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! 

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! 

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! 

Gitter Family Update – 22 weeks preggers and 18 months old!

14 06 2012

I can’t believe that I’m nearing the end of my 22nd week of pregnancy and that Tucker turned 18 months yesterday! It’s all gone by so quickly! I haven’t been very good about keeping up with all that is changing in our lives lately – for the 2 of you that read this but more importantly for me to remember exactly where we, The Gitters, were on June 14, 2012. So here it goes…


Our little stinker pot is talking up a storm trying to keep up with his favorite girl in the world, his cousin E – who moved in 2 doors down a few months ago. E is almost three and honestly I don’t think he could love her anymore. Yesterday Jim told me that Tucker wouldn’t let her go through until she gave him a kiss. so, adorable! One of my pregnant epiphanies was creating a Step 2/Little Tikes playground in our backyard for the kids…it has come to life and a few weeks ago we added the Naturally Playful® Front Porch Playhouse by Step2 – I got a good price and free shipping, and I know the resale value on this stuff is great if kept in good condition. They LOVE it, it took a couple of times out in the yard, but they are so funny in there now. We have a little swing and slide set from Eric’s cousins, a see-saw, the Step2 Clubhouse Climber, a picnic table and umbrella, and of course some of Bogey’s toys. They’ve been having a blast between the Step 2 community and the kiddie pools, sprinklers and the water table they love to live outside!

He’s gotten crazy fast on his feet and is just a tank of a kid and will push you out of the way to get where he wants to be. We are working on manners, and waiting your turn – he’s not so good at those yet. We’ve been experimenting with potty training, which he responds well to, we offer and he says yes or no, with yes he races to the bathroom, and when he says no we just let it be. Before bath we sit on the Elmo seat and if he goes, great if not he’s still pretty little. He’s talking a ton – some of it is still pretty gibberish, but he speaks VERY well for an 18 month old boy. A married couple, and friends of mine from high school own their own photography business, McManigal Photography and have taken all of Tucker’s pictures since he was a newborn – Chris was out at my parents house this past week trying to capture Tucker at 18 months…well it was a challenge to say the least. He was constantly moving, didn’t want to stay anywhere, and wouldn’t laugh at my ridiculous singing and dancing (which I paid for with a very sore pelvis the next day!) . He never sits still anymore and keeps me on my feet – but I must say he and Eric looked SOOOOOOOOO handsome! their outfits were the only thing that turned out how I wanted, we will see if the pictures depicted what I saw in my head- thanks for the lil boy tie Auntie Melly! (:

Tucker has no idea what life has in store for him, we’re working on body parts and he knows mouth, nose, 1 eye 2 eyes, hair, ear, cheek, toes, and fingers. We’re learning belly and trying to explain that the baby is in my belly but he just doesn’t care, and when we’ve tried to get him to gently pat the baby he pounds on my belly like bongo drums. So we will have to try a new approach to the upcoming changes in his life. We have a babysitter who comes to the house on a regular basis now, and we couldn’t LOVE her more! She’s fantastic and Tucker adores her. He has no issues with me leaving in the morning when Katherine is there, he calls her Kath-Kath and he is sufficiently tired after a day with her. We count our blessing everyday for having found her.

Here’s a few recent pictures of Tucker – they are not as numerous as they once were…

Baby Girl Gitter:

She’s a growing girl! I had my first u/s a couple weeks ago, and got a call a couple days after from my midwife’s office suggesting that I do a follow up ultrasound because her femur bone is 20% of her head circumference. Apparently the normal range is 17%-19%, my midwife wasn’t too concerned but per the recommendation of the radiologist we made another appointment for 2 weeks later (tomorrow already!) to check again, I was told it could be a couple of factors – it could be that she’ll be tall, which over all she’s much bigger than Tucker at 20 weeks (Tucker was 49.8% and she is 68.9% but Tucker was born in the 98% weight and 99% height), that she was in a strange position and the measurement could have been off. I couldn’t help but google it, and I couldn’t find anything bad about that – and to be quite honest, it wouldn’t change how much we love her or that God chose us to be her parents, she’s ours as long as God will allow it. So tomorrow we’re going in to see her again on the U/S and watch her twist and turn. I have a serious baby bump going on now – I think looks bigger looking down than in the mirror, but I can still fit into all my heels and I’m not a swollen whale, yet. I am considering a maternity belt, this one sits in my back and causes crazy pain when she lies in a certain spot, and she’s a stubborn one to move, totally my girl! But we’re on the downside of the maternity hill, with less time left than we’ve put in – that’s a good feeling.

