Birthday Wishes Come True…Gavs Tipping the Scales at 17 Pounds and Will Get New Dialysis Machine!

What a weekend! We all celebrated Gavs birthday on Friday and just relaxed and hung out together. It was so nice to all be in the same place at the same time! Gav is looking a little older, OK OK, maybe not older but bigger. He is tipping the scales at 17 lbs! That, and we have gotten word that we will be getting his previous dialysis machine back! (A newer and much better machine that will allow him and us to sleep much better.) Talk about birthday wishes coming true! Between his new weight and all this snow shoveling, I am going to have arms of steel! (Although, I want to say thank you to all my neighbors who rescued us this weekend with snowplows, we had a small mountain at the end of the driveway!)

Gav is starting to crawl backwards, hasn’t quite figured out the whole forward motion – but it’s fun to watch. It gets him a little hot though, because when he finally gets the drive to do it he ends up further from his goal than before. Pretty soon I imagine that he will be crawling and then the true fun begins! Luckily the house is pretty baby friendly already so we only have a few adjustments to make. Look out world pretty soon he will be on the loose! Now if I carry him, he refuses to be anything but outward facing. He has also developed what Jay and I call floppy feet to throw his temper tantrums and let us know when he is displeased!

Gav is starting to stop eating orally, and I am concerned that we will have to rely solely on his feeding tube. While it’s not the end of the world, since I have gotten quite good at placing it and “little magic hands” Gav has also gotten good at pulling it out, I just don’t want him to lose the ability to self feed and have food aversions. I would like to avoid that whole bag if at all possible, but I can’t argue with the results of the feeding tube. It has made an amazing difference and now it feels like there is no stopping us to get to the 22 lb. marker! Plus, they changed some of his meds so I can leave the tube out during the day and place it in at night to give his cute little face a break! Gav liked touching his birthday cake and licked the frosting once but never put it in his mouth.

I asked Lauren what she thought of this snow this morning and she gave me what Jay and I are now calling a “Laurenism”—-

Me: “What do you think of all this snow?”
Lauren: “You know what I heard.”
Me: “What?”
Lauren: “That Christmas is going to come AGAIN!”
Me: “No hon, Santa only comes once a year and he just came.”
Lauren: “Well, thats not what I heard.”
Me: “Leprechauns will be coming soon, but Santa has the rest of the year off.”
Lauren: “Only Santa can handle this snow, leprechauns are too small.”

She then stormed away in a huff and returned with crossed arms. I was then told that I wasn’t a very good mom because if I was a “good mom” I would just call Santa…and then an argument with a three year old ensued of which I will spare you the details.

Apparently I got a 2 on the Lauren “mom-o-meter” that day, because when the conversation ended I was still “not a very good mom” AND no longer a friend. Are three year olds little teenagers in smaller bodies? Rationalizing with a three year old is not a possibility. Seriously cute, but seriously independent at three!

Well, Gav is getting up from his nap and Lauren is done so I better tend to the kiddos. We feel truly blessed for all that we have in our lives and truly grateful to the doctors, nurses, staff, friends, family and community that have gotten us to where we are now. It is true that it takes a village to raise a child, and Gav is proof of that! May you live each day to the fullest and embrace all those who you love!


Darlington Benefit for Gavin

The wonderful people of Darlington have planned a special benefit for Gavin. Here are the details:

  • 4:00 p.m. – Dinner / Start of Silent Auction
  • Followed by Entertainment
  • 7:00 p.m. – Start of Live Auction

Tickets costs are $10 for adults, $5 for children, and children who are 2 or under will be admitted for free.

The event will be held at:

Ranch House Lanes
17096 State Hwy 23
Darlington, WI 53530

Please contact Jay Winslow via email at with any questions regarding the event.

A Mother’s Birthday Wish for Her Son…A Letter to Gavin

My dearest sweet baby Gavin,

Believe in miracles. You are everything and more than we could have asked for. I look forward to the day when you read this and think that I was being an over protective mom because this disease no longer dictates your life (“mom’s crazy” – I can hear it now).

May you always know how loved and special you are. May you grow to be a man who gives freely and thinks kindly. May you continue to aspire to greatness and not be discouraged with the stumbling blocks (we all fall, get back up son). May you become a thirsty learner and a leader and a man of your word. May you remember how lucky you are and support those less fortunate. Be bold, ask questions and face your life with courage and honor. May you always love with innocence. May you see in yourself what I already see in you at the tender age of one.

If I could climb every mountain for you, take away any pain or hardship and steer you always into the right direction, I would. Your life is still unwritten and there is beauty in that, you determine who you are and we can only guide you on your journey. I can’t promise you perfection, I can’t promise you much of anything, except that I know that we were kissed by an angel twice in our lives, with you and your sister, and that every second that I breathe I love you more than the last breath! That, I promise you, will never change!

Happy Birthday my beautiful, perfect giggly baby boy! This is your year, Double 0 Seven: Mission Possible: Kidney transplant!



New Photos: January Fundraising Events

Below are some pictures of a few of the many fundraisers held for Gavin in January. Our heartfelt gratitude to all those who were a part of these special events.

Kurt Lakatos, the owner of Krav Maga-Milwaukee, organized and conducted two seminars on Saturday, January 6th which raised $1,100 for Gavin.

