Category Archives: Babies

Life lessons….things I learned the hard way

Life lessons….things I learned the hard way

Sister sunflower

Before you begin reading these lessons…please know that this is how I attempt to live my life. I am not always successful with all of them, but I do try.

1.) Let your “NO” be no and your “YES” be yes.

If you commit to something, follow thru. Never change your plans because something better came along. People are counting on you. Be a person of strong commitment. This is one of the characteristics of being a responsible and dependable person.

2.) Never give a LOAN to anyone.

If someone comes to you with a request for money think long and hard. Pray about it. Is this going to help this person or do you need to consider “tough love”? Don’t be an enabler. However, if you see a true need and you are able to provide the funds requested, do so never expecting to get the money back. That way you will never build up resentment toward this person. Most of the time the money is not repaid, so approach it that way from the start and you will never be disappointed in anyone. Give it and forget it. Never share your generosity with anyone, except if you are married you should make these decisions jointly.

3.) Respect other peoples possessions as well as your own.

If you borrow something, return it in the same condition or better than when you received it. And return it promptly.

4.) Live your life as if each day is your last.

If you begin each day with thanks just for waking up and breathing, you will never be disappointed. Gratitude is a key factor in happiness. Do what you can within your personal limitations to make each day full. If you have a bucket list….get busy. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

5.) Tell the ones you love how much you love them.

If those around you don’t know how you much you care about them, tell them. This encourages love, respect and nothing but positive emotions. Oprah once said, “You want someone’s eyes to light up when you enter a room.” Be sure the ones you love KNOW this love. (With social media, even a text or a tweet can show you are thinking of someone.You don’t even have to speak to them.)

6.) Never forget your priorities.

God first, family second and the rest last. If you live your life with your priorities in proper alignment with your faith, you will have NO regrets. God will smile on you.

7.) Live a life of giving.

When you give, you are showing others God’s love for them. You are His hands. It needn’t be anything more than a smile. Give as much as you can and do service to others and you will reap rewards you never imagined.

8.) Love on older people.

I am sure you have heard it said, “Older people are just young people in wrinkly skin.” There brains are still back in their youth. Even if they forget things, they still are living and breathing as they did in years past. Show them respect and encourage them to share their life experiences with you. You might just learn something. Plus, it makes them feel they still have value, something to offer to this world.

9.) When you go to church go to honor God.

If you go to church only to have your faith nurtured you are going for the wrong reason. Go to give God one hour of your week in respect and gratitude for the many blessings He has given you. If you learn something from the homily along the way…..wonderful. Go out and practice what you learned.

10.) Only speak positive words.

If you surround yourself with positive people and speak positive words, you will have a happy and stress free life. The old saying.”If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” applies here. Who wants to be around a negative person? NOBODY.

11.) Look for the good in everyone and everything.

If you look for the good in every situation or every person, you will forget about the bad. There is a silver lining in every situation, and sometimes it is more difficult to find it than others. But it is there…as bleak as it may seem. I promise this is true.

12.) Always tell the truth.

I used to tell people things that I felt would make them fell better or what they wanted or expected to hear. Sometimes these things were far from the truth. (Rules 10 and 11 apply here.) It is always difficult to remember untruths. They will often turn into a chain of lies and then you are sunk. You probably can never remember it all. Stick to the truth and unless you have Alzheimer’s disease you will not fail.

13.) Teach your male children to always open the door for the ladies. Tell your female children to always act like a lady. Wear clothes that express your feminism not sexy.

They may not always be ladies, but he is always a gentleman. Tell your children to always be faithful. If they wish to spend time with someone else, break off the relationship. Be honest and fair and respectful of everyone.

14.) When children are introduced and a hand is offered make sure they look them straight in the eyes when shaking their hand.

15.) You get what you you get and you always say “Thank You”.

Enough said.

16.) Always pay your bets.

If you play games and monetary bets are made ALWAYS pay your bets. This is something you should learn early in life. Nobody wants to play with a person who justifies not paying up. And, even more importantly, don’t sit at the table without money in your pocket. It’s best not to gamble at all. But, these are rules that you should follow and in some crowds, it can be dangerous if you don’t honor the code!

17.) Teach your children about the commitment of marriage.

When they think they have found the person they want to share their life with you need to ask some hard questions. Did you pray about this person and did God give you a clear message they are the one He has chosen for you? Do you believe you can live your entire life with him/her? And, the final thing is, when you are married, you are married for life. But, if you find that you made a mistake in marrying him/her, be honest and fess up. Tell them immediately, seek help, and do not see another person until you are honest with your spouse and the marriage has been terminated. Be respectful of one another above all else. You married this person and believed you would love them forever. Find out why you don’t and fall in love all over again. Don’t wait until it is too late and things have been said that cause hearts to be torn apart.

