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FITZ (of Fitz and the Tantrums) on Family Life with Wife Kaylee DeFer and Three 'Little Humanoids'

FITZ (from Fitz & The Tantrums) is gearing up to drop music on his own, but his life at home has been far from tantrum-less.

With the release of his solo debut "Head Up High," the 50-year-old, born Michael Fitzpatrick, talks to PEOPLE about the "crazy ride" of quarantining with his wife Kaylee DeFer and their three boys: Theo, 7, Sebastian Danger, 3 ½, and Rémy, 18 months.

Staying home during the pandemic became the first time that he was able to spend lengthy quality time with his Gossip Girl wife and his three boys.

"It's been stressful," he admits. "We've got a family here at home, so we're 24/7 trying to take care of the little human beings and keep them sane and keep us all happy."

The musician says he's been able to bond with his children in a "way we would have never experienced otherwise."

"They're all so unique and amazing and challenging," he says about his boys. "As any parent knows, you just go through phases with these little humanoids."

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RELATED: FITZ Drops Solo Debut 'Head Up High' Without the Tantrums at Age 50: I Feel ‘Honestly Empowered’

"We try to go on hikes and connect with nature," he says. "And the thing is the world has gotten smaller for all of us, and I think it's also shown us what's really important and what we need."

The Fitzpatricks also have a perfect nightly ritual for the creative family: "We just blast some music to just shake off the stress and the anxiety, and just the constant wear and tear of being in a lockdown scenario."

The "HandClap" star also says that he's been able to see his kids' personalities. His youngest is definitely the "singer" of the three boys.

"My wife always says he's the singer of the band because he never stopped singing and screaming and being loud," he says, laughing. "And he's the third one. He's got to make sure his voice is heard above his two brothers."

Oh, and his 3-year-old is in the "tantrum phase."

"He's an amazing human being, and we're just getting to know his personality more and more as he grows up," he says of their second child, aptly nicknamed Bashy Danger. "But he's definitely been known to throw a tantrum or two."

Fitz adds that his wife is an "amazing chef" and that the family has even spent time making their own sourdough bread.

"It's non-stop for us all day, every day," he says about being with the kids (his oldest is dealing with attending school from home). "I think it's really pushed myself and my wife to [go] deeper in terms of having patience and understanding. I think it's really taught me patience and empathy and sensitivity to these kids and to our friends."

"My wife used to be on Gossip Girl and she's finished that show. She's been another amazing example of going from being a TV star to a mother full-time and doing it with such grace and love," he adds.

"And in this pandemic, it's pushed us even to a whole 'nother level of having to be present and being keen together as a family."

RELATED: Pregnant Meghan Trainor Reveals the Sex of Her First Child on the Way with Husband Daryl Sabara

Along with bonding with his family, FITZ says the pandemic has allowed him to relate to other people like never before.

"I talk to anybody on FaceTime, I even just look at somebody standing on the corner of the street and I can feel the weight of everybody around me," he says. "I can look at a stranger on the street and relate to them in a way that I wouldn't before."

"I think it just also reminds us all that we're all in this together and we're going to come out of it together if we all work together," he adds. "There's something really powerful about us all being reminded that we are one species trying to make it through on this planet together."

FITZ’ new song "Head Up High" is out now.






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Mena Suvari Is Pregnant! Actress, 41, Expecting First Child: 'All I Ever Wanted for Years'

Mena Suvari's dream is coming true: She's going to be a mom!

The American Beauty actress and her husband Michael Hope are expecting their first child, a baby boy, she tells PEOPLE exclusively.

"It's still this process for me of believing it and accepting that something this beautiful could happen for me," says Suvari, who will welcome her son next spring. "It's been a very emotional experience. It's very weird finding out — I was like, I can't believe it!"

"I've had to learn how to be a different way with my appetite and my sleep habits and not pushing myself, asking for help — all these things are hard for an independent woman!" the mom-to-be tells PEOPLE.

Although the couple, who wed in 2018, were hoping to grow their family, Suvari admits the pregnancy still came as a surprise. Earlier this year, Suvari and Hope decided to actively start trying for a baby — and what ensued was months of an emotional rollercoaster met with its fair share of disappointment.

"I was recording my temperature every morning and peeing on these ovulation sticks," the mom-to-be explains. "You expect that it'll happen and it didn't. I got to this place where I felt overwhelmed and stressed out."

