderland."
Matt: What if I wrote a song called "your body is jungle gym?"
Dana: It would be more accurate if you wrote "your body is a bounce castle".   Then we would be closer to the truth.


* yep, costco on a Friday night

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oh For Pete

I have the hardest time trying to write about the mundane when my head is actually full of stuff.  I start to avoid this place a bit when my thoughts are too complex.  Blogging is a lot easier when it's a cute kid pic.
Life is going well for us-- it's BUSY but almost entirely fun busy.   We have been having a lot of conversations around the Fitz household about the future state (3 kids) and what that means for our home life.  The waiting game has been almost all-consuming over here.  We are starting to hear that there could be good news coming our way soon-- but we have heard that before. In fact, we thought when we started that it was going to go "too" fast and that we would have two kids under 1-- now looking back (2.5 years later) and it seems an almost laughable scenario.

This waiting business is tough because although we are getting closer to the adoption, there is no news yet and for the first time in my life I have started to really get the "half pregnant" phrase. I am torn in the sense that I am feeling an urge for a change but I don't want to become overwhelmed if by the grace of God, our long awaited little boy turns up. 

But in the classic angel/devil shoulder debate-- What if the adoption doesn't happen for xx months or years longer. . . and carpe diem, international adoption can be too unpredictable to base life decisions on. . . life is short. etc. etc.   yah.  That's where my head is at.   Everybody clear?  Me neither. 

The short is-- for many years I have talked about living a bolder life professionally and personally.  Ever since my good friend passed away last summer, I have had a hard time getting the nagging thought out of my head. 

The issue is that I am not entirely sure what 'bolder' means. . . but I am keeping my ear to the ground and listening hard.  It may mean more time with my family, it may mean a new career path or even a hobby.  I am not sure- but I definitely feel the universe at work in my life.  Good things seem to happen when I let the universe be in charge so I am hanging out open and willing.

In other news-- we are moving forward with our renovation and that is going ok so far. 

Anyone want to help us move a treadmill out of the basement next weekend?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Milestones

Truth be told this post is a month late.  Oops!  


 Here is Deirdre at 5 months. 
Things she loves include her feet, her brother, hearty laughs and singing the abc's.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Catching Up

Hey gang  . . . delinquent blogger, I know.  I know. (head hanging, toe scuffing). 

Well, what's new?  A lot and not a whole heck of a lot.   Matt and I both started new roles in the past couple weeks so we are making adjustments and taking things one day at a time.  All in all, it's been pretty good and we are quickly falling into the pattern of the dual working parents!  That said, having Matt around for a few weeks was really, really nice and I would be lying if the conversation around balance wasn't a hot topic in our household these days.  

The kids have been a riot.  James is currently trying to teach Deirdre to "tackle".   This is a great plan on many fronts obviously.   The adore eachother. . . just adore eachother. There are lots of funny little interactions going on between the two of them, giggles, funny faces etc.  Matt and I often follow up the balance conversation with "how lucky are we?"

The year of health is marching along merrily.  I am enjoying my running club and have improved my speed.  I have safely transitioned from sloth pace to turtle pace.  Big smiles.

Like I said, a lot and not a whole heck of a lot.

Much love to you all.   

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

High's and Low's

In college my roommates and I would start a meeting with talking about the week's highs and lows.

This week friends, this week.  Highs and Lows.

Highs-- we just got back from vacation-- 10 days of nothing-- reading good books, drinking too much and relaxing.

The low is that my very good friend LJ lost her battle with cancer.  This was no surprise-- she had been sick for two years- and for many months has known her diagnosis was terminal.    We had our chance to celebrate life and spend some quality time together but it remains very hard and very sad.   I was hoping to get down to Rochester this weekend to say one last good bye- but alas, it wasn't to be.

She was my oldest friend-- friends since we were kids-- actually the same age as her kids are now.   She was a huge support for me when my mom passed and my heart goes out to her girls as they face a new world.   We experienced so much together-- the angst of the teen years, the exploration of the world, marriage (and divorce oddly enough) and motherhood.  She was a solid, solid gal with a great sense of humor, determination and incredible faith. 

I love you Lorajean.  My life was better because of your love and grace.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Overheard

James has been having a lot of fun lately with our social calendar-- all of a sudden he is much more adventurous and curious.  We have noticed this especially at social gatherings where he is no longer 2 feet from my legs but navigating the social scene like a pro. 

