Thursday, May 29, 2014

Family Near and Far

John and Joan are visiting this week and we are all over the moon.  It's been great to show them a little bit of our life here and to spend some time with them.

We have had fun doing some "tourist" stuff and Matt, John and James  are waking at the crack of dawn to chase salmon.   They haven't been successful yet but I am sure today is the day( ! ) A friend lent us some crab traps and we put those out this morning and are hoping for some fun surprises later this afternoon.  Fingers crossed.*

Our favorite activities have been fishing, boating, a picnic at Ward Lake and a visit to the Discovery Center.  Well, that and the general loving up of Nana and Pop Pop.




Yesterday some wonderful friends here in Ketchikan hosted a diaper shower for me**.   As this is my fourth baby and being new to Ketchikan, this was beyond expected!  They even planned the luncheon so that Joan could attend while she was visiting-- so incredibly thoughtful and kind. 

These are an amazing group of women-- supportive and celebratory of each other.  They call themselves the 'coffee girls' because they meet for coffee once a week to catch up.

I remember being in their coffee shop one morning in February when they were gathering.  At the time, I had no idea they would become my friends but I remember remarking to myself at what a beautiful group of friendships they appeared to have.  It's rare to find a group of gals so accepting and warm.   Now, I am so glad to have them in my life and am hopeful that I can be as supportive of them as they have been of me during this big transition.  They are pretty stellar.



I have been reflecting a lot on family lately-- we are making a big step this summer as family as we grow from five to six and being far from the support of my friends and family is hard in some ways.  Finding such incredible people here in Ketchikan has been a unexpected blessing but one that makes me realize that family can come in many forms and this girl is very thankful for the Ketchikan family.




*But lasagne as a back up for dinner.
**I haven't been to a diaper shower before, but what a great idea for a mom with 3 kids in diapers!  So grateful to be stocked up before the babe arrives!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Visitors

Our house is in mad preparations for visitors-- but not just any visitors-- the Nana and Pop Pop variety.

Here is what preparation looks like for us.

All kids have newly painted toe nails.  James went with blue this time- because it's a boy color but followed it up with sparkles.  That's my boy.   Daisy also went blue but is insisting that hers are yellow.   I am sporting purple with sparkles in honor of the new baby coming next month that could swing either way.

James spent much of the afternoon practicing snack time for when he will get to feed Nana and Pop Pop.  On the menu-- toast.   Maybe he can show them how to make a Y when we hit craft time.

He is also practicing his after dinner (toast) performance of Ninja skills.  James is 1 whole month into Karate (ninja) and is excited to show his mad skills: like holding a foot up in the air, jumping jacks and teaching them the complexities of freeze tag.   Pop Pop will hopefully be ok with adjusting the Notre Dame Football plays that run constantly in our house to now include the occasional Hi-Ya.




The kids have been saving their stars so that they can buy a treat for Nana and Pop Pop at Ketchicandi tomorrow.  I'd put a 20 down on the fact that despite  it's their treat and they get to pick it. . ..everyone is leaving with gummi frogs.  

I think the grandparents are going to want the extra sugar high as we are PUMPED up to see them! Hi-YA


We're stoked to send some time with these awesome folks and explore Ketchikan-- what has become  a pretty special place for us.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Solidarity, Brother

James is in time-out.  The rest of this peaceful sit-in is to demonstrate support.

Overheard

Dana: Remember when I said this week should be pretty chill? Let me take that back.

Matt: I didn't believe you anyway.

Dana: How is that for trust in our marriage?

Matt: As for trust. I trust that we will be busy, if past is any indication.

Dana: Could be worse.  I'm not doing a play. 


At least we are on the same page, right? 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

General Updates-- The Fitz Life and Times

I am well overdue for an update but we have been busy busy over here.

I will start by saying that I feel like we have really started to hit our stride here in Ketchikan.  So in general, these are good updates the lack of posting is indicative of us being out and about.

We are feeling much more at home in Ketchikan.  I would say that the big factors for me personally are two fold-- I am finding my social life really satisfying and my professional life is vibrant and interesting.*

The organizational stresses of initially moving here and coordinating IEP's, utilities, day care schedules, moving, rentals etc etc have started to fade and we are now busy in an entirely new way-- the normal way.   (for us)

I have made many new friends that remind me a lot of my friends from home-- they are lovely, supportive of each other and graceful-- although it makes me miss my 'girls',  I am very thankful for how welcoming my new friends have been.  It's been a real source of joy for me lately.