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Mena Suvari Secretly Got Married for the Third Time in an 'Intimate' and 'Beautiful' Wedding

Adding to the pressure to conceive quickly was Suvari's age. "I'm 41 and there's this air of like, I've got one foot in the grave and good luck," she says, sharing that the mounting stress and continuous negative pregnancy tests made the actress finally take a step back.

"I was like, I can't do this anymore. I'm so tired of stressing over this. I was trying to feel like if it's meant, it's meant," she adds. "I was being really open like the Aquarian that I am — if this is my path or not."

Suvari shifted her focus back to her work, traveling to Georgia in mid-July to film on location. It was there, she recalls, that she suddenly felt a sudden shift in her body.

"At first I thought I was having jet lag because I'm really sensitive," Suvari remembers. "By the end of July, I had a couple of other symptoms and I decided to take a test and there it was. It was a huge surprise, an absolute miracle!"

Suvari continues, "It was something that we've always wanted, but a couple months before, I had stopped calculating. I pulled back and let go, which apparently they say that that's when it happens."

In the end, Suvari credits her ability to trust in her own body despite outside opinions on her maternal age. "Even in my late 30s, I had people questioning me. It put a lot of fear in you," she says of becoming a mother later in life. "It took a lot of work to really pull back from that and really believe and trust in my own body and where I was at, have my own journey with it."

"One of the doctors that I saw, he asked if this was an old-fashioned pregnancy. I was like, 'Well yeah, why not?' It doesn't have to always be another way." she adds. "Yes, it's wonderful that we have that, but I really want women to feel empowered with themselves. If you know your body and you feel healthy, I think that it's just a matter of time. That's what happened to me."

After basking in their baby bliss, the couple were thrown for a loop when it was time for Suvari to schedule her first ultrasound. After calling to confirm the appointment, the actress was taken aback to learn her husband would not be able to join her due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"I remember talking to my doctor and they were like, 'Okay, you have to wear a mask, you have to come alone … ' I was like, 'Wait a minute, he can't come?' They were like, 'No, sorry.' My husband came home and I told him and we were both so sad," she says.

"I was able to take videos, but when you think about it, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity," the mom-to-be adds. "Obviously we know we do what we have to do, but it feels like you're missing out. Now we have our videos and those are good memories. At the end of the day, we're very grateful.

Mena Suvari Plays Nicole Brown Simpson in New Film About Her Murder — But with a Strange Twist

Now almost halfway through her second trimester, Suvari is indulging in her pregnancy cravings — for the mom-to-be, that's been plenty of fruit and Indian cuisine — as she prepares to welcome her son, whom the couple have decided to name after his late grandfather. Despite having an "amazing" doctor, the American Pie star is opting for a doula and a home birth when it comes time to deliver.

"When I thought of what I wanted, [my doula is] like the embodiment of Mother Earth. I was like, this is the vibe that I want," she says of having a natural birth plan. "I know none of these things we can control and so much of it changes. We'll find out what the real deal is, but that's my plan and I hope it can go that way."

As she turns her thoughts toward the couple's future as a family of three, Suvari is excited about bonding with her baby boy. Her son's childhood, she promises, will be spent with present parents prepared to soak up all the lessons he will teach them.

"I've always had this attitude of, I can't wait to get to know them. I just want to be like, who are you? Where do you come from? What do you have to teach me?" says the expectant star. "I want to give as much as I can and try to communicate as much as possible and be really present."

Jokes Suvari, "But I don't want to be that helicopter parent! I feel like my husband is going to be the cool one and I'm going to be the one that's nervous about everything."

"I'm still falling into that place and just feeling so honored that he came to us," she says. "It's all I ever wanted for years. Even before I met my husband, I always wanted a little boy and it just feels so beautiful and special."






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Audrey Hepburn's Son Writes Kids' Book About Her Life: She 'Didn't Have the Time to Be Self-Pitying'

Sean Hepburn Ferrer — Audrey Hepburn's oldest son who wrote a book about his mother's legendary life 17 years ago — is now releasing a book for children.

Little Audrey's Daydream: The Life of Audrey Hepburn, which published on Tuesday, is an enchanting look at young Audrey Hepburn, who dreams of becoming a ballerina, and later an actress, mother and humanitarian, despite the darkness that surrounds her in Holland during World War II.

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Ferrer discusses the book, what his mom would say about life during such tumultuous times and how he and his children are keeping the late actress' memory alive. (It's not by watching her movies!)

