What a month for Leighton!

31 07 2013

Holy cow has it been a really exciting and busy month for the Gitter group.  Being 8 months old is a tough job Leighton will tell you – as she’s babbling all the time, and more and more often we’re understanding her, she says Mama, Papa, Dada, and Hello.

And she finally started to crawl!  We knew this milestone was coming soon, but honestly I just figured she was so big that she may just skip it and go on to walking.  She does more of an army crawl, but for her size she sure can haul around quickly.

We had to put away the stationary jumper because she’s just gotten too heavy to be jumping down on her little baby joints, and we have put her in the walker – and man oh man does she love it!  She FLIES around our kitchen and smashes into us.  Poor Tucker and Bogey just stand on the carpet until someone picks them up when she’s out on the prowl.  I told Tucker he should get in his Coupe Car and play bumper cars with her.  He loved the idea

Tucker and Leighton have been interacting so much more this past month.  Sometimes it’s good and he’ll make her laugh and sometimes she’s just a stinker and will crawl over to whatever he’s playing with or she knows is his and nab it from him.  And when he yells she laughs – I’m pretty sure she knows EXACTLY what she’s doing pushing his buttons.  She’s getting grabbier with Bogey and he’s so great with her – he’ll just lick her hand and move away…we’re eagle eyeing them very closely cause we can’t blame him for nipping at her when she grabs so tight.

She’s also cut her 8th tooth this month and we see another one coming in, if you look at her you’d never know she’s only 8 months old…she looks like she should be a toddler.  She’s also started to eat more and more real food.  We cut it up in small pieces and she’s showing less interest in getting fed and more and more self feeding.

Time is moving pretty fast, and I fell like I’m drowning some days, but we’re just hanging in there trying really hard to find kairos moments and carpe them, cause let’s be honest I don’t think I’ve had an entire day that I want to carpe – so we enjoy the moments.

Leighton's Crazy Colic All By Myself Big Baby in a little suit

Dear Leighton,
My sweet baby girl – you are growing up so fast I can hardly believe it!  You are becoming so much your own person more and more each day.  I just love the way you light up when we walk into the room and how you snuggle your head into the crook of my shoulder, and how you have just one dimple on your right cheek when you smile big, and how the rolls on your legs go from hip to toes!   I am just so loving being your mom – and the gift of watching you grow has been just amazing!  It’s been so fun watching your relationship with Tucker blossom and how the two of you always want to be together but don’t want to share me is simply hilarious!  Your grandma can’t believe how much you change in the 10 or more days that her and grandpa are upnorth, honestly Leighton, I can’t believe how much you change in the 9 hours I’m at work.  You’re my little Yeighty and we all love you so! 

Photo BOMB!!!!!!!!

16 05 2013
Picture 392

Look at all my teeth on my 7 month birthday!

Even though Leighton just loves to tug and pull on Bogey he just adores her - he's a good protector.

Even though Leighton just loves to tug and pull on Bogey he just adores her – he’s a good protector.

Seriously I have concern for the others out on the road in 13 1/2 years.

Seriously I have concern for the others out on the road in 13 1/2 years.

Waiting for the world's best babysitter!

Waiting for the world’s best babysitter!

Our night time snuggles are full of kisses and smiles!

Our night time snuggles are full of kisses and smiles!

He doesn't sit still long enough for pictures anymore but he still loves his kisses and hugs!

He doesn’t sit still long enough for pictures anymore but he still loves his kisses and hugs!

Hold the applause - He's just getting started!  Family rock band night (:

Hold the applause – He’s just getting started! Family rock band night (:

Tucker Mothers Day 2013

Tucker never stops moving – gotta give love to Grandma on mothers day!

Leighton is bound and determined to get Tucker's Chicken Tender.

Leighton is bound and determined to get Tucker’s Chicken Tender.

Tucker was not such a fan of the moving car at the mall on mother's day

Tucker was not such a fan of the moving car at the mall on mother’s day

‘Little’ Leighton

16 05 2013

My life is just busy and crazy now, with the wonderful addition of Leighton, what little time I have left is used to just sit, and since our laptop took a dump, blogging has taken a back seat.  Sad but true – It’s been months since I’ve put anything on here and I feel as though I am slighting my baby girl.  You all have to get to know her – she amazing!  Let’s catch you all up – here we go…

Since day one Leighton has been much more labor intensive than Tucker ever was.  I’m not sure if it’s a girl vs. boy thing but Leighton has NOT gotten the second child memo.  She loves to be talked to and is now chatting away back at you.  She requests LOUDLY to be held at all times – and holding while sitting is not an option unless she’s eating.    I’d say what makes Leighton different from every other baby that I know is her size…she’s a biiiiig girl.  Let’s do a weight check through the last few months –

