Friday, April 26, 2013

House Tour-- Finished Basement

This is a little tardy as we are pretty well moved back in. . . well if you don't count the fact that we can't park in our garage yet because its still inhabited by the contents of what was our basement storage. . . but that's a conversation for another day.

We gained a lot of space by finishing the basement; space that we will need as our family grows-- I am so glad we did this project now before we adopted the little guy and we focus on living a quieter life as he transitions to our home.  

First a couple befores taken the day we moved into the house:

Family Room
And a couple progress shots:

So here, it is!  Ta---Da!!

This is the new walk down to the basement.   We took down the wall surrounding the stairs at the top so there is a lot more light.  Also a big debate-- the orange wall-- it's called Pumpkin Patch. I love it, and I think it's growing on Matt.  This wall is visible in every area of the house and I really wanted to do something fun.  That and I bought a bat-crazy light fixture for the stairway that looked totally out of place next to a white wall.   I could see painting it a different color every couple of years to keep the house evolving. 

The bathroom is new-- we wanted something neutral but modern at the same time. 

This is all the storage we have left in the basement-- tiny, huh?  At some point we will re-claim our garage.  Hopefully before it snows again next fall.  We need to sort the garage out pretty carefully and put it away in a way that make sense because we are dealing with just one rack of shelves!

New family room.  The stairs walk right into this room-- before the stairs entered into a hallway.

home office/ future bedroom.  We did the french doors for a couple reasons-- it creates better flow between the family room and they block sound because they are exterior doors.  Once it becomes a bedroom for someone, we will put curtains up.

Stairs in the family room

The extra bedroom ended up being pretty large- hopefully we can have some kids bunk up if need be!

Like Brother, Like Sister

We ALL scream for ice cream.

Monday, April 15, 2013

And We Didn't Bring a Card

Friday night we stopped by our local indoor play zone because its SNOWING IN APRIL.   I am about the bazillionth person to complain about Minnesota weather so I will leave it at that.  Our play structure often hosts a variety of birthday parties so there are usually lots of kids running around-- some organized, some not. 

Deirdre was feeling tired and fussy and I started to notice that she was eyeing other kids bottles-- poor bird was hungry.   They do have a vending machine nearby so I let James keep playing  while I ducked out to buy a pack of crackers.

James, ever an opportunist decides to take the most of my leaving the room for 44 seconds. 

I sit down to feed my bird and another mom taps me on the shoulder.

"Is it okay if he has another cupcake?"   Another? I look over to see James standing at the birthday party buffet asking for a juice box.

"Thank you, but no.  We aren't guests of the party.  Thanks for the cupcake, though!"

This kid would fail the marshmallow test.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Hard Lines, The Soft Lines

After some recent reflection-- I realized that I have been sick almost all friggen winter.  I know people talk about the day care bugs-- but with James it wasn't an issue-- with Deirdre I may as well see her runny nose and cancel the next week of plans because inevitably it's coming my way.

After months of feeling icky with repeat viral visitors- I am finally emerging into the world of the healthy.  More than anything I have a desire to spend some time wiht my kiddos since we have been very, very low key for many weeks.   It's hard to feel like a good mom when you are secretly hoping everyone will go to bed. . . so YOU can go to bed.

Matt is on evening call this week so it's just me and the week gets long unless I find some structure to break up the hours.   Last night I decided that it was time for some fun times for the Fitz kids.

Our community center has a pretty great splash pad so I thought it would be uber awesome to pick the kids up a little early, drive around for 10 minutes while they finished a snack in the car* and then go SWIMMING. 

I picked up kids with snacks, swim diapers and suits packed to find one kid hyped (James) and one kid sleepy (Deirdre).  Great combo, folks.

We get to the pool and James narrated his clothing journey with punctuating every sentence with "we're going swimming, right?"

I am taking off my socks because we're going swimming, right??
I am putting on my shorts because we're going swimming, right??

The kid was hyped.

We get to the warm pool and get in-- Daisy starts crying because she's not in the mood and James announces that he has to go potty.   OUT of the water we go and head back to the locker room where he comments, "I'm ok, I don't have to go potty."


Back to the warm pool. . crying, hyped.  " I have to go potty." repeat repeat.


Back to the warm pool.  James says he wants to go potty by himself. No.  Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

James starts "exploring" the fringes of the adult pool area-- no longer interested in the kiddie pool.   James wasn't really being malicious but he wasn't really listening either.  And we are near deep water which is a hard line for me.