"Children, like animals, and believe me, that's a compliment in my world, feel the difference. They know where the truth lies," Ferrer says of his mother's enduring legacy, which motivated him to write Little Audrey's Daydream. (Hepburn died in 1993 after a battle with colon cancer.)

He adds, "They can feel it in a minute if someone is genuine. And still, I think, in a world of Kardashians, they must look at those old movies and go, 'Wow. She was for real, she was the real thing.' "

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Ferrer hopes that children who read the book will learn to stay positive, even in difficult moments, and to help others.

"You have to dream in a wholesome way, not just dream about yourself, but dream about what's best for all," Ferrer, 60, says of the biggest lesson in the book, which he wrote with wife Karin.

Little Audrey's Daydream was illustrated by Dominique Corbasson and François Avril. Corbasson completed the book shortly before she passed away from cancer.

"[My mother] often used to say, 'In life, things get complicated. When you have to make decisions, try and take yourself out of the equation,'" he continues, "'And if you do what's best for the other person or for the group, it'll become much easier to decide what to do.'"

Hepburn became one of the most beloved actors of all time by starring in films like Roman Holiday (1953) and Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). But her most important role — serving as a UNICEF ambassador, which earned her the Presidential Medal of Freedom — was influenced by her own hardships as a child during World War II. (During the war, young Hepburn survived near starvation and helped the Dutch resistance.) Ferrer explains that while his mother's difficult childhood isn't the same as what children are experiencing now during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are parallels.

"Taking certain things for granted and losing certain freedoms… Those dynamics are there today for us, so children are living through a similar experience,"says Ferrer.

"Rather than giving advice about it, I think she felt mostly that children had the rights to a childhood," Ferrer continues. "She spoke not only of the hunger of the body, but of the hunger of the soul. All the things that come with being a child: not just education and food and care and medicine, but the tenderness and the opportunity to be a child. To do nothing. To play."

This belief guided Hepburn's own parenting style. (She shared Ferrer with ex-husband Mel Ferrer and son Luca Dotti, now 50, with ex-husband Andrea Dotti.)

Ferrer was raised part of the time in Switzerland. While there weren't many books catering to children at that time, he says that he read a wide range of literature, which amounted to thousands of books, by the time he was 18. Hepburn encouraged his reading, his love of languages (he spoke and read in four languages), and treated him like an equal.

"She had good boundaries. She came from a Victorian background where everything was a rule and everything was absolute," says Ferrer. He explains that Hepburn decided to raise her children in a less rigid manner.

"She would always say, 'This is what I would do if I were you. You're free in the end to make your own decision,' " Ferrer says. "Then comes in the little Jewish gene, where she'd say, 'It'd kill me if you do it, but in the end you can choose, but this is what I would do.' "

He adds, "She was so delightful, why would you want to do something that displeased her?"

This type of rapport meant they not only had a great relationship, but a "friendship," Ferrer explains. "I used to make her laugh from the belly, and that's a wonderful thing to take with you," he remembers. "What can you do for a woman like that? But if you can make her laugh, it's a wonderful thing."

One of the biggest lessons Hepburn taught her sons was the importance of social service — rather than focusing on oneself.

"She came from a generation where you didn't have the time or the luxury to be self-pitying," Ferrer says of what motivated his mother to stay positive during the war and to help others in her later years.

In 1994, Ferrer and Dotti created The Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund and continue to focus on charitable work. Now Ferrer is passing that lesson on to his children. (Ferrer and his wife share his children from previous marriages, Emma, 26, Gregorio, 20, and Santiago, 16, and her children, Adone, 25, and Athena, 20.) He says he made a point to focus on Hepburn's humanitarian work, rather than have his kids watch their grandmother's films on rotation.

"She's already going to play a larger-than-life role in their lives, and I think my daughter, Emma, who's the eldest, living in New York, has probably already experienced this," Ferrer says. "It's very difficult to have a conversation about yourself when you're the granddaughter of Audrey Hepburn, as it was difficult for me to have a conversation about something without, 'What was she like? What was she really like?' "

Like her grandmother, Emma has also served as an ambassador for UNICEF, Ferrer explains. His children have all helped with the foundation and engaged in humanitarian work.

"I think that's a nice way to stay in touch with [their grandmother], by doing for others," Ferrer explains. "I think everyone gets that and everybody's always been happy to pitch in and do it, and there's something natural and lovely about it. Something legitimate."






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