  • she was born 8 lbs 15 oz. on a Monday – Big but not off the charts
  • when we left the hospital, on Wednesday, she was down to 8 lbs 7 oz. again nothing to write home about
  • We went in to our pediatrician’s office on Friday and she was 9 lbs 4 oz!  Dr. Hankins said that she’s never had  a baby get back to their birth weight and gain another 5 oz so quickly…the super juice is working she said.  She didn’t need to see her again til she was a month old
  • 1 month check up 12 lb 2.4 oz 22.5″
  • 2 month check up 15 lb 3.4 oz 23.5″
  • 4 month check up 19 lb. 15.8 oz 25.5″ 100% for weight
  • 6 month check up 23 lb. 0 oz. 28″ over 100% for weight and height

She’s a lot to lug around – Tucker didn’t weigh this much til he was 18  months old.  Karma wooped me a good one poking fun of my girlfriend’s pudgy baby girl, and making comments like “seriously who carries their 30 lbs child in a bucket seat – this is nuts that they make bucket car seats for kids that big” eating my words we had to go out and buy one.  My friend Mel has had her triplets in size 6 diaper forever – and I on multiple occasions commented how she wasn’t using the right size diapers…6.5 months in both Leighton AND Tucker are in size 5 diapers!  All that weight is just more to love – I cannot wait for summer to come to the Midwest and put Leighton in rompers and show off those cute ‘little’ leggies, I actually feel bad trying to squeeze her leggies into pants! She’s moving through not only clothes faster than Tucker but milestones too!  By 6 months Leighton had 3 teeth in and one more on the way, she was full on rolling, and could just about pull her self to a sitting position.  She’s crazy strong and is one determined little lady.  The teeth are an issue that I am trying to work though but that’s a whole nother story my friends.

Here is Leighton over the last few months:

One Month Old  3 months old  4_months_old  DSC_0314  5 months old  Picture 300

Our kids run the roost now, we try so hard but bed time gets pushed back for Tucker when Leighton’s off her rocker, and dinner is for the most part what Tucker will eat, I’m more concerned with his diet being balanced than mine.  There’s more TV time, more laundry and dishes that pile up in the day, more dirty diapers and time scrubbing out stains in the sink, more toys and things and a lot less room in our little house – but on the flip side there’s 2x as many smiles, giggles, and great memories.

Life is Good As a Gitter my friends…it’s just good.

Dear Leighton,
It’s been 6 months already that you’ve been part of our family and I can’t believe how fast it’s gone by and how much you’ve grown!  You’re such a wonderful beautiful baby.  It’s hard to even imagine what life was like before you came into our lives – it seems like it was a million years ago that it was just your dad and I and Bogey.  Along with all the hard work that leaves me feeling like I’m in the minority the majority of the time in our house – comes the extra smiles, hugs, open mouth kisses, and joy that you’ve brought into our lives.  I was worried that I wouldn’t connect with you being my second baby the way I did with Tucker, but Leighton we’ve found our own way to connect and at night after Tucker goes to bed it’s our time, just you and me.  I have dozens of pictures of you sleeping at night in my arms, some of my very favorite moments that I have with you is the peace that comes with you still in my arms.  I love the way that you light up a room – the sunshine theme nursery suits you to a tee! I’m so glad your here, so glad that God gave me the privilege of being your mom and so glad that there is more of you to snuggle and kiss than 99% of all other 6 month old babies!  You are my sunshine my only sunshine Little Leighton.

And Baby Makes Four…

29 11 2012

I can’t believe that it’s been 7 weeks since my last post…well obviously A LOT has happened, first and foremost we did it, we had a baby girl – a bouncing, cuddly, beautiful baby girl, but before that we had the last week of my pregnancy with her, a slow start to labor and delivery, a battle of name the baby, and a sobbing last night of putting Tucker to bed as an only child.  Let’s back this train up from where the last post left off…

Eric and I went into Liz’s office for my 39 week check up thinking that FOR SURE that the baby had made some progress…no none, well Liz said that she was in a good mood and she’d say that I had thinned out about 5% more.  Whoopdee doo daa.  I basically have been 1 cm and 50-55% effaced for a month, a month!  I sat there, pantless, thinking that she’s gonna make me do this myself, and she’s never gonna talk induction with us.  Low and behold, she asked what we thought about induction, and we again scheduled induction on her due date, October 15.