So, this is when the realization hit me-- we are in a bad place.  I can't leave Deirdre in a kiddie pool to go chase after James as he pushes my buttons.   I think there are times when I bend the rules with James a little bit because I know that it's a petty crime.  But there are times where I think if I bend the rules it's going to bite me in the ass later.    I also realized that if/when there are three this will be a dangerous situation.  I would have to pick up two little ones to go get James out of the red zone. 

net/net.  James needs to get his act together.

Last night became a lesson. . .and I felt like the worst mom in the world.  After several warnings I told him that we would have to go home if he didn't listen. . . shockingly he didn't.. . and we proceeded to have the biggest fucking fit in public.

We spent 60 minutes getting ready to go swimming, 10 minutes in/near a pool, 15 minutes in time-out in the locker room, and 30 minutes getting changed to come home.

Who wants a glass of wine?

Seriously though, I am not sure what the right course of action is in these situations.  Once James calmed down he told me that he was mad at me.**  We talked about things that James always has to do.  You always have to listen to Mom at the pool and you always have to hold hands in the parking lot.  Hard lines.

This is a tough job.  

* This step is a crucial success factor for evening activities. 
**  For the record, I was mad at him too.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Day by day I look in the mirror and think: "Well hello there Pat Kelly."  Am I the only one turning into their mom over here?

So, my mom was a beautiful lady so yay for me but there are a couple things that I could do without.  Say the extra chin and the bunions.

Yes bunions.  My 33yo rocking bod. . . . has pinkie bunions.  (aka tailors bunions). *

They are largely genetic and likely also helped along by years of taping my feet for dance.  Awesome blossom.

Why is this exciting right now for me?  Because I have STRESS FRACTURES in my BUNIONS.   Ok, so that is a medical generalizaion. . .  but still.  That's basically what is going on.

I bought some new shoes that apparently were not bunionette friendly and ran like 10-ish miles in said new shoes and now:  stress fractures.

I probably developed one through marathon training last fall** but the other one is straight up from the new shoes.

Now for the sheepish part-- I picked said new shoes because they were pretty and super light and comfortable.  and pretty. and bright. and pretty.*** 

Lessons learned.  

It's really not the end of the world-- they don't hurt if I wear supportive shoes and they said I can try more exercise in a couple weeks.  In the meantime, I am going to try swimming.

*aka Bunionette
**I complained most of the fall about my achy pinkie toe
***Values in check

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Into the Fire

Sometimes I look around my house and think to myself:

 “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity. . . “

I had a great talk with a friend the other night about patience and children. I think there are a lot of people who romanticize parenting when the reality is that it’s really, really tough. Thank god for candid talks with honest friends.

I must be in an introspective mood these days because I have been thinking a lot about what our life is going to look like with three little ones. Yes, I will look like a pre-school class when I am out and about. Yes, I will need to find a true plan of attack to tackle the grocery store with 2 kids that don’t walk yet and one that walks but is often spirited, and Yes, I know that meal times will become a grape-cutting assembly line.

But Y’all. It’s supposed to be fun and I fully intend to do my best to love the little life I have created.

Maybe it’s the addition of the third, but I have been flooded with advice again—well, maybe not advice as much as cautionary comments*. People who know me well know that I have always wanted a large family and that I have always seen this family as one that grows through adoption. People who don’t know me well feel the need to tell me how hard my life is going to be.
So let’s talk candidly—is it tough—HECK yes. But it’s also totally awesome. I am really hoping to remember that as the busy-ness of our family increases and not get too bogged down by the nay-sayers. I think we are creating something beautiful over here—something that I am really proud of. . . . and I am hoping that these busy years aren’t just about surviving but are also about thriving.

I do think we young mum’s need to cut each other some slack—what works for one kid may not work for another and what works for one family may not be the same choice for another fam. I don’t think there are a lot of universal statements in this biz. For us, things are working ok and we are doing like everyone else—making the best possible choices we can.

So for my friends who may feel like they are in the fire—you’re not alone—we all have good days and bad days—let’s all hang in there together and make our little people journey awesome.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

No News is No News

Things have been quiet on the adoption front-- which surprises me in some ways.

I thought that after we had a real live baby-- a little man with a name, and personality and needs that we would be receive daily emails with pictures and video of our little guy.   Are my expectations too high?  Maybe a little.

It's funny to me though that after months years of waiting that we aren't hearing more.  We accepted the referral of our little guy and sent in the final paperwork and now we wait for a court date.  The good news is that waiting is one thing that the Fitzpatricks have spent months years perfecting.

People have been asking for more details and folks--we just don't have them.  Adoption remains a funny beast in that sense-- we know he's real now and are growing in our excitement but we still don't know any more about him.

Our year of faith is seeming like a very apt choice- because more than I ever thought this adoption process really is about faith.  

So stayed tuned. . .  hopefully we will have news soon.