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! 

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.  

Vacation and my irrational fears.

2 02 2012

So as Eric would say, I was a bit, well, emotional about leaving for our trip to the Bahamas.  A trip that we as a happily married couple desperately needed.  Time away to remember why we are together, without having to discuss who will be driving before we go out, watching what we drink, or ‘discussing’ who will get up and take care of the baby or who’s turn it is to take out the dog.  We got a week of pampering, warm sunny weather, and  millions memories that we’ll never forget.

Before we left, for at least 4 months, when the trip was mentioned my pulse would race, and I’d have chest tightness, the thought of leaving my baby for an entire week was petrifying to me.  I felt guilty, I’m a full time working woman and mom, and I already feel like I don’t get enough time with Tucker, and to take 8 whole days off of work and not spend ANY of that time with him, well, made me feel awful.  And without even knowing – my feelings were being projected onto Eric, and he was feeling that I just didn’t want to getting away with him.  *BTW not the case at all*.  There didn’t seem to be much that I could do to subside these feelings and make Eric understand the maternal working mom in me.  I gave up and a week before we left I had our monthly church council meeting.  At the end we break up into groups and ask Jesus to help with something that we are struggling with in our lives, Pastor was in our group, and I asked for calmness about our upcoming trip and peace knowing that Tucker is well taken care of with my mom and dad and Eric’s mom and dad.  Pastor Jay said something that hit me and helped me to find peace, “Help Patty to see that the Union that You created between her and Eric is the most important because it was made in your eyes.”  I may be paraphrasing here, but he’s right, God created our union, and from that beautiful union created and sealed on February 24, 2007 – came Tucker, another one of God’s wonderful creations.  But he’ll be grown up someday and find a woman to share that union with that was created by God, and I hope he puts all he has into it, the way his dad, papa, and grandpa does.

So one of my fears is that we would leave and after 8 days come back and Tucker would look totally different, talk in full sentences, be running around, and I guess do so much that we would have missed.  Since he got so big, he wouldn’t remember that Mama is his favorite person in the world, and everything would just be different.  I am sure I am not the only parent to have these crazy irrational fears.

So 8 days in paradise, overindulging in food, alcohol, sun, water, fun and my husband we got home late and I HAD to wake up Tucker.  He didn’t look different, and he opened one eye, looked up at me, and said “mama?” a big smile and then a squeel, “MAMA!” he got right up and I swooped him up and gobbled all the kisses he attacked me with.  He was different, he learned a few new words and mannerisms, he wasn’t walking yet, and I was still his favorite.  It didn’t take long to get right back into the swing of things, but it was so much easier to do with a tan.  Our vacation that ended 8 days ago already feels like years ago and normal is back.  Everyday of our vacation from the moment we stepped on the grounds of Sandals Emerald Bay I got to forgot about being a mom, a dog owner, and became a wife, a book reader, a tanning beauty, a swimmer, and let loose.  I can’t imagine that when we do another trip away from Tucker, I won’t have some anxiety but it’s good to know that I can do it, I can have a great time with my husband and not feel the weight of mom guilt hang over me.  I am grateful that God gave us the financial and physical means to take a trip like this.  We are blessed.  Life is good.  Being a mom is great, but being a wife is amazing.

Dear Tucker,
I made it through leaving you, and you know what?  I’m a better mom for it.  I absolutely loved having time away with your dad, it’s something that we really needed to be a better mom and dad.  You had such a good week and your Granny and Papa and Grandma and Grandpa LOVED having you all to themselves.  Papa told me that they got to know you so much better and had such fun watching you learn all sorts of new things.  Grandma told me that you loved having sleepovers at the Bear’s house and you were such a good boy.  They both told me what a good sleeper you were for them.  I love that you’re such a good boy for them, now we will work on the good sleeper thing for mom and dad, you’re not bad but there’s always room for improvement.  (like going down better for naps).  We love you in spite of your reluctance to take 2 naps anymore.  You make me smile and make my heart melt Tuckey-roo.  I love you.  

Our little piece of Heaven on Earth

7 09 2011

Our family is fortunate enough to have a lake house.  Well actually it’s my parents cottage, but they are generous enough to share it with us – well when it’s not a no kids weekend.  This weekend was family weekend, although Eric couldn’t come up because he had to work, we still had a great time!  Here is a peak at what we get to see every night at the cottage.


That’s a sunset off our veranda…doesn’t it actually look like a little piece of Heaven on earth?  It’s so nice to just get away to the north woods and away from the hustle and bustle of our busy life down here.  Tucker did awesome on the 5 hour ride up and back.  He’s such a trooper…and bogey is the BEST car riding dog ever!  We set up his pillow on the floor and he slept the ride away.  Tucker did need some entertainment when he was awake, and on the way up my mom kept turning around and playing peek a boo with him, her back paid the price though, but who could resist this smile? I know that I couldn’t…but when you labor a child, you tend to be a bit bias!

