Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Baby Rides the Short Bus Give Away Winner

Thank you to all who entered :) I ended up having 18 entries and used a random number system (click the link to see what I am talking about) to pick the winner. Lucky number 13 was the winner and the winner is Cat from Raising Monkey-Please email me your info at and I'll get the book out to you this week! Thanks to all who entered--check your local library for My Baby Rides the Short Bus if you weren't lucky enough to win!!


Friday, February 25, 2011


I've slacked a little bit on posting this week; it's been a little busy here. Whoops.

I just went and checked in on my two sleeping babies (who really are NOT babies anymore) and I felt overwhelmed with how much I love them. I know that probably sounds corny, but seeing them sleep, seeing them so sweet and innocent just floors me. During the day they are rambunctious, loud, bouncy, messy children; but when they are sleep I can't help but want to just snuggle with them. It's a peaceful feeling but also a sad feeling because I know in a few short years they'll both be gangly teenagers who are too old for momma to snuggle with anymore.

As I was sneaking out of Gabe's room, I saw him lift his head out of the corner of my eye. I turned around, he gave me a sleepy smile and proceeded to fill me in on the sports scores last night (The Hawks AND Bulls won, so he was a happy happy boy) Maybe he won't be too big in a couple of years for an early morning snoogle--or at least a chat :)

Happy Friday everyone

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Turn Your Head and Cough

Gabe had his seven year check up yesterday (Oh my, seven already???) it was routine, however he had to do something new this year; something that surprised even me. He had to "turn his head and cough" while the doc checked to make sure he didn't have a hernia. Even the doctor had to suppress a giggle while doing it because Gabe was being so goofy about it. He stood there with his arms across his chest and refused to cough. She said "well Gabe, if you don't cough I will have to stay like this all night and it's not very comfortable for either of us" He finally started to laugh and then did a *VERY* dramatic cough. What an ordeal, of all the things to have him be stubborn about, this one was the one I did NOT expect him to fight. Silly boy.

He's getting so big; the doctor instructed him to be sure to take a bath or shower every day (thanks Dr. S, we needed that push) and to wear deodorant if he was very sweaty (and ugh, yes he is and he stinks) and told him he was on his way to becoming a very nice young man...and that he is. Hard to believe he's seven already, time sure flies when you're having fun!

Don't forget about my book give away-I've gotten a lot of great responses but you still have four days to Enter Here!

Monday, February 21, 2011


As promised, my very first give-away :)

For the next week I'll be taking entries to be entered to win a copy of My Baby Rides the Short Bus   I'll even sign it before I send it to you-how lucky for YOU he he.

In order to be qualified to enter in the give away, you can do three things (all three gets you three separate entries into the give away!) One-leave a comment to this entry telling me why you'd like to read the book Two-follow the blog (if you already do, just leave me a DIFFERENT comment telling me you follow) and Three-follow Witkowski Family Happenings on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me that you are following (again, if you already follow us over there, leave me a comment telling me as such!)

I will draw the winner Saturday night (February 26, 2011) and post it Sunday morning. Good luck!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Little Man

Dear Gabriel,

In a few short minutes you'll be seven. You made sure to tell me that the kiss you gave me was the last one you'd give me as a six year old and that tomorrow's kiss would be from my new, older seven year old McGooch.

You are, in a word, amazing. You continually amaze ALL of us. You have gone from an itty bitty tow headed giggly baby to a confident, bright, hilarious boy. You have a hilarious sense of humor, you devour books like...well like, me and your aunt Buzzy and your grandma Deb. You are kind and gentle, you are loving and sweet. You're so much more than I could have ever dreamt of.

The morning of your birth I wondered what the future was going to hold for you; medically you're practically one in a million; some (me included) would call you a miracle. I wish I could go back in time and tell the scared me not to worry because you were going to be so amazing.

I still can't believe you're almost seven, where has the time gone? It's gone by in the blink of an eye, a million miles a minute. Each day brings a new challenge, another silly joke, and a sweet hug and kiss from my baby first born.

Momma and Daddy love you so much and are so proud of you honey. No matter what you do, we'll always be behind you cheering you on. You are adored by your sister; you can literally do NO wrong in her eyes. You should see her mope while you're at school and the way her eyes light up when she realizes it's time to get you off the bus. You're the apple of your grandparents and great grandparents eye. You are loved by so many people, I hope you always remember that.

Happy birthday little man.

P.S. Happy birthday Sam, I'm glad you're Gabe's Hobbes :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Support System

We're getting closer and closer to Gabriel's 7th birthday. He's been anxiously counting the days down and he's going to be giddy that when he gets up in the morning (oooh sneaky Chrissi, blogging before bed...) and he's ONE DAY CLOSER to the *BIG* day.