He woke up yesterday and said:  "I need to go potty" to which I said "Awesome" and we walked hand in hand toward the bathroom when he stopped to clarify. "NO, I need to go PARTY."

Ok, well.  Fair enough.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

An Update on the Year of Health

Well, the year of health is coming along but lately it also feels like the year of everything else too.  We are busy people these days!   It's almost entirely all fun stuff-- friends in town, weddings, baptisms reunions etc. but still really busy. *

At least we are all happy and healthy (except the pink eye of last week)  :)

I have been running with the local community center club and am loving it.  I am seeing some substantial improvements and am now down to my pre-Deirdre weight**.   The club runs three times a week and I very quickly realized that two weeknight runs a week were too much for our family so I am doing one run during the day and one run at night.    I am still working from home for now so I am usually able to fit in runs during my lunch breaks.  I am not going to be in stellar shape for the marathon but I feel pretty confident that I will at least finish with a smile -- which to me is an cool enough of an accomplishment with a 7 month old!

Running with people has been really helpful-- they are all a lot faster than I am but I have picked up some great trips and have managed to shave 5 minutes from my 5k time from when I started with the club 6 weeks ago.   They are the nicest people and I feel so blessed to have found a community for running!

One of our quantified goals for this year was to run some events as a family.  We have had a hard time finding stroller friendly 5k's and had planned to run one on the 4th.  Due to the heat, the event was cancelled so we ran as a family in the early am before it got hot-- we are going to go ahead and count that though since the intent was there . . . all participants in our family get to count toward our tally in our rules-- that means we have done 4!



*and in other news, I got moved to a new job.  Yep, this is the third job in the year that I have been with the company.  All good news on this end, but a little crazy.

** Now I am just working to get pre-James.   

Monday, July 16, 2012

Make or Buy

We have had a lot of deep conversations lately about housing. 

We are at a point where we would like to make some moves that our house doesn't equip itself well for. . . which gets back to the classic MBA discussion of make or buy.    So like a true geek, I created several spreadsheets to help us walk through opportunity cost, depreciation of our house, interest spent under a variety of scenarios. . . all sorts of nerdery.   What the last couple weeks didn't account for is the emotional pull we feel in our house.

The problem with being a blended emotional/ analytical personality is that I can talk myself into or out of anything and often with a healthy amount of passion.   
 
The tricky part is that when we had construction bids done on our space, the estimates were about three times higher than we anticipated.  With interest rates being at an all time low, we have considered moving since we could get more square feet for the same amount of money. . .

. . . .but no emotional pull.    Home is where the heart is and this is where my heart is.   We are going to start our little adventure and just become really scrappy with how we get these renovations done.  

In terms of timing, we do have a little bit of urgency. . . we would like to consider in-home care for the kidsies once the adoption goes through and I would like to continue working from home. . . so we need to get a little smarter with our space (and sound proofing.)

   

Monday, July 2, 2012

Deirdre 4 Months


This is a little late, but Deirdre has passed the four month mark.  She is turning out to be just the sweetest little peanut.

Recent accomplishments:
We found our feet! 
We like our brother a lot. He's funny
We now roll pretty actively in both directions
We are pre-sitting
Interest in solid food is emerging-- we may try that shortly
We love to hold on to things, rings balls etc.  (But soft things are the favorite)
We suck our thumb

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Ten Year

My college reunion was last weekend and two thoughts kept crossing my mind: gratitude and pride.  


I am thankful for the amazing women I call friends.  I had admired so many of them during college and am proud and honored to now call them friends.  They taught me as much as any professor and I was amazed and humbled by the conversations last weekend that brought me right back to that sacred space of learning.  

I am thankful for the college itself and it's mission.  When I entered college I was on state assistance and had absolutely no capacity to pay for my education.  Had it not been for several administrators, faculty and friends, I wouldn't have made it through.  I am (proudly) a product of an excellent mission.

The second thought was that of accomplishment.

On a personal level, I feel really proud of myself. The last ten years were a little unexpected at times and not always fun. . . .  At the five year reunion, I was coming off a very recent divorce and was raw and fragile.  So much of my thoughts at that time were about survival and getting through the hand I had to play.   Now, my musings are much more fun-- I have moved from thinking about survival to thinking about living.  What have I done in 10 years and what do I want to do with the next 10?