The week came and went and LeAnne made me “Happy Last Day of Work” cupcakes (my favorite funfetti) and had a great last day tying up loose ends, doing a maternity leave mailbox message, and putting in the out of office assistant on.  The day flew by and I went home for the last Friday night as a family of three.  And as fast as the last day of work flew by, so did the last weekend, we went to my parents house for dinner on Sunday night and I snuggled with Tucker, and didn’t want to leave.  I laid him down in his bed at my mom and dad’s and cried, hard – scared of what was coming, not delivery but beyond.  Would there be enough of me for Tucker to know that I still love him as much Sunday as I will on Monday when there is a new baby to care for too?  It’s really the first time I gave into these feelings and it felt good to let them out.  Eric and I got home, put the finishing touches on our hospital bag, carseat, and stuff that we wanted footprints on, packed them in the car and I slept like a baby.

5 AM came early, oh wait that IS early.  And I got up, showered, dried my hair, and put on my last HUGE maternity clothes and we were out the door by 6 am.  Here is  picture of me in the morning just before we left.  Even Bogey couldn’t believe how big I was!

We checked into the hospital and I was hooked up to an IV and the check in nurse was getting all our vitals and info.  Liz came in and checked me and to my surprise, there was still barely ANY more activity.  I was 1 cm and 75% effaced, high cervix and not softened.  Bummer.  But my contractions were less than 3 minutes apart – but I couldn’t feel them.  Liz told me that there is a chance that if this doesn’t work, they would have to send me home and come back when real labor began.  The though petrified me.  She inserted the first dose of Cytotec (yes yes I know it is controversial to use for induction – I did my research but this was the path that Liz and I decided upon) around 7:30 am and I was told to lay down and sit still then I was to pace the hallways and get my labor moving.  At 10:30ish I was checked again and was 100% thinned out, 2 cm, softened and forward cervix!  Yahoo! I got the second dose of Cytotec and again told to lay down for a while and continue power walking the halls to progress labor.  I continued to progress slowly and around 2 pm Liz came in I was 3 cm and she then broke my water…that moved things quickly.  I was no longer smiling, talking, or laughing the contractions were coming fast and were painful.  The anesthesiologist was paged and he put in the first step of the two step epidural.  It was pretty instantanous and life was good again.  Here is a picture of me after it took effect…

Eric and I walked a little bit more, and I was told to let Liz and Nylene know when I was feeling pain or pressure again because the second part of the epidural takes about 20 minutes to take effect.  We got about 3 laps in before I told Eric that I was feeling some pressure, he told me to tell Liz, to which I replied – “I don’t want to be a whiner” Eric’s response – “Ahhh, news flash you’re having a baby you’re not a whiner”  He told Liz when we passed her in the hall and she said she’d check me, low and behold I was 9 cm and we were almost ready to push, and I still needed the next part of the epidural.  I was given the second epidural and bed ridden, and at 4:14 began pushing, at 4:18 the epidural kicked in, and at 4:20 pm, our baby girl was born.  She was a screamer at 8 lbs 15 oz and 21.5″ long.  She was placed on my chest and was 1 of the 2 most perfect people in the whole wide world.

We were totally in LOVE with her the instant we met her.  Every thought, fear, flutter, worry, doubt, everything went away and God filled my heart with unwavering love for this tiny (okay well tiny compared to her brother) new life that we created!  My blessings overflowed, and all was good with the world.  She looked just like Tucker – chubby cheeks, little button nose, and had hair – even more than Tucker.  Liz and Nylene (her midwife student) fixed me all up down under and the rush of family entered into the room to meet Baby Girl Gitter (that was her name for another 5 hours).  Everyone oogled and snuggled her, took pictures and then the nurses checked her vitals again, she was running a temperature of 101, and then dropped to 97.4  they suggested that we do skin to skin for a while to help regulate her temperature, it worked, right from the start she just needed her mommy.  Later that night my sister and brother in law came to meet her.  We were discussing names, we liked Mollie – Kenzie – Lily – Annabelle – Abilene – Quinn…but NONE of those were her.  I thought she looked like a Leah and Eric thought she looked like a Lucy…so finally after a while of discussing we had common ground her name should start with an L.  I suggested Leighton – LeAnne and Matt both liked it and our general manager’s at the Sandals Resort we stayed at in January (do the math people 9 months before) was named Leighton (LAY-TON)…we thought it fit, BUT Eric was hesitant.  So, not annoying at all, I pointed out every 3 or so minutes that I like Leighton, I like Leighton, I like Leighton.  I grabbed the birth certificate form and the three of us all told Eric how much we liked Leighton, when he was on the phone, and he finally caved in and came to the right decision.  So our Mollie-Kenzie-Lily-Annabelle-Abilene-Quinn became Leighton Annette.  She was a great sleeper that first night, but the nurses kept waking us up to check on me and her and nurse every 2 hours.  We had a plethora of visitors that came and went in the 3 days we were in the hospital, we are so blessed with so many family and friends.  My friends Mel and Mandy stopped in and gave us some of the coolest gifts…Leighton was all the rage with the wand in her bassinet!  I love how the Buschke’s stayed with the yellow sunshine theme!!!