Today I am really really thankful for all the amazing doctors and therapists that we've seen over the last seven years. We rarely see the specialists anymore (thank you God!) but at one point in Gabe's life it seemed like we'd NEVER get a break from them. I am so thankful for my amazing Ob-Gyn Dr. Larry who, even though he didn't end up delivering Gabe, made sure to have someone from his office call and check in on me in the last weeks before having Gabe.

Then there's Dr. Ruge aka "NeuroGod" and his staff who fixed up "his angel" Gabriel's back and inserted his shunt.

Dr. Simmons, one of Gabe's very favorite doctors, is the only doctor who told us Gabe would walk. He's the orthopaedic specialist and he's hilarious as well as being an amazing doctor. He lets Gabe play with skeletons, he gives him copies of his x-rays to "show off" when he goes in, and he always tries to get us to go to the reptile swap meet (eww, no thanks Dr. S)

Angela and Ryan were two amazing physical therapists who helped Gabe learn to walk, and most recently Mr. Brian and Miss B (PT/OT respectively) helped Gabe make leaps and bounds physically as well as developmentally.

 I'd be remiss if I didn't mention our awesome pediatrician Dr. Song. We have such a great relationship with her; she's so wonderful. She's taken such good care of Gabriel in the last seven years (and Bitsy too) and I'm not sure where we'd be without her. She's truly one of those GOOD doctors you don't hear enough about. She doesn't rush us, she always makes a point to listen, and the kids love her. We're lucky to have ALL of these doctors/therapists in Gabe's life-I can't imagine what his life would be like without them-and I don't think I WANT to either. We're so blessed to have amazing doctors, we really are and for that I'm very thankful.

Wordless Wednesday: Coolest Card Ever

Gabe's birthday card from his Great Grandparents-seriously-how cool is this thing? It'll be taken to the frame shop next week so that it'll be protected for the "ages". Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!! ♥♥

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day etc etc

Blah blah blah, happy Valentine's Day and all that jazz. Let's talk about something more exciting.

Saturday morning Geo and I were taking the kiddos to Bitsy's dance class; we cross over the Fox River to get to the road we need to be on and as always, we looked at the river as we went over. We both saw two huge dark blobs on the ice. At first I thought maybe they were turkeys, which would be odd because a)we've never seen wild turkeys on the ice and b)wild turkeys are not that common in the city, as we got closer we realized itw as something MUCH more exciting than that.

We turned the corner and got a better look at the birds...birds that turned out to be a PAIR of bald eagles! BALD EAGLES! It was amazing. I pulled the car over the best I could, threw on the hazards and grabbed my camera from my bag-oddly enough I HAD the camera with me and I was able to snap a few pics.

As I finished taking some pictures I noticed that an unmarked police car had pulled up behind me. I thought I was going to get a ticket for sure. I pointed to the eagles and yelled "Sorry" to the officers. They smiled and waved and said not to worry about it. I asked "aren't they awesome?" and both of the officers smiled and said "very awesome!" I got back into the car and we got going down the road while the police hung out for a bit checking out the eagles.

Recently there was a bald eagle nest in a nearby town that the police and dnr had to put barriers up around because people wouldn't leave them alone. Eventually people got over the novelty of them being there, but I can see why people would "flock" (ha ha) to the area, they truly are majestic birds. It was so cool for all of us to see them considering we've only ever seen them at the zoo!

And in Valentine's related news...I asked Gabe to be my valentine this morning....and he said no. He said "Sorry mom, but I can't, Evalyn is my valentine"


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Friday Five-The Shortbus Edition

When I cannot sleep, I write. I cannot sleep tonight even though I am tired, so here I am, writing

I'm in a very unique position (not literally, my position at this moment is rather normal, butt in the chair, arms on the keyboard stand, feet on the floor) I have a disabled child but I've also been lucky enough to be able to help other mommas (and daddy's too) of special needs child as they've gone through their journey to Holland (Stupid Holland)

Recently a dear friend was in the position where someone made a comment about the "short bus" My friend was hurt and I completely understand it; her son has a disability. Yes, he's a beautiful, bright, lovable, amazing child BUT he also has a disability and making jokes about the short bus to the parent of such a child is downright nasty. Back in the early days of our parenting journey with Gabe, the short bus references nearly killed us. I cannot tell you HOW many times I cried over the prospect of my child riding the short bus. (For those who are lost, the short bus is a bus that usually carries the mentally and physically challenged children to school; people use it as an insult because apparently being retarded is the ultimate insult you can give or something...not to me, I'd definitely rather be accused of being retarded than say, a republican LOL kidding kidding)

So in honor of one of my favorite little boys and his amazing momma, my Friday Five on why the short bus is AWESOME (in no particular order)

1. Gabe's short bus plays music-the other day Justin Bieber (or Justin Beaver as he's known in these parts) was singing loudly; as soon as Gabe got on the bus, he smiled and started singing.