Vacations with Tucker are something that Eric and I are just not used to, much less me without Eric.  Without my family to help with the baby and the dog, it would have been miserable.  Until your parenting partner isn’t there you don’t realize how often they are of help to you, especially now that he’s mobile.  Vacations with Tucker are just other places that we do the same thing.  Since Tucker was about 7 weeks old he has been, by Dr. Hankins, opinion sleeping through the night.  Which is stretches lasting 7 hours, I believe.  He set his own schedule early on, and we just followed his cues.  He’s up for about 2 hours and then rubs his eyes and tugs at his ears, which is his tired cues, and takes a 1 – 3 hour morning nap.  If he wakes up crying then he wasn’t quite done with his nap, but tough luck cause he’s up now.  Around noon he goes down for his afternoon nap which is usually 2 -3 hours.  He then eats dinner around 5 bath around 6 and is down for the night around 7.  It’s beautiful, and he did it himself and as his parents, Eric and I are not going to fight him on that.  Although it has been a major wet rag on our social life, it makes for a happy baby which equals happy mom and dad.  It’s actually kinda nice, after Tucker goes down it’s time for just Eric and I, well Bogey too.  It’s quiet down time or time to grocery shop, or just get out of the house by myself.  Someone is of course watching Tucker, well watching TV while he sleeps.  It’s difficult to others who we want to spend time with who don’t have babies, or don’t remember what it was like to have a young baby.  Eric and very much respect that Tucker has set his own schedule and we do our best to follow it, we’re all happier that way.  But taking a vacation totally kills that!

Tucker’s afternoon nap went from 1ish to 4ish, and bedtime was much later the first two nights, which led to a long night of up every few hours, neither him nor I are used to sleeping in the same room.  By night 3 we got it down, but by then we were exhausted!  It never ceases to amaze me how much stuff you have to bring when you’re going somewhere new with a baby.  I definitely take for granted how much we have at the house for him, my in laws have a lot of stuff there, and my mom does too…but travel beyond there and it’s quite a car load.  And that’s just one kid!

here's my dad and me with my 27" northern - Tucker in utero helped too (:

The long weekend was wonderful though, we had all the things we needed, my mom bought Tucker a walker at the Pamida, his own pack and play, a high chair, stroller, and an outside swing that we hang inside from the rafters so he can swing and look at the lake through the patio doors.  I can’t wait til he’s a little bit older and can really appreciate all the fun things that we can only do up there, pontoon boat rides, fishing, boating, long lake swimming, berry picking, and just good quality family time away from internet and the constant noise of the TV. There is even an eagle’s nest and we quite often get to see the eagles flying around, they usually circle around bogey thinking he’d make a good appetizer – which FREAKS me out.  I remember many nights up north where the inspector (my dad) would come down with the headband flashlight before bed and bounce the mattresses my cousins and I were sleeping on, while we laughed hysterically!  I remember fishing for hours with my dad, and more pancake breakfasts than I could ever count.  I have the fondest memories with my family up at our cottage, and this weekend was no exception…it was cold, my OWENGE sweatshirt that I ran back into the house to grab came in handy just about every night, but it didn’t matter, my family O was all there with some of our family new.

Dear Tucker,
I have so many wonderful memories up at the cottage with your grandpa, grandma, uncle DJ and Auntie.  I hope that you enjoy your time up there as you grow up as much as I am.  There will come a time in your life where life away from all the amenities you are accustomed to will sound lame and a week up north will suck, but we’re gonna drag you up there anyway…just like grandma and grandpa did to me.  I hope that you’ll always love going up there, we will make sure to do all the most wonderful family adventures with you up there.  God has blessed our family with this wonderful destination, that is a little piece of Heave on earth.  Maybe the inspector will make a surprise appearance for you and your cousins someday.  I love sharing all that God has given us with you.  You’re such a gift to me.  I love you Tucker Tot!

We’re going on Vacation!

7 07 2011

We just booked our first postpartum vacation to celebrate our 5 year anniversary!  My sister and her husband are going to come and celebrate their one year anniversary and we’re going to Sandals Emerald Bay, Bahamas.  Can you say, Heaven on Earth???  We are so excited!  We made sure that we could get an earlier flight home though, after 7 days without my little Tucker Tot, I know this mama will be STARVING for some kisses from our little man!  Ahh, I can just imagine, “hello butler, I would like a glass of Cabernet please.  Oh, yes I’d love to have that dress pressed for dinner tonight, thanks!”

It’s going to be soo much fun I can barely stand it!  For our honeymoon we went to Sandals Dunns River and loved every second of it!  Our travel agent got us upgraded 8 levels, we could fit our first room in the living room of our second room!  We used the same travel agent this time, we had a little hiccup in the road but looks like were on track again, Bahamas here we come, only like a hundred or so days to go!


Dear Tucker Tot,
Your dad and I love you soo much but we’re so excited to take some time for us.  When you grow up and find a woman who you love and marry I hope that after you have kids you still look forward to time with just the two of you.  We promise to leave you in the BEST of care.  You are so blessed that God has given you so many wonderful people who love you and want to take care of you.