Gavin’s First Birthday!

Friday, February 23, 2007 is Gavin Ryne Winslow’s first birthday! This is another HUGE milestone for this amazing baby.

Help us celebrate and give thanks for our special miracle by sending all of your family and friends to Gavin’s guestbook to write a special birthday message to Gavy and his family.

Thank you to everyone who has helped Gavin in some way. Whether it be attending or organizing one of his fundraisers, telling a friend or family member about his website, talking about him on TV and radio, giving a donation, or sending a prayer above for his well being, you have made our family so grateful by being so kind to Gavy. Thank you for continuing to walk with him as he continues his journey.

Children Concert Nets $4,286 for Gavin…Thank you Samantha, Sarah, and Jim!

Something truly remarkable happened after Samantha Christianasen’s and Sarah Kirschling’s months of busy hands and tireless feet prepared the Jim Gill Children’s Concert and Silent Auction fund raising events for sweet baby Gavin. An awe-inspiring $4001 enriched our precious little baby’s campaign. THEN – Mr. Gill decided that he wanted to donate 100% of his concert, book and CD sales, bringing baby Gavin’s new fund raising total for this musical extravaganza to $4,286.00. Thank you dearly Samantha, Sarah and Jim for your terrific love for sweet baby Gavin – like a warm coat in winter it keeps him snug as a bug in a rug.

Pavarotti noted, “music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence, and whereto”. So too did the following generous Donators “startle our wonder” with their kind-hearted generosity:

Silent auction thank you’s go to:

  • Sheraton Hotel – Weekend Getaway
  • The Little Gym – Awesome Birthday Bash
  • Gymboree Play & Music – One Month of Class
  • Pump It Up – Birthday Party
  • A&A Photography – In-Home Photo Session
  • M&M Gymnastics – Birthday Party
  • Sunset Bowl – Party Package
  • Celebrations Party Rental – Moonwalk/Jumper Rental
  • Children’s Orchard – Melissa & Doug Adjustable Art Easel
  • Lady Fingers & Feet – Manicure and Pedicure
  • Kathie Krohn – Mary Kay Gift Baskets

Concert thank you’s go to:

  • Jim Gill
  • Sheraton Brookfield Hotel
  • A&A Photography
  • Yogi – Balloon Artist
  • Jeff Campbell – Magician
  • Sparkle –
  • Melody
  • Knick Knack –
  • Peppi –
  • Z3 Graphics (ticket and poster printing)
  • The Secret Attic (Elmo costume)
  • Nick Schwalbach (as Elmo)
  • Let’s Celebrate (balloon donation)

On behalf of sweet baby Gavin, our tender thanks to each of you! We remain sincerely grateful!

Another Big Thank You to the ‘KTI Morning Show…Promoting Bowl-a-thon

Another big thank you to the team at WKTI for helping us promote Gavin’s fundraisers on their radio morning program. Our very own Glenda Herro called into the show on January 24th and spoke with Gene Mueller, Amy Taylor, and Gino Salomone about Gavin and the upcoming “Bowlin’ for Gavin” Bowlathon on Sunday, January 28th from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Classic Lanes in Greenfield.

To view Gene Mueller’s post about “Bowlin’ for Gavin” on their website, click here.

Thank you for making Gavin a friend of your show, because you have been a true friend to Gavin!

Care to Share Community Day Fundraiser

Once again we are grateful to have been offered the opportunity to participate in the Care to Share Community Day fundraiser of Saturday, March 3rd, hosted by Bon-Ton and Elder-Beerman. Learn more about this event at

Here’s how it works:

  • We have coupon booklets for you to sell at $5 each.
  • Each booklet contains $10 coupon good on almost any merchandise item of $10 or more (customers spend $5 for the booklet and get $10 back on their first purchase!), eight coupons for up to 20% off, and offers for three great bonus items, available on Care to Share Community Day only, which is Saturday, March 3rd.
  • 100% of the $5 coupon booklet price is ours to keep for baby Gavin.