A few other milestones in our lives – after we got back from the Bahamas and we Photoshopped a few pictures for our memory book Eric, Matt, LeAnne and I decided to do weight watchers, then I found out I was pregnant and stopped paying the monthly dues but Eric, LeAnne, and Matt all downloaded an app called iTrackBites for $2.99 and have had AMAZING success with it. We no longer have to Photoshop their pictures – Eric is down almost 50 lbs and is the skinniest he’s ever been and LeAnne has lost close to 20 lbs and Matt has lost over 20 lbs! I’m so proud of the three of them, they look so great and are fitting into clothes they haven’t wore in years! At my last appointment with my Midwife, her and her nurse were ooogling over how great Eric looked, and I’m not gonna lie – I was annoyed when she asked how I’ll handle it when our weights criss-cross going in opposite directions, not her most nurturing moment – but I still LOVE her!

We’ve been busy busy keeping up with the great weather, doctors appointments, and Eric’s INSANE summer work schedule! We’re surviving and thriving – some days there is more love than others, but at the end of the day we give thanks to God for all that we have and all He’s done for us. Life is Good as a Gitter my friends!

Dear Tucker & Baby Girl Gitter,
We have been so busy and summer is just beginning! Tucker I LOVE where you are right now – you are so inquizitive about everything, and are starting to figure everything in life out, you’re a massive bundle of energy but for every ounce of GO you have in you, there is an equal amount of snuggles, love, and kisses. You light up our lives in a way that only you can…honestly, out of all the little boys in the whole wide world how did we end up getting the VERY best one?? I can’t wait to enjoy more summer with you at this stage. And baby girl – you need to take it a little bit easier on my body that you are currently residing in, your brother was a lazy fetus and I very much enjoyed that, although I am really loving that your dad can be more involved earlier and feel you squirming and doing martial arts in my belly! We will continue to work on not lying on the bottom of my tailbone, and getting to feel you grow in my belly. Be nice to your mommy – she’s too busy to stop and take a breather these days! The days are moving so fast and I’m making a vow to use the expensive camera that I HAD TO HAVE to capture more of our moments this summer! I love you both so very much, thank you for all the memories you’re giving me (:

Karma…the ultimate parenting kick in the a$$or

30 04 2012

I can’t count how many times I have judged someone for a parenting choice they made before I had Tucker.  Maybe a million, or a jillion times I said, “When we have kids I’m never gonna do ________”  or “my kids will be looking good all the time, they won’t have snot dripping or googey hair and their clothes will match when we go out in public.”

Man almighty, I can’t even tell you how many times these words have bit my butt in the last 16 months.  It really hit me when I was volunteering at a Little Warriors Event and I saw a little boy (maybe 4) running around in cowboy boots, a baseball cap, plaid shorts, a superhero t-shirt and a weird belt.  Pre-Tucker I would have raised my eyebrows at the parents and commented that OUR child will never leave the house like that…fast forward to now – I wouldn’t say that, and now I think “she picks her battles and this obviously isn’t one of them.”  I’m really working on not judging but watching.  Although my current battles are not what Tucker is going to wear, but more so what he cannot have, he cannot have the remote or knives or our glasses full of liquids.  He cannot watch ELMO 24 hours a day, he cannot climb on the dishwasher door, he cannot hit the dog and he cannot have cookies for every meal.  These are my battles I face daily (well we (Eric, the babysitter and grandparents depending on the day) face daily).  I hope that someday a mom can look at my kid dressed array, or eating cookies, and realize that wasn’t the battle I chose today.

Although there comes a point where I have to choose the battle that Eric and I deem important.  I got a daily parenting tip from one of my favorite websites iMOM.  Inconvenience the Price of Good Parenting.  I feel like enough homage cannot be paid to my parents…I never paid it growing up, but I never knew how smart they were until I was a grown up.  They didn’t do everything right all the time, but they chose their battles, and battled each of us as a united front.  We also grew up in a very close knit family – our whole family.  Here is a picture of us – heading out on our second Disney family vacation and our first Disney Cruise.  I’ll never forget that trip, I had spaghetti every night, and Giuseppe cut it up so fast and so cool, I just had to see it done again and again.  And yes that is me the ‘star’ in the front middle…I loved to be me!