Tucker came up to the hospital…he would not pose for any pictures he was too busy pushing buttons, but did once acknowledge the Baby one time, then he was done.  That has pretty much been his approach – likes her when he likes her and doesn’t really care the other times.  My mom said that’s nice, I HAD to help with everything when my sister was born and it was hard to keep me away from LeAnne.  She’s right, I do have it good.  My life is good as a gitter my friends.

I’d like to introduce you to Leighton Annette Gitter, who has us all wrapped around her little fingers.  Thank you McManigal Photography for her beautiful pictures!

Dear Leighton,
Welcome to our family.  We are beyond thrilled to have finally met you.  I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t quite sure if God really knew what he was doing – could I handle 2 kids under 2, 2 in diapers, still working full time…yes I can – God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.  He knew exactly what he was doing when he gave us you.  I fell head over heels in love with the second they put you on my chest – even gooey and bloody you were still so beautiful, and I couldn’t wait to start this journey with you, my precious daughter.  You came into this family just at the right time, we all needed to see the physical face of God’s grace in you, after Auntie’s diagnosis…just like when I was born after Papa died, you my daughter, show us that life is a brutiful and fragile thing.  I know that getting to snuggle you in Auntie’s arms was the blessing that helped to take her mind off of life for just a few minutes…and she didn’t even have to change your diaper – boy life is good!  I stare at your little button nose, your full sweet lips, your big slate colored eyes (quickly turning brown like all the rest of ours), and smile knowing that our family is complete with you now.  I love you with everything I have, even though I didn’t know if I could love you and your brother both as much as you guys needed – God doesn’t give us a shortage in love.  Our new journey is just beginning, you’ll soon learn how good life as a gitter really is Leighton! 

Pick a day, any day

8 10 2012

So here I am 39 weeks pregnant. I can’t believe how fast 39 weeks has gone…how much life has changed and how different everything is this time. At my 36 week appointment I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced, at 37 weeks still 1cm and 60%(ish Liz said) effaced. My midwife was out last week, so we opted to skip my appointment as things are looking good and I tested negative for Group Strep B this time. So today is 39 weeks on the dot and my appointment is anytime now. I wonder how much or if any progress has been made. Apparently when I make room in Hotel Uterus it’s quite comfy and an eviction notice must be given to the tenants.

This past Saturday we celebrated Eric’s Aunt & Uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary – it was such a spectacular family celebration – 50 years of marriage! Can you imagine being so lucky as to spend 50 years with the one you love? I hope Eric and I can celebrate 50 years – I hope we get to have a big celebration for Jim & Bunny’s and my parents 50th wedding celebration. I was sitting on the cabin step watching Tucker shake his white boy rhythm-less booty to the Singing Hennes’ (brought out of retirement for the celebration) remembering that this is where I was almost 2 years ago 9 days before my due date at LeAnne & Matt’s wedding shaking my groove thing trying to stomp out Tucker, and thinking “How in the world did I have so much energy being as pregnant as I am now?” I think the answer might have something to do with the cutest little 21 month old boy ever…but who really knows (:

A couple of weeks ago my family and I attended a funeral for one of the most wonderful men I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. He was a great friend of the family, one of my dad’s best friends – their son is one of my brother’s best friends, and he and his wife have been at all our big celebrations from before I was born. His death was tragic and sudden, but his funeral made me want to live my life in joy so that when it’s my turn people talk about me the way they talked about him. A great life lived, cut much too short for each of us on earth, but a legacy of pure joy and love outlives the years he walked with us. At the wake I was talking to his daughter-in-law, (who is pregnant with a boy and we betrothed our bellies) and we gave her one of our Papa’s Cross Pins. I told her I’d send her the story via email.

In April of 1981 my Papa (mom’s dad) decided that he wanted his company to create a 6 foot bronze cross for their Church at his iron & wire works company. My Giea rolled her eyes thinking that there was no way it was going to be approved by council and the pastor…low and behold it was, and prototype was created – in the meantime my Papa was not feeling well and underwent a battery of different tests with inconclusive results, and was scheduled for surgery in August. The weekend before Papa’s surgery the prototype was hung and the spot approved by Papa – the service ended with “Lift High The Cross”. The cross was taken down that week and the construction of the actual cross was begun. The surgery was on August 25th and the doctors opened and closed him up, diagnosed him with late stage pancreatic cancer, and informed my family to “not chase rainbows.” 6 weeks later on Saturday October 10th, 1981 the bronze cross was hung. My Papa died on Sunday, October 11th, 1981. The funeral was held on Wednesday, October 13th, 1981 – exactly six weeks after he sat in church and made the decision that the cross was right. Some of the hymns at his funeral were, “In the Cross of Christ I Glory,” “Beneath the Cross of Jesus,” and the service ended with “LIFT HIGH THE CROSS.”