Work wise, I am at 'capacity'** with some interesting projects.  It's been a remote relationship, but thanks to my previous work history-- the remote gig is something I am very comfortable with.  Matt has been really helpful in picking up some of the family slack so that I can work, so props to him there.  It's also been fun to engage with some old colleagues in their new ventures.  I am going to hold on taking new work for the next couple months but hopefully will be able to expand my consulting in the fall time frame.

In other news, we have a new addition to the family---  we bought a boat!  It's pretty old but it's got a great cabin underneath with a bathroom, table and a bed so we can take it out for some longer fishing trips.  We didn't want to spend a ton of money on this but boats don't depreciate much year over year-- so the plan is for us to recoup some of the expense when we are ready to sell it.  I have never gone fishing so this will be a new experience for me. . . . my former life is seemingly further and further away.  I haven't worn a pair of heels in 3 months, my suits are gathering dust and I now own a boat.  Crazy this life.

Captain, Skipper, First Mate


I do feel really optimistic about how life is going-- I am loving this time with our family and am glad that we made the decision to jump into a new life despite the risks.***




*I could also probably just say that I my professional life is "present and accounted for" which is probably enough.  I missed working y'all-- never thought I would say that but it's surprisingly an important factor for me and I am happy to be engaging in some cool projects.

**Capacity for me is not full time-- but I have a couple great consulting gigs that fill about 20 hrs a week-- which is about perfect for right now.

***We only have 4 months left on our lease in the more stable, long term lease (sarcasm)- so my risk aversion and general attitude may swing  dramatically once we have four (4!!!) babies and are moving for the fourth (4!!!) time in one year.  I do know this is ridiculous so no need for a reminder.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Heart of Gold

Does anyone else see the resemblance?  




Doppelganger




Need to get the hair under control.








We are raising Neil Young. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Overheard

Dana:  What do you guys want to listen to?

Daisy: Let it Go.

Matt: Wilco it is.

Dana: That's not what sh. . .

Matt: I heard her.




Control of the dial continues to be a hot topic around these parts. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Adoption Language

I came across this video on Facebook last week and thought I would share if you haven't seen it.  In this video, the dad compares adoption language to a boob job-- aka, if you wouldn't say it about a boob job, you should avoid it for adoption as well.  




In general, I think this is great.  We have received a few comments about our adoption that fall into the boob job genre "how much was he?" "Where are his real parents?" Sure, those comments make you cringe a bit but I think there is usually a genuine intent behind the question.  

Often, I think some times people want to ask questions about Simon but are tentative to step into taboo territory. *   It's also as clear to me when someone is trying to walk on egg shells about our conspicuous family by over-complimenting his looks or intelligence or avoiding the adoption subject entirely.**

If people want to ask about costs or process, I would hope to be a resource for another family interested in the journey.  There is always a time and place for supporting each other-- even if the topic is sensitive.   Also for our friends and family- we wanted to be transparent about the process so they could support us (and him) in our journey to adopt.  I am not easily offended by curiosity!

So, for as much as I love the sentiment behind the video (and can certainly appreciate the humor), I would still encourage people to keep talking even if it means that sometimes it gets a little bumbled. 

Here is a resource on positive adoption language from Adoptive Families-- let's keep the conversation hopping!  

Speaking of language-- sweet Simon has crossed over from approximate mumblings to more clear words.  We heard a great "more pasta" and a "daddy" the other day.   He can get frustrated making his point*** so we are hoping that language will give him the freedom to make his needs better known.


*I think we all know when someone is trying to choose their words carefully. . .  it's a little awkward and certainly doesn't further dialogue!  
**I kid you not, someone complimented his brown eyes and then said "just like his mama!"
***And he is approaching two

Thursday, May 1, 2014

We Three Chins of Orient Are

Pregnancy is going well,  I shared with everyone my fear of contracting* a virus during pregnancy and I am glad to say that my third screen was all clear.  I am free of Fifths!  Thank you for all the prayers and reassurance.  I really appreciate it.

Other than that, things are looking good for the 31st week of pregnancy-- still exercising a bit, still chasing monkeys, and working on my third chin. ** ***



*another
**I gained six pounds in two weeks.  OOPS.  That said, I have been drinking a LOT of water, so I have to think some of it is water weight-- either way, I am feeling a little plump.
***Funny enough, once I got the all clear on the parvo screen, Matt got some bizarre news- he is showing positive blood work for TB.  He get's tested annually for work and for the first time he is showing it.  It's not active and isn't a risk to me or the kids. . .  but he will be going on 9 months of medication to make sure it remains dormant.  The BEST part?  (if you ask me)  He won't be able to drink during the next nine months.  Sweet irony.