Eric and I have talked about family trips in the future with the kids, Disney is a must, I loved Disney and I want our kids to have a life as wonderful as we both did.  I chatted with my mom and asked why we never did anything like a timeshare and more far distance family vacations, (we went up north to our family cottage every year and did Six Flags, and other things) and she very promptly explained that we we drove them nuts at home and local vacations fighting for much less money.  Why pay for something if we weren’t going to enjoy it, your father and I chose vacations that we enjoyed and you guys were you guys wherever we were – always at eachother’s throats.  She was right, a key point in my Maid of Honor speech at LeAnne’s wedding was about how there were at least 3 babysitters sitting in the audience who I can’t believe went on to have kids after babysitting for us (: hehe!

I ponder what my mom said, and I can’t help but wonder if it’s a pipe dream to think that this perfect little family we’re almost done creating can live happily ever after and enjoy wonderful family vacations together and they will be perfect angels and we’ll just float around loving our little perfect family vacations?  The reality is: Yes Patty that is a pipe dream…this is what your future holds:

Reality, karma, they’ll never stop kicking my butt – but if they did, what would I blog about?  Here’s to choosing our battles and planning vacations that Eric and I enjoy – and hoping that our enjoyment will spread to our kids the way it did for us.

Dear Tucker,
You sure are growing up fast!  Your dad I are learning everyday about how strong willed, determined, and smart you are.  Those darling brown eyes will only work on this tough mom for so much longer (:  I think I might be a mean mom, but my favorite face you make is your pouty one – the one you give me when you don’t get your way or you’re in bogey’s food again.  It’s the cutest little face with so much expression, I just can’t help but giggle…I need to work on tough love parenting!  You’re getting faster on your feet everyday, and although you have no idea what to think about this baby growing inside my tummy – you always get a big smile when someone asks you if you’re going to be a big brother.  I adore that smile too, that pure, sweet, contagious, effervescent smile – it’s contagious we can’t help but smile right back at you!  You’re a treasure to us, and we love you so much my little monster.  

Whada Weekend!

22 11 2011

This was a crazy busy exhausting inside and out kinda weekend.  I had the day off on Thursday and made a day to get things done with Mel and the triplets…it was the first Little Warriors Event on Saturday.  It was a much busier day than if I would have been at work, we did errands with all three babies, and Mel was a Buy Buy Baby virgin so we HAD to stop there.  Then we went back to the house and she helped me work on some craft Christmas presents from Tucker.  I was EXHAUSTED after my day ‘off’ (:

On Friday I had a really busy day at work and my niece came over for an unexpected visit, which we LOVED and E, Tucker and I played cars on the kitchen floor for a while, it was so fun.   Tucker got up around 11:40 pm or so on Friday night and played the up down game in his crib and was finally down until Bogey heard a coyote outside and began barking incessantly to which Tucker leaped up in his crib and yelled out Boooooggg Booooogg (which is how he says bogey) it was so funny that I could not resist getting him.  He decided to party for over 2 hours until I decided that it was no longer safe for me to be ‘watching’ him so sleepily and I put him in his crib after a bottle 2 diaper changes and a lot of playing.  He eventually passed out THANK GOD!