I was born just a few months after my Papa died, I never got to meet him…but you know what? I, my sister and my cousins have never felt like we didn’t know him, he’s been such a staple of our lives even in death. Together our family healed under this beautiful cross. My Giea says, “This cross is a beautiful symbol of life after death has become the logo for our family and our church and when visitors attend they get to share in the story of the CROSS. ” I think this is the week, 31 years later the Lord will make a full circle of life after death in our family. So I think she’s coming this week. If I had to pick a day any day I’d say Wednesday. I’m wearing my cross pin and just waiting. God’s will. Sadly I have no control, but that’s okay cause it’s Gods control that matters.

Fingers crossed she’ll be here soon. It’s our turn to go in for my 39 week check up.


My UNGLUED Saturday – all dressed in OWENge

20 09 2012

When I wear OWENGE I have always felt like I was wearing a coat of armor.  And this weekend was no different, but I learned that even suited up in armor isn’t enough to protect you from life’s woes.  I am reading the newest book by Lysa TerKeurst called Unglued and participating in an online bible study with about 14,000 other people who have also had unglued days in their life.  Talk about reassurance.  This book which I know God brought into my life to give some perspective to the chaos that I feel like I’m having is going to be great for me, I just know it!

So onto this past Saturday.  Tucker and I were awoken by our barking dog, for the umpteenth time lately before 6.  Bogey has been acting very anxiously lately and was pretty sick with the runs last week, I jumped out of bed trying to hush him before he woke up Tucker…fat chance that 14 lb dog barks like a 200 lb dog – the beast was awoken from his slumber to add to the MILLION things that I had to get done that morning to get ready for Brigg’s & Al’s Run/Walk for Children’s Hospital of WI in a few hours.  In a perfect world I’d get up get things gathered and packed, car ready, and myself ready all before Tucker woke up – he’d awake smiling and eat a hearty breakfast and we’d have left our house with my sister and cousins by 8:30 meet my other cousin at the parking lot, get to the registration booth hand in my pledges with the printed sheet I needed to hand in with them, get in the team picture, and march with our other Warriors down the streets of Milwaukee.  I’d cry a little bit and not have to make a pit stop, it would be 65 degrees, and it would be a magical day.  Here is where life becomes unglued and then I’ll tell how God put perspective in my life.

don’t be fooled by that cute little face, he’s a monster! (:

As I said Thank You Bogey for waking Tucker up at the same time I woke up, and not stop barking all morning.  Thank you Bogey for taking 25 minutes out of my morning to walk around the yard to NOT poop when I know you had to, and to incessively do naughty things, like knock Tucker over to get food out of his hands, bite at my shoes that are on my feet, and bark and bark and bark and cause me to completely flip out yelling at you more times in one morning that your entire life – I know it was a lot because Tucker shook his little finger on Bogey’s nose and said “No No Bobo”  I immediately felt awful, knowing that I have only control over me.  I offered to sell Bogey 4 times in the 2 hours that we were at home before leaving.  I wonder if there were any FB takers would I really have done it – naw he’s the best snuggler in the house.