The coupons are good at these participating stores at any of their locations:

  • Bon-Ton
  • Bergners
  • Boston Store
  • Carson Pirie Scott
  • Elder-Beerman
  • Herbergers
  • Yonkers

If anyone is interested in selling these booklets please contact Jane Schwalbach at 262-549-6129 or email her at:

We especially would like to thank Ms. Linda German, a cherished new friend of baby Gavin’s for this opportunity. You are absolutely right Linda, “together we can make a difference;” we feel privileged to have received your special invitation.

Reminder: “Bowl-a-thon” at Classic Lanes, Greenfield this Sunday 1/28

Just a reminder, our “Bowlin’ For Gavin” bowl-a-thon is this Sunday, January 28th at Classic Lanes Bowling Alley located at 5404 W. Layton Avenue in Greenfield. Please join us and make this a successful event on Gavin’s behalf. There will be a donation box at our “Bowlin’ for Gavin” check-in table for those who wish to contribute cash or checks to Gavin’s fund. All checks should be made out to COTA with “Donation In Honor Of Gavin Winslow” in the memo of the check.

Details of the event are as follows:

  • Sunday, January 28, 2007
  • 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Classic Lanes Bowling Alley – 5404 W. Layton Avenue, Greenfield.
  • For driving directions, click here.
  • Purchase tickets for bowling, food, and beverages at our “Bowlin’ for Gavin” check-in table at the door.
  • Adults: $10, Kids under ten: $5 – for three games with free shoe rental.
  • Bumper bowling available for the kids.
  • Purchase pizzas and pitchers of beer or soda and earn money for Gavin.
  • Silent auction items for bid from various vendors.
  • No limit to the number of games you can bowl.

Please fill out the short registration form below. We need to get as accurate a headcount as possible so the bowling alley owners can reserve the correct amount of lanes. Thanks in advance for your help.

Lauren and Gavin…Perfection, Thank You Everyone!

At my friends Rachel and KJ’s wedding, their priest talked about children (don’t ask me what they said at mine, I was trying not to trip), and he said that your children are a mixture of all the good things about each of you. Kind of like a little perfect recipe where you get to shake in all the things that you love about each other. I look at Lauren and Gavin and I see perfection. I see these two little intelligent minds with laughter and energy, and just the right amount of sass. It makes me want to laugh more, take chances, become smarter…just be better. On the mom-o-meter, I got an “ok” ranking today. Lauren has taken to grading my daily performance as a mother (brutally honest). I have learned, however, that there is a significant grading curve on days where chips, fruit snacks and play dates are concerned, so I try to throw these in when I have less than stellar moments. I think that I am trying to challenge myself to actually live a little freer, to allow myself to be less than perfect, laugh without inhibition, say what I mean, and be a little kinder than necessary — because those are the things that I want my babies to be.

Gavin is now saying “da-da-da”. It’s his first multi-syllable word, so that is HUGE and very exciting. Now I know for sure that God is a man, because all babies seem to say “dada” first. This is despite the fact that we are the ones lugging them around in our bellies for nine months (which I am still somewhat convinced that it is actually ten months: 40 wks, 4 weeks in a month, but whatever). He is still eating despite his nighttime supplements, so that is nice. I think that he would sit in his high chair all day and eat if we let him. He tried an oreo blizzard today and LOVED it. Cookie smeared all over his face, it was adorable!—(of course, right?) He’s trying to figure out how to transition from a sitting up position down to his tummy, then hanging out and playing on his tummy! And the kid is always talking business, apparently he has a lot of opinions as well, and is ready for us to hear all of them (:

Lauren is recovering from all the fundraisers this weekend. She went to the Fireman’s dinner with Jay and the Jim Gill concert with me and had a BLAST! I think she may have run a mini toddler marathon between the two, and is a little tired from both. They were both wonderful!

Throughout all of this, we have seen such kindness; such support that simply saying “Thank you” just doesn’t seem enough. But until I can think of something better, it will have to do. Thank you to our families, friends, and strangers who have come to help, love, and support us!

I have to get to bed, but I will leave you with Lauren’s cell phone conversation today:

Lauren: “uh huh uh huh uh huh” (pause) “Okay.”
Me: “Lauren, who are you talking to?”
Lauren: (covers phone receiver with her hand) “Excuse me.” (slightly annoyed look at me) “I am on the phone with Rosie the horse in unicornland.”
(Lauren gets back into make believe phone conversation)
Lauren: “Please tell her not to eat all the carrots because I would like some, and to look out for shooting stars”. (Click)
Me: “Did Rosie say that was okay?”
Lauren: “She wasn’t there, so I left her a voicemail.”