2. The driver of the short bus is AWESOME. His name is John, he's an older guy, and my favorite thing about him? He says Gabriel like my father; every single morning he says "good morning mom, good morning Gabrul" and not only is GABE happy but so am I because I am thinking about how good it is for Gabe to be with someone who likes him AND I'm thinking of my dad (love you Pop)

3. The kids on the short bus are super cool and cute and sweet and fifty two other adjectives to describe adorable children. They are kind and polite. They wait for one another to get off the bus, there's no "hurry up" or "get out of the way" or "why does he limp like that?" or "why is there a cast on his foot"

4. The parents of the other kids on the short bust that I've met GET IT. They are down to Earth people who think nothing of your kid coming off the bus limping or hearing that they needed help with a seatbelt, because, hey sometimes our kids need a little bit of extra help.

and the final reason the short bus rocks?

5. Because Gabe is on it and anywhere Gabe hangs out is cool by me. (Insert your childs' name for Gabe's in this sentence) That's right. Gabe is one cool kid and he rides the short bus. He doesn't care that he's on the "little bus" so why should I, or anyone else for that matter?

Speaking of My Baby Rides the Short Bus, be on the look out for my very *first* give away in the next two weeks or so; I'll be giving away a signed copy of probably the most amazing book on parenting a special needs child in the history of the world*

*yes, I am slightly biased, but why the hell not? It's an AWESOME book

Have a GREAT weekend everyone :)

Valentine's Day

Ooooh it's that time of year again; Valentine's Day. Oh yes, hearts and valentine's cards and chocolate and flowers and lovey dovey ooey gooey romance, right?

Not so much in our family. Geo and I have bad luck celebrating Valentine's Day. It started with our very first V-day, which I won't recount here so as to not embarrass Geo, but suffice to say, it was not the overly romantic warm and fuzzy date one would expect on Valentine's Day. We gave it a go again a few years ago, only to have our dinner take so long that we missed the movie we couldn't wait to see. Yep, that was enough for us, Valentine's day is now just for the kiddos.

Just for the kiddos? WHAT? That's not romantic, that's not lovey dovey. That's ridiculous.

Actually, it's not. Gabe and SarahAnne are the physical manifestations of the love Geo and I share Geo and I don't need a special day to show how much we love each other, and quite frankly if you are only expressing your love for one another because the calender says you should, you should probably step back and reevaluate your relationship.

Each year for Valentine's day we do something for the kiddos; one year it was a movie they both had been dying to see, another year it was a year long membership to the zoo, and this year I think it's going to be a four pack of tickets to see a minor league hockey team play-complete with on the glass seats, t shirts and hot dogs.

We give the kids cards, sometimes silly little gifts and so does the rest of our family. Today the kiddos got a card from their great grandparents that Bitsy swooned over and I'm sure Gabe will be equally as enthralled with. My sister sent them cards as well and I'm betting there are a few grandmas and grandpas who will be following suit, along with an aunt and uncle and maybe a Godparent or two who will acknowledge the day for them.

We want the kids growing up surrounded in love; does that mean that we only surround them with love on Valentine's day? Of course not, but it's a special day when you're a kid and we want them to know, especially on Valentine's day, how loved they are by not only us, but by the rest of their family. Raising your children in love is never the wrong thing to do; a child can NEVER have enough love in their lives. In fact, the more love the better, no one has ever said "boy I wish my parents wouldn't have loved me so much" now do they? Go out there and love someone-especially your kids!

thanks for the card Greats :)

Thankful Thursday-WHAT?

What? Could it be? Could my little Bitsy girl actually be healthy already? It would appear so. She's been fever free for over 24 hours now and has been bouncy and perky since yesterday morning. Also it appears that none of us has gotten the plague either. All three of us feel pretty darn good and now Bits is back to nearly normal (still a little tired but that's no biggie)
So today I am thankful for a quick recovery by my Bitsy and thankful that no one else got it either!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Plague O'er Both Your Houses

We've got the plague-a particularly nasty one-Bitsy tested positive for Influenza/H1N1 yesterday and is pretty darn miserable. Right now, I'm pumping her full of fluids when she's awake and letting her snooze where ever she wants (right now it's on the couch with her "softy" blanket) We've had Sarah McLachlan on repeat for the last 24 hours as well, because it's what makes Bitsy happy-can't say I blame her :)  I've been spraying everything with lysol and pulling out disposable cups, napkins, towels, etc so that we can just throw things away rather than worry about germs. I am hoping it works since the three of us would really prefer to NOT have this bug.