So on the story goes – btw I am exactly ONE month from my due date, hormones may have played a role in the morning (: The crew starting showing up and Tucker was eating breakfast watching Elmo and the YouTube Elk video simultaneously, in his diaper making a mess.  I was running around like a crazy girl, trying to get the seats in the minivan down, emptying the week’s worth of stuff I’ve collected out of it to make room for everyone.  I on a hunch, (a bit of silver lining here) decided to check the wheels of Tucker’s stroller only to find that they were all flat.  Thank you Tricia for helping me out, but the fancy air compressor that we got had no nozzle to fill bike tires, we tried a number of different ones and then grabbed the air compressor that we were going to return and just haven’t gotten around to doing it yet and thankfully it had one.  Crisis averted and the wheels were filled – eating into the negative amount of time I had though.  I threw things in Tucker’s diaper bag making sure that I had some fruit snacks, an extra outfit, diapers, sippy cup, water, parents you know the kid stuff.  I was trying to get myself ready and fed, and make sure everyone had what they needed to fuel up.  Tucker has been battling a runny nose for about a week, and in the midst of my rage at the dog I asked my sister to get a Ziploc baggie and put some puffs in it, mind you I meant the melt in your mouth salty snack kind, not the Puffs Kleenex box on our kitchen table.  Our 8:30 departure quickly turned into 9’ish’ and I realized that I forgot to print out my pledge form and we have no working printer at our house, no computer at Jim & Bunny’s and no time to stop at work to print it.  Fudge.  (Not what I actually said, many many many times that morning).  We were on our way, my cousin offered to drive the minivan and just past the first exit on the highway she noticed we have no gas, Thank You Eric who used it the day before, so even though we’re late running out of gas would inevitably make us later.  We pulled off filled up and were on our way.  We flew down the highway making really good time and pulled off on our exit to get to the Summerfest grounds to find standstill traffic and everyone wearing shirts for the walk/run too.  We were many blocks from the parking lots.  We didn’t want to deal with the shuttle, so my cousin was going to meet us at the lot and hop in the van drop us off at the start line and park the van where her car was parked.  We finally got to the first intersection before the river and were told to take a left, now mind you I knew that we shouldn’t take a left going away from the third ward into downtown, but this advice came from someone who lived down there so we took a left and headed through the streets of downtown towards the walk only for my cousin to realize that we were heading in the wrong direction, we turned to go back to where we were and as we turned down every street it was getting blocked off for BLOCKS and BLOCKS!  At this point Tucker started to get antsy, I told them no big deal, LeAnne just give him some puffs, he just needs a snack.  Her face turned white and she busted out laughing, (refer back to the Puffs packaging before) and told me that she wondered why I wanted the puffs in a Ziploc and since I was so hormonal and yelling all morning she didn’t want to rock my boat anymore.  BAHAHAHA, it was so funny we all had to laugh, thank goodness we had an emergency bag of fruit snacks it held him over.  After the 9th street in a row being blocked off, and Tucker passing smelly gas that we were sure was a giant poop, a very full pregnant bladder, and the realization that the race started in 9 minutes, I had had enough, and I said, “okay guys, I’m done, we’re not walking, we’re not going, we’re just done…we’re going home it wasn’t meant to be.  I’ll give you guys your entry fee back and buy breakfast.”  LeAnne tapped my shoulder and said that my cuz really wanted to run, so we decided that we’d drop her off and pick her up at the end.  We got to the Marquette Campus right by the Al Meguire Center and God revealed to us a street parking spot a block from the walk!  We parked the car and cuz said that we should all go, she’s running and will be done way before us walkers and she’d cab it back get the car and pick us up at the end.  We all agreed that would work.  We packed all our stuff in the bottom of the stroller put the camera around someone’s neck and headed to the walk hoping to catch up with our team.  Pit stop first, Thank God the Al Meguire Center was open – we got to go in a FLUSH bathroom with running water, soap AND a changing station!  We got everyone drained and walked into the sunshine, and we got to the street we saw our OWENGE banner coming down the road …Really God???  You are AWESOME – I stopped for a moment gave my thanks to God and joined our team.  Our team captain said that I appeared out of the bushes or something, and to be quite honest, Mandy was kinda right!  We planned on meeting a few friends where our team was meeting before the race started.  They all stopped by and didn’t see us, so they left to join their respective teams.  We started the walk and all of a sudden I heard my name, I look to the right and there were my two girlfriends walking we waved over the fenced median and smiled.  Another one of my college friends walks for her son, a Children’s Champion, with her family…WAS walking RIGHT in front of us!  We hugged and exchanged hellos and I said hello to her mom who worked with my Godmother for years and years at the bank.  What a nice surprise.  Then we looked over to the right again and my cousins best friend was there!  Come on God, seriously another blessing for us?

I looked around and found my perspective, here I was one of 14,000 people marching down the streets of Milwaukee, pushing my healthy toddler and carrying my almost full term healthy baby in my belly.  I live the ideal life right now.  My family and I were marching on a team that celebrated the short life of one little boy, who’s legacy has far outlived the 6 months he spent on earth.  I immediately began to cry, looking at all the green shirts, those shirts represented a kid who was treated at Children’s Hospital and survived, they are Children’s Champions.  I glanced around again and saw other teams like ours, who are walking in memory of a child who wasn’t able to be cured in the walls of Children’s, my heart broke for each of those families, and for my friend Mel – I prayed then that they may find a similar comfort that she has found in the midst her tragedy.  Owen was  a warrior of God, and through his last gift of organ donation he saved 2 or more families the heartache Mel and Doug endured May 26th, 2011.  I remember the feeling of overwhelming gratitude last year for what God has blessed me with, and it was compounded with all my screaming and yelling I did before the walk.  It was hot, it was supposed to be 69-72 degrees and ended up being 85, and when we stopped to get our annual team picture in front of the orange sculpture, I had to make a pit stop, again Thank You God that the Betty Brinn was open and had FLUSH toilets!!!  The team waited for me while I waddled to the bathroom and waddled back – but it was worth it, don’t we look goooooood??  