On Sunday, January 14th, the Chilton Council (Calumet 2556) Knights of Columbus put on their pancake breakfast fundraiser and over 300 kind people came to support Gavin.

The Jim Gill Children’s Concert held on Sunday, January 21st and organized by Samantha Christianasen and Sarah Kirschling raised $4,286.00 for Gavin.

If you viewing this message in email and cannot view the pictures, please click here.

A Warm Thank You to Mr. Carl Millard and Waukesha West High School Key Club for “starting your ovens”!

Research tells us that twelve out of ten people love chocolate…

If we follow the crumb trail back to Waukesha West High School’s Key Club, in-school bake sale, which not only included chocolate but a delicious combo of flavors, we here at baby Gav’s website are inclined to agree.

To Key Club Advisor, Mr. Carl Millard and all the kind Key Club Members who participated in creating this “edible art fund raiser” on behalf of sweet baby Gavin, our heart-felt thanks for adding an impressive $350 to his campaign fund. Your magical wire whisks made an important difference!


Fort Atkinson Preschoolers Sponsor Nickle-War Fundraiser for Gavin

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” —Angela Schwindt

Kay Sweet and her little Ft. Atkinson Preschool Sweethearts are “sweet-on” baby Gavin, and so have decided to sponsor a nickle-war fundraiser for him from February 19th – February 28th. Too winsome! A big “head-over-heels” thank you to all!

Sick Again, Ugh…Support Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research

We are once again sick, this should not seriously surprise anyone, it seems to be a constant theme (slightly dejected sigh insert here). It needs to get warm. Gav is at 100 temp wise and Lulu at 99.8 and I’m not talking vacation spots. Seriously spring: where are you? I long for open windows and a good day at the park. We must be masochists living in Wisconsin. The kids however are living the dream per usual…

Lauren’s prince did come, and his name is daddy. She is all about being with her dad right now. It seems that she enjoys keeping secrets (although she can keep them for a total of three minutes and that’s with hands covering mouth) She is three going on thirteen and I am not sure if she breathes or just has some strong super kid power to talk talk talk! How is it that she has more energy than me even when she has a cold? She truly amazes me. Lauren swears that Gavin told her that he wanted a dog for his birthday. I told her a dog will have to wait until we got a fence and she went downstairs, grabbed a toy hammer and said she and her dad (go figure) could build one. Anyone who knows Jay (bless his heart) knows this is not possible (finance guy, not handy guy), but this just reinforces the daddy love. Her next plan of attack was pet napping the neighbor’s tiny dog. I then informed her stealing dogs is frowned upon and not good for neighborhood relations. Don’t worry; I will check her closets nightly if I hear strange noises.

Gav is doing his own bit of talking, quite a bit (especially right around time for him to go to sleep). Jabber jabber jabber—- giggle giggle giggle.

I looked at the COTA website today at all the other kids waiting for transplant and checked out all their websites. Everyone’s story is different and heartwarming. It’s amazing the power and strength of a child. They just have you wrapped around their little digits!

Gav has quite the cold, and I am now convinced that every time I take him to the grocery store he gets sick. Apparently there must be a special on it in isle 6. We had a blockage from inside the ng tube this week so he has been flying high without the tube the last two nights. This is good for him since it irritates the bejesus out of him and lets him clear up that congestion. Bad for me because he is not being constantly fed, he is constantly waking up looking to be fed. Of course there is that pesky weight issue, down down down instead of up up up!

Researchers at Wake Forest University have found that bladders grown from patients’ own cells have been successfully transplanted and work. This shows that regenerative medicine, cell therapy, and cell research could one day be a solution for people who need transplants, like Gavin. To read more, click here.

It is so amazing to me to think that they could transplant Gavin with his own grown kidney some day, maybe even when he needs his second transplant. That would mean no anti-rejection meds, no worrying about kidney failure or acute rejection. He could live a completely normal life (of course no mother thinks their child is going to live a normal life, let’s say extraordinary!). Support regenerative medicine, cell therapy, and stem cell research! This could be your child some day or someone you know. If they can find a cure for the love of all things, let them find it!

Speaking of, for the love of juice Gav will sacrifice almost anything, even his mommy. He did his first push off of me (like I had baby repellent on) when he saw his sweet juice sippy cup coming. He rubs it lovingly, ode to juice… “I love thee, I love thee with a love that shall not die til the sun grows cold or the stars grow old.” (Shakespeare)

Just a quick Happy 90th Birthday to Jay’s Grandma Rose, we love you! Sorry we missed your party, but we are thinking of you and sending baby kisses via air mail!


Waukesha West Holds Bake Sale for Students in Honor of Gavin

On Wednesday, February 7th, the Waukesha West High School Key Club, under the direction of Carl Miller, their Adviser, will be sponsoring a bake sale for students at their school to raise funds for sweet baby Gavin’s kidney transplant and transplant-related expenses.

A description of their bake sale: “Eat a little and laugh a lot with your friends as you enjoy quite a matchless collection of mouth-watering bakery. And for the health conscious – recognize that chocolate is the most powerful antioxidant food. Enjoy!”

Thank you Waukesha West High School for wanting to help Gavin.