As of right now, I'm on a mini hiatus; I probably will not be posting much, so if you don't see much from me in the next week or so, it's just because I'm taking care of my sickie :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

It's been almost a week since we all went sledding and I am still finding bruises all over my body. Sledding isn't USUALLY a contact sport, but in the Witkowski family it apparently is. Case in point: when Geo's dad and brother were going down the hill, side by side, JD decided it would be funny to grab a hold of his dad's sled and flip him over. I was majorly impressed with Dad's cat like reflexes-he jumped up and jumped onto the sled, belly first and flew after JD.

Then of course, JD decided it would be a fabulous idea to stand on a flying saucer and try to-I honestly don't know what he was trying to do-all I know is that he went down the hill ass over tea kettle (love the phrase, I don't get to use it nearly enough) and none of us could stop laughing to go see if he was ok (and he was, no worries)

Now onto my *brilliant* idea; I am also going to blame Geo AND JD for this one. See, we have a toboggan that conveniently holds TWO Witkowskis. The first set of Witkowski's to go down the hill were a daddy-daughter combo, then another daddy-daughter combo, then a brother in law-sister in law combo-that was fun. JD and I nearly hit the fence (we were aiming for the river, damn fence!) and since it was SO much fun with JD, I thought, "woohoo, this'll be even MORE fun with Geo!!"

So Geo, of course, thinks it's a great idea and we hop on the sled...and the boys start to push us and before we make it five feet, we tip over. No worries, it was not OUR fault, it was our pushers fault! So we confidently got on the sled together again and started down the hill and my goodness was it FUN! FUN FUN FUN! Until, of course....Geo and *I* went sideways again and rolled over each other two or three (or fifteen, I don't know, it was all a blur at this point) times. We pretty much rolled over each other, tangled up, until we landed at the bottom of the hill in a heap. A giggling, snow covered heap, but a heap nonetheless. My feet were tangled with not only Geo's feet but also with the toboggan rope. It was a mess.

Honestly, it seemed like a good idea at the time, it was HILARIOUS. We trudged up the hill to laugh with everyone, not imagining that in a few days odd purple marks would be all over my body. Woooo. In retrospect, maybe Geo and I should stick to things like cooking together and playing card games, those seem like activities that have less potential for bruising...

Friday Five: All About Fives

A Friday Five all about the number five....

1. What is your favorite Maroon 5 song?
Can I put my FIVE favorite M5 songs? No? Okay, my favorite is "Secret/Ain't No Sunshine" it's very sultry. I adore Adam Levine almost as much as I adore Sarah McLachlan.

2. Five things that have made me giggle this week:
1. SarahAnne telling me that she gets covered in "chickens" when she gets cold.
2. My sister's storytelling; the way she recreates things makes me laugh so much, even when she's being unintentionally funny. Love you Buzzy :)
3. The Office I love Steve Carell so so much.
4. Gabriel saying "let's have a snuggle" when I asked him why he said "because that's what we do, it's our thing" he he
5. Being woken up by Boni cat nibbling on my lemon thyme at two a.m. Doesn't seem funny, but it was a pretty funny sight.

3. What can you buy for a nickel?
Not a whole lot. Maybe a piece of gum at a candy store.

4. You're stuck on a desert island, what five things  do you take with you?
In no particular order: a vat of diet coke, the book I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb, a Sarah McLachlan mix cd, sunscreen, and Boni cat (for hunting purposes)

5. Is five a magic number?
No, not it is not, NINE is a magic number, just ask Bitsy :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Snow Days

I am so thankful for snow days this week :) I know a lot of parents don't like them, but I am loving having Gabriel home. He's such a fun kid, I feel like his days go by so quickly for him-he's up, he goes to school, he comes home, does homework, we have dinner, bath, stories and bedtime! Not a whole lot of time for hanging out. I am also thankful for the super sleepover the kiddos and the cat and I had last night. Nothing like being snuggled together when it's super cold outside (and woooo was it cold last night-some reports had us at -35 with the wind chill!) We told knock knock jokes, Gabe rubbed my back (he's so sweet) and we had a good snuggle.

 In addition to snow days I am thankful for Geo's new job. He's always been a good hard worker and he's finally being rewarded for that. We aren't going to see a ton of him but I will be able to stay home with the kids as long as Geo and I feel it's necessary and we are going to have AMAZING insurance (something that is an absolute necessity for our family) I'm so thankful I married a man who is such a hard worker and so devoted to his family.

And last but not least, I'm thankful for a silly little SarahAnne. Today she got dressed in a dress with a skirt underneath it, pink "high heels" and said "ok momma, I'm ready to sweep the floor" She grabbed the broom and swept the kitchen floor...she only stopped to swig some of my diet coke once and then, when she was done, she came out of the kitchen and said "ok it's done but I can't use the picker pan"  I went into the kitchen and sure enough, she had swept the floor and had left me a neat little pile for the "picker pan" and broom. I'm thankful for her help :)

(And now something YOU will be thankful for, a picture of the kiddos he he)


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