We turned the corner and headed down the hill to the end of the walk, this pregnant mama was one tired pup.  We got our family walkers picture and I spotted another mom in our group had Puffs, it was lunch time and we were out of snacks – I asked if we could have a few puffs, and she gave us some and a cookie – it was a flourless oatmeal monster cookie and honestly it was the VERY BEST cookie I’ve ever had in my life!  Tricia, LeAnne and I all took a little bite and gave the rest to Tucker who devoured it.  We got a hold of Cuz and the roads were JUST starting to open again the traffic was nuts, she’d never get all the way down to the summerfest grounds, we said we’d meet her a few blocks up closer to downtown.  So we walked and walked a bit more, decided to meet at the Starbucks and Tucker and I bought everyone a nice cold drink, got our stuff in the car some shorts on Tucker and headed home.  Tucker zonked out 3 minutes before we hit the driveway, we wanted a full family shot and no one was there to take it, so we improvised and had Tricia take one, and LeAnne take the other and I’d photoshop one of them in the other picture…turned out pretty good if I do say so myself!

I love our shirts this year, we dyed them orange and a picture of Owen’s actual hand print is on each of our backs.  It’s so special to me.  After family picture I put Tucker down in his bed.  We have moved him to a big boy mattress that is on the floor and everyday it’s getting harder and harder for me to get up and down from it, I kept my shoes on and walked into his room and stepped on the bed set him down and left the room, grabbed the monitor from our room and walked out the doorway to notice a GIANT pile of dog poop on my carpet.  (remember when I said I took Bogey outside 3 times with no success full well knowing he actually had to go – I was right)  On the bright side it was solid and the runs had passed through his system.  Leanne brought me the carpet spray, a bag, and paper towel, I picked up and cleaned the big terd to notice a smaller ‘piece’ of a terd in front of Tucker’s door.  Oh poo, I checked my shoe and sure enough poop in my shoe treads.  I open Tucker’s door and see poop foot prints on the wood floor, on the pad around his mattress and I was sure on his bedsheet.  He was snoring away, so I took off my shoes and scrubbed the poop out of the floor, took the pad into the laundry room and waited for him to wake up to change the sheet.  I called my SIL who has a steam vac and had her bring it over.  Tucker slept for 3.5 hours, after he woke up we went on the front porch and when Eric got home I had him  steam the back hallway, wash the pad and change Tucker’s sheets.  I didn’t have the heart to be mad at the dog, he hadn’t pooped for 2 days since the runs stopped, I hollered at him more in one morning that I had ever yelled at him before, (and he knew I wasn’t happy which I think heightened his anxiety) and my cousins dog spent the day at our house too.  It was just one big recipe for dog poop disaster.  I sat with ice on my lower back for a while that day and was literally beat for a couple days after, actually today is the first day I’m feeling up to par again, as par as I can be 3.5 weeks from my due date.

Saturday was a great day, I came unglued many many times, but God helped me to find ways to patch it up and show me that even though everything seems like it’s unraveling, in the end, it works out.  We had a nice family night on Saturday, there are only a few of those left before we add our baby girl to the mix and begin a whole new chapter in our life.

Here some other pictures from the walk…it was a great day to honor the cutest little chunky monkey whose smile has been imprinted on my heart forever!

Couldn’t have done it without my awesome family!

The world’s best family helpers!!

Tucker was such a trooper he walked about a 1/3 of the walk.

Buzz Williams was the first to get nugs.

Tucker was so excited to give nugs out – it’s his new thing!

I couldn’t have done it without her!

So excited to cross the finish line!!

Dear Tucker,
Wowsers, what a day Saturday was.  I realized again how smart and observant you are when you scolded bogey like I was.  Your dad and I really need to watch everything that we say and do around you…how can we be at that point already?  You were such a good boy for our second Brigg’s & Al’s Run/Walk.  You walked well, you rode in the stroller well and you even got a Starbucks non-caffeinated treat when we were all done.  I am so grateful that all your aliments so far have been minor enough to keep you at St. Joes when you were born, and just colds and bumps and bruises through 21 months.  You got to wear a white shirt that we dyed orange, and have such a great smiley disposition on life.  It’s been a busy week since the walk and you’ve really handled everything so well, this mom loves that God gave us the privilege to raise you.  You make me smile, scream, and laugh on a regular basis with the new things you learn everyday.  I can’t wait to see what our future has in store for us!  Oh Tuckey-roo, I love you so much I can barely handle it, I just want to kiss and squeeze those cheeks a million jillion times!  Thanks for being just the very best boy ever!