To be honest, I still feel like I am on the cusp of something professionally or intellectually-- waiting for that ah ha moment-- thinking big thoughts about priorities, mission, balance and so many more. . .

But for as much dis-rest I might have on that front,  I am actually VERY proud  of the intention I have brought to my personal life.   For once, I feel like I am right where I need to be.   My kids, my husband, my dog and even red fish, all right where they need to be.**  

My family is my greatest accomplishment in the last ten years.   As a perennial searcher,  I seemed to have found myself a home that makes me so pleased and content.

I found this at the monastery book store last weekend, it's two bird with a nest. It seemed to be the perfect memento for my reflections on family.  10 years in and the nest is my greatest accomplishment.  
James recently started talking about his feelings.  While changing his diaper on Sunday he announced:

"Mommy, I am happy"

Me too, James.






**I recognize that kids, a hubby and a dog might not be everyone's bag but for me right now, this fitz.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Gots Me a Water Belt and Some Kicks

The year of health has been a little underwhelming.  Turns out it has also been the year of kids, social events, house projects, family and work.  (You can see how health has taken a backseat some times).

I did make an important step this last weekend-- I joined our community run club.  So fun-- I have never run with an organized group before but it has always looked like so much fun.  I loved it.  I LOVED it. 

It was pouring rain and I went 8 miles-- needless to say that if it weren't for the discipline of the group, I probably wouldn't have been out there.  My longest run since the half marathon 2 years ago was 6 miles, so I felt really good about getting through 8-- frankly I was damn proud of myself.  What an awesome feeling to do something you didn't think you could do-- right? right? 

They were so nice about having me join-- I was obviously at a different level then the rest of the group but they took turns running with me and made me feel totally welcome despite my north of 11 pace.    

The group meets three times a week which is a little more than I can manage but I am going to shoot for one weekday run and the Saturday morning run.   TCM Here I come!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Ear Developments

James had his 2.5 year hearing test.  As I have mentioned before most kids with CMV have their hearing stabilize by age 3 so we are marching marching marching toward that date.

His latest results seemed to confirm the same across frequency hearing loss that we showed last time.  However, his higher frequencies tested really poorly.  (In the profound range).  Our audiologist didn't totally buy this as he is using (S's) in his words easily and they tested those sounds at the end of the session and James was probably a little bored.    They didn't re-program his HA's so we are going to chalk it up to a fluke. 

James DID pick out his own colors for hearing aid molds.  . . blue sparkles!  How fun to be at that age!

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Wire: The Musical

The Wire The Musical

Matt recently got me into the Wire and since I also love theater this turns out to be a pretty awesome mash-up.  Enjoy! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Paper Chase

I made a mistake. I misunderstood a step in the adoption and am going to pay the consequences!  I knew that we had a file that needed to be renewed by mid-summer but I thought it was an easy file (ie. signature, maybe notarized etc.) not a challenging file (ie. homestudy, fingerprints, background check, physicals etc.) 

There is a big difference in the amount of work between those two files!   I am kicking myself because we had plenty of notification but I sat on it because I misunderstood what file needed to be updated.  UGH. I hate being an idiot.

We are on operation Fitz Blitz over here until we get through all this paperwork.  We only have a couple weeks to complete so we really need to motor. 

Now, before you get all excited about future Fitz's I want to manage expectations-- this does not mean that we have an adoption coming through.  It just keeps in the program and on the wait list.

Realistically speaking, we will not be bringing another child into our home this calendar year.  In fact, it's been such a long process that I am starting to feel like it will never happen!  I know that's pessimistic, but right now it just feels like a big 'ol black hole that sucks up all this time (paperwork) and money (um. money).  The longer this goes on the less connected I feel to our future little boy and the reason why we are doing all this in the first place. 

Regardless, wish us luck in the next couple weeks as we navigate the finer intricacies of US Immigration.

 

Friday, June 1, 2012

44 Easy Steps to a Happy Toddler

We have been consumed lately with building a play set.  Now, the play set is an idea that I had judged in my former life.  Why would you spend so much money when you can just go to the park??  Right?  Well, then I had two kids and I realized that nap times will likely never align in the future and a supervised play set allows for some multi-tasking while they play.  I bit the bullet.