Keep On Going…”Gavinator” at 15 pounds, 14 ounces!

“When you are going through hell…keep on going”, I believe it was Churchill who said that, and we made it. It was when I was grocery shopping, trying to figure out which was hotter the mild or medium salsa, when I realized that it’s all what you make of it. This of course was when I realized I was upset at the label makers of a salsa company (talk about sweating the small stuff, but seriously, what was wrong with mild and hot—it made it easier—what is medium all about?), but it all gives you perspective. We are still in a battle for a different home dialysis machine, but as Jay reminds me “control the controllables” (we can see who is the level headed one is here…me???).

Gavin seems to be doing so much better with the added nutrition at night. So much so, that it makes the night time easier and the added food means he’s not waking up. So we are getting a full night’s sleep, except when his dialysis machine alarms. Somebody should really tell you that after you have kids you’ll never sleep through the night ever again, it should be in like a pregnancy pamphlet.

I’ve gotten much better with the feeding tube and have learned some tricks to try to keep it in longer. He is also teetering on 16 lbs (15 lbs 14 oz)!!!!!! You look at him and you figure he’s got to be like twenty pounds with those cheeks and that belly, but not quite yet. Soon we will be at 22 pounds, and then there is no stopping us. We most definitely will be celebrating when that happens! I can’t believe in just shy of a week, he’s gained so much weight. I am so enthused by that!

He also seems to be moving so much more, even he is impressed by himself and has taken to clapping for himself once he accomplishes a new feat! He’s all about “Roly Poly” and bubbles and has so many more opinions now, mostly, “let me at ‘em”. He seems so much more age appropriate, no longer an infant but a little boy. I can’t believe he is almost one!

Lauren has learned the words “suction” and “flabbergasted” and I love making her use them. It’s so funny to hear them come out of her mouth. She has also learned how to spell her name in “sing song” so it’s pretty cute. We are starting to try to teach “the Gavinator” (as she likes to call him now) how to sign.

I signed Lulu up for four year old kindergarten this week for the upcoming school year…I can’t believe that she is going to go to school. Now I know why you see all the moms peering through windows trying to get a glimpse of their babies. She is such a proud big sister that she insists that we write her name and then also add “Big Sissy”. They both helped me make some Valentine cupcakes this week, and Gav loves the beater just like his sissy!

Hope this finds you all well! Something about pink, red and hearts that has to bring a smile to your face!


What a Morning, What a Delight…Thank You Chilton Knights of Columbus!

”’When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, ‘what’s the first thing you say to yourself?’ ‘What’s for breakfast?’ said Pooh. ‘What do you say, Piglet?’ ‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?’ said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. ‘It’s the same thing,’ he said.”
A. A. Milne, ‘The House at Pooh Corner’

The smell of coffee mingled with the flavor of eggs, sausages, ham, hash browns, pancakes, and hobnobbed with a sundry of sweet rolls, orange juice, milk, and pitchers of ice water at the Chilton Eagle’s Club last Sunday, January 14th, as the Chilton Council (Calumet 2556) Knights of Columbus put on their Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser for sweet baby Gavin. Over three hundred wonderfully kind neighbors turned out to support our darling baby.

Thank you all so very much for participating in the task of saving the day and the night for sweet baby Gavin. Your warmth was overwhelming!

Pennies From…..

For over two centuries the penny’s design has symbolized the spirit of the nation, but never more nobly than at the Lake Mills Middle School. After completing their penny push fundraiser, from January 8th – January 17th, Art Instructor Judy Schwecke, along with her fifteen, 8th grade advisory students have turned thousands of idle pennies into real dollars and happily contributed their gift of $655.10 to baby Gavin’s campaign.

Our appreciation for all of your kindness and enthusiasm is boundless. Your spirit of generosity inspires, truly, for as Margaret Thatcher so eloquently stated, “Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth.”

Thank you, each of you, for bringing change to the world of sweet baby Gavin. Thank you for your humanity. Your hearts are all quite special and we remain endlessly grateful.