My Yellow Labor of Love

4 09 2012

There just simply is something different about this pregnancy and the bond that I feel with this baby vs. carrying Tucker.  By 32 weeks Tucker’s nursery was ready, shelves were hung, clothes were washed, hospital bag was packed, and everything was ready to go and we concentrated on LeAnne & Matt’s wedding.  But this time, we’ve been so wrapped up in working with Tucker to get him ready for this life changing time, that I haven’t really stopped to really coddle this time with our growing girl.  It dawned on me this weekend, that I haven’t given her time with just the 2 of us – I haven’t felt connected the same because for the most part all of the preparations for her, Eric has done…they really have all been moving furniture and installing this or that, I’ve done a little bit of shopping but God only knows how this little girl will get spoiled rotten upon delivery.  There was so much hustle and bustle with my pregnancy with Tucker, baby showers and putting things together and hanging clothes etc., and it was just me, not me pregnant chasing a toddler around, I’m sure that’s it.

But this weekend was different, it was my labor of love for her.  To truly understand how much of a labor of love painting is for me, one must understand that I DO NOT do painting, and have NEVER found it to be something that I enjoy – thank goodness there are people out there who do, I’ve paid them to do it for us.  To be quite honest I try but am just not good at it, God gave me other talents that make me shine.  But I had a dream early in my pregnancy when Eric and I were discussing the ‘theme’ for her nursery, which was supposed to be Pirates – until 3 lines showed up on the Ultrasound!  We thought about jungle animals, we thought about princesses, we thought about owenge, but none of them inspired me, until I was deep in slumber and I woke up begging Eric for a sunshine nursery.  In my dream there was one wall with Yellow chevron stripes, and a huge 3d sun on the ceiling, and you just felt warm and happy when you were in there, rocking her back to sleep even in the middle of the night.

Finding the energy to do this was a daunting task, when I found out my due date I knew that it was going to be rough, Eric’s job requires long days at this time of the year, and I feel bad asking him to do things around the house after a 15 hour work day, and he gets upset and I get overwhelmed trying to move and lift things myself.  Not to mention that Tucker isn’t a docile kid, if he’s not strapped in a seat or sleeping he’s going 90 mph.  But this weekend my friend Mel came over and helped me make my dream a reality.

We made a few adjustments, and did straight lines rather than chevrons, and Eric and I found a 3d sun ceiling light at IKEA a couple weeks ago and it’s all coming together  amazingly!  Mel was my catalyst to get moving on it, she came over and helped me to straighten out my lines, which I swear were straight, but alas she was right and they looked more like a wavy horizon than straight lines.  I found a great article about painting straight lines on Knockdown and it worked pretty awesome – http://livingwithlindsay.com/2011/06/paint-perfect-stripes.html if I do say so myself…although I’m not too picky.  We left the paint on after 2 coats of Crayola Yellow to see how it would look in the sunlight, and boy was it different.  I got Tucker down for his nap and threw on my painters shirt and shorts and all by myself, I grabbed a paintbrush and began painting and the more I did the more I smiled, I stopped rubbed my belly and talked to her and told her about what I was doing, and how beautiful her room was going to be and how happy she made me.  For the first time, my labor of love translated into an outpouring of emotions for this little girl I love so much already.  The yellow is beautiful, although there are quite a few more projects that need to be done in there, it’s ready for the most part, we’re ready, I’m ready, and I can’t wait to meet her and introduce her to the outside world.  I love how yellow makes me feel, so warm, cozy, and enlightened – all by myself with my stripes of yellow and a dream coming true.  I’m such a lucky girl, blessed beyond belief – Thank You God for all you give to me, and help me to appreciate and always give thanks for everything.  Amen.

Dear Baby Girl,
This weekend was the first extended  time that was all about you, it was wonderful to concentrate on you and think about bringing you home and showing you your beautiful nursery that Daddy, Auntie Mel and I painted for you.  Your brother even helped out, he learns things so fast, but I can only imagine how fast you’ll learn things when you watch him.  I dream about the two of you playing and growing up and what our life will be like, and I can’t wait.  You are a Child of God and He has given me a great responsibility to bring you into this world, you need to stay put for a little while longer and grow big and strong like your brother, but don’t grow quite as big as he did (:
I love you so much, and I know that my heart is big enough to love you all and know that you, Tucker, and your dad are the centers of my universe.  Mind you, you all will take turns being my favorite, and Bogey have have that honor some days too, but I will love you everyday forever and ever.  Grow baby girl, and when the time is right we will welcome you with open arms and open hearts!