James loves it-  we had originally set aside a Saturday to complete this bad boy but the directions said that we should plan for anywhere from 12-24 hours to complete!  Yikes!   The play set has become our little pet project over the last couple weeks.  

The rest of the yard is a disaster but we have swings!



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Floral Design





I was asked recently if I am still doing floral design. The answer is yes-- but I am only booking a few dates a year through word of mouth.  I really love doing the design work but want it to remain fun.   And as you can imagine, with two littles my time is pretty limited. A few dates a year seem to be about perfect for me.  I can still be creative, work with brides (which I love) and be part of how two lives come together.  It's feel good small business. ;)

My friend Ellen (and more importantly, a former bride) has given me a nice little nudge to get this posted as she provided a link and review on her website-- (Thanks Ellen!)   As I have commandeered my business site with posts about my children, I thought I would put up a few wedding floral photos.  I will also feature a couple weddings in detail to talk about the designs in the next few weeks.   As I was posting the pictures, I started reminiscing about how we approached the collaboration and designs and I think it would be fun to write about.

I had intended to re-design my website during my maternity leave. . .but you know how that goes. If you wish to reach me about wedding details and possible dates please email me here.  




    


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Date Night

My cousin Jon happened upon some really great Twins tickets (2nd row!!) that he couldn't use.  He called Friday afternoon and asked if were interested.  My first inclination was to say no-- Matt was working. My second and fast following response was. . . "you know, that might be fun."

I had a sinus infection the last couple weeks that has largely defined my everything.  I haven't had an ounce of energy to do anything extra.  Parenting, cleaning, stories, work and The Wire have consumed my waking, yet foggy moments.  I was rounding the corner on the illness and thought about how cool it would be to create a memory with James.

James is, of course, too young to really remember this- but I took a picture.  In fact, I went out of my way to find the Best Buy booth to get this picture.  :)



A couple funny moments of the night-- when Nana came to pick up Daisy, James was pretty adamant about wanting to spend time with Nana instead of going to the BASEBALL GAME WITH MOMMY.  Now which would you rather do?  (The Caps should be some indication of which one I was selling).

The other funny bit was that since this was a "big night out" I thought it would be fun to get him a baseball hat.  I think I have mentioned this before but James' favorite color is pink.  So you can guess which hat he wanted.  We are pretty fine with letting him wear what he wants (he is rocking Daisy's bows lately) but at the end of the day I am a Virgo and constrained by matching.  Naturally, I wanted the blue hat that matched his clothing.  I won that one, but have kind of regretted that decision.  I generally embrace the "you let him dress himself, I seeeeee. . . . " school of thought.

All in all, this is one of my favorite Mom memories.

I think I am getting this two kid thing down.  Not to toot my own horn. ..  but. . . toot toot!

I can tell by the fact that I schlepped my kid downtown by myself on a Friday night without serious concern.  It's a little like the frog in the boiling water.

Now when I JUST have an infant, I think " Hey, well this one can't move at least.". . .

And when I JUST have a toddler I think "Hey, Two hands.  Who knew??"

I'm no octo-mom, but we are making hay. 

Parenting is awesome. 





Be Still My Heart

Well if this isn't the cutest thing ever.



Friday, May 25, 2012

The Toddler Bed

James goes in phases as to whether he is keen with the bedtime routine or if it's an opportunity to see how quickly he can get the horns to pop out of his head.

Our bedtime routine is best when it isn't rushed.  We read for about 30 minutes and then I try to get him to read a book in his bed so that he can transition to the bed slowly.  Then I spend another 10 minutes or so going through his body parts kissing each one. 

eyebrows
each finger
his hair
his earlobe
his elbow
his eyelash
you get the idea.  


We are now in a bargaining phase where he often says "last one" or "One more".  He actually means nothing of the sort-- he means "let's keep going" but at some point the kissing gets a little ridiculous. 

Some times I can exit the room with no drama.  Often though, there is another 15 minutes of wailing about his water being in the wrong color cup, or that he has the wrong nummy -- he NEEDS the BLUE nummy. etc. . .

This week I caught two great photos of what happens after he finally goes to sleep.




Have I mentioned how much I love this kid?