On Saturday I woke up tired but running on adrenaline and pure excitement.  Eric hung out with Tucker and fed him breakfast so I could shower and actually get myself ready.  I was out the door and ready to caravan over to the blue school for the first Little Warriors Christmas ornament drive.  Because I know Mel personally I know how agonizing it has been to decide how the money that has been given in Owen’s name should be spent and how she could organize something that would make Owen proud.  She has bounced a number of ideas off of me, and honestly I have loved them all…some more than others, but they have all been great ideas.  But the idea behind Little Warriors is her Picasso masterpiece.  When Mel & Doug made the decision to donate Owen’s organs they knew that his gift would multiply and help out many others.  This is the Picasso behind Little Warriors, to continue to help others in the capacity that they need.  In the book of Matthew, Jesus said, “I was hungry. And you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty. And you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger. And you invited me in. I needed clothes. And you gave them to me. I was sick. And you took care of me. I was in prison. And you came to visit me…’ “Anything you did for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”  Through each event everyone involved is making a difference and giving to someone who needs it, and being able to see the face of God through their good deed.  Families piled into Summitview Elementary school to work with their kids to make 5 different kinds of crafts for the 1300 low-income seniors and disabled adults that the Interfaith Organization of Waukesha serve.  We called them their grandfriends.  Each ornament went to someone who would most likely not have gotten anything this year.  Also it gave families an opportunity to do something fun and parents to teach their kids about what they are doing…as one blog reader of Mel’s said, “it was a big deal for my 5 year old to make something and leave it there”…what a great way to introduce them to giving and a gateway to show them how blessed they truly are.  Afterwards we went to Costco and grocery shopping with Mel and Jaden.  I had every intention of helping stuff OWENGE merchandise orders, but had to duck out after grocery shopping, I was exhausted and really missed my Tot, I know Mel was exhausted too.  I felt so blessed that I could watch Owen’s good work continue to unfold.  I am sure Mel’s gears are already in overdrive contemplating the next Little Warriors event and I will let you all (all 3 of you that read this) about it too, if you’re in the area come join us!

On Sunday Eric and I both went our separate ways to church…Tucker is what I call a God mutt, he was baptized Lutheran and my family is active in our church and the Gitters are active Catholics at their church, and Eric, Tucker and I worship at both churches.  But this Sunday I had Sunday School, Eric had off and Jim & Bunny were going in the morning, which worked out perfectly.  It’s been a while since I have gotten to listen, really listen to a sermon…Tucker is good in church, but he’s so darn cute you just can’t help but watch him, even if it’s just watching him sleep through the sermon.  and I went by myself and really listened, I swear Pastor Jay knows too much about me, cause his sermons speak right to me!  I know I’m not the only one who thinks this…but the sermon was about doing good deeds for the right reason, become a sheep not a goat, do not do things to gain ‘points’.  Do good with your right hand without letting the left know.  I was just talking to Mel about this very thing on Wednesday.  It’s my weak point…I want encouragement…I often find great pleasure in being praised…I wonder if if that means that I am doing it for the wrong reasons.  I have to pray that I open my heart up and work in the name of the Lord, because it’s the right thing to do and let that be enough.  These were great words to hear this weekend.

Also on Sunday it was my turn to assist with the 2nd grade Sunday School class.  This is a service that I really didn’t want to do, my brother begged me to help him out and split the last open volunteer spot.  I reluctantly agreed, and I am actually really glad that I did, I do really enjoy working with the SoTH youth.  And it is such a different atmosphere than Children’s Church which I have been helping out with for years.  But this Sunday was the first rehearsal for the Youth Children’s Christmas Program.  I am NOT let me reiterate NOT pregnant but was a blubbering emotional mess watching all these kids, who most of them I have seen grow up in front of my very eyes, singing, ‘acting’, and praising God.  I am feverishly planning Tucker’s First Birthday and it seems like yesterday we brought him home from the hospital!  I feel like I am literally going to blink and he’s going to be in preschool walking into the church as a farm animal in this same Children’s Christmas program.   A fellow council member said to me that with the first it goes so fast and the second you’re wondering why they aren’t able to do the things your first can do.  hahaha…i bet that is true!  I rolled home in the late morning for  a snuggle with the dog, played with Tucker got him down for his afternoon nap and went up to work to do a few things that needed to get done.

It was a busy busy weekend indeed.  I slept like a log Sunday night, and Thank goodness it’s a short work week…Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Dear Tucker,
This weekend was certainly a busy weekend, we were on the go a lot and you were such a good boy.  I love that God has brought so many opportunities into our lives that allow us to give to others.  No matter how we do, with money or time or crafts or smiles we are able to give others so much.  I am a Christian in the making and learning new things everyday just like you, I strive to be a near perfect follower of God but quite often fall short.  But that’s okay God doesn’t expect perfection from us.  But he does expect us to try our best, and your dad and I both feel the same way about you.  And if we expect it from you, then it is only right that we lead by example.  You’re growing up so fast, this weekend you’ve begun to communicate better what you’re wanting with words coupled with actions, and before you know it, you’ll be walking.  Life is changing so fast and getting better by the minute, you are wearing me out faster, but at the end of the day it’s just more adventures to give thanks for.  I love you Tuckey Tot, you’re the best boy ever!