18.) When you meet someone and you think they might “be the one” wait six months before you do anything drastic. It takes six months before the true self is shown.

19.) Don’t demand respect from your children…..earn it.

Enough said.

20.) Never throw your sibling in front of the bus.

The last two of my children were eleven months apart in age. When they were teens this came up. I wanted them to remain close throughout the teen years and into adulthood. While this is difficult for parents, it is wise. Ratting on your brother or sister causes them to lose trust in you. No trust….no deep relationship. Today, while they have strong opinions and voice them to each other, they remain very close. Nobody understands you like your sibling. The love between sisters and brothers is a deep and unending love. Don’t lose out on this blessing from God.

21.) You are only as good as your five best friends.

Do they make you a better person? Do they lift you up or tear you down? Do you want to be like them or do you sometimes justify why they hurt you or others? Choose wisely and embrace strong and nurturing friendships of those who share like values or those you would aspire to.

22.) Pray for God’s will, whatever it is, not for what you want….He already knows that.

The most important thing I can share with anyone is to pray for God’s will. It is the single most “freeing” rule I can give you. That is why I saved it for last.

If you pray for what YOU want, you will be disappointed. God doesn’t always work on your time schedule and He certainly doesn’t listen to your plan. He already has everything all worked out. He already has a plan for you. He WILL give you your hearts desire. I promise it will be bigger, better, more loving and more dependable than YOUR plan ever could be. I am the living breathing truth of this.

If God had answered some of my prayers, I would not be what I am today, where I am today and probably not half as happy and loved as I am today.

As Garth Brooks puts it. “Thank God….for unanswered prayers…”

The olive branch

The olive branch

My sweet Joseph and I feel as if God showers us with His blessings with these amazing little gifts He sends called babies. Two of our boys had blessed us with five special angels. We loved watching them grow and develop into little humans with individual traits that distinguished them from one another. Slowly time slipped past us and they were no longer infants or toddlers. We missed that innocent stage where each new discovery was met with awe and increased curiosity. While we watch with amazement at their accomplishments in sports and academics and social skills and see their faith life growing we are thankful and proud. He continued to gift us as we watched them grow.

Suddenly our younger children began to marry and we knew it wouldn’t be long before they would experience what true love really is all about. Since 2014 God has sent us three love gifts, and our hearts are exploding as we watch with eager anticipation each small development, a grin, a smile, a belly laugh or the moment when their eyes connect with ours. It is all so surreal. We count these days as some of the happiest of our lives. Days that transform our lives. Days that will bring us through the difficult days.

These tiny infants, completely dependent upon their Mother and Father for food, warmth and love have stolen our hearts and teach us once again that life is precious and fleeting and so very special a true gift.

January 1st we were blessed again with Olive Adelle Zitiello, weighing just 6 lbs. 9 oz. and 20 inches long. Finally a pink bundle to dress in soft pink and bows. We are thrilled beyond belief, every one of us.

She came quickly and naturally and perfectly formed..thank you Jesus.

Her name held great significance. Adelle is Tommy’s Mothers legal name and beautiful. She was the greatest Mother, Grandmother. We are so pleased Olive’s parents decided to honor her in this way.

We realized shortly after we heard it, her first name Olive evolved from early planning of Louis and Emily’s wedding. The theme was chosen by Emily – Olive branches, simple and full of meaning. The leaf signifies the truth of faith and it’s fruit, the olive is the good of charity. From Emily’s shower to Louis and Emily’s wedding the olive branch was used to decorate the wedding cake, the tables and even the crown on our brides head. It was a single 5 letter word that held great significance for these two parents. Emily’s push present from her husband, a delicate Tiffany olive branch necklace. But, the true gift was this little pink soft being…Olive Adelle Zitiello.

A Mother’s love

The family began to pour into the maternity ward to meet the newest member. We gathered to share our thanks and wonder at the miracle of birth.

Little Jude was amazed when he saw Olive for the first time.

We had told Jude for many months that baby Olive was in Emily’s belly. Now he could see her.

Joseph and I have realized how fleeting life truly is. This is what age does for us. We know that God sends us these miraculous gifts to perpetuate our existence here on earth. We are blessed beyond our belief and truly thankful.

Baby Mick

Baby Mick

IMG_6104

May 25th, 2016 God blessed us once more. Mick Francis Garrity came into the world at just 7lbs. 11oz. and 21 inches long. Another miracle and perfect in every way.

It is almost overwhelming when I consider how blessed we are. God just continues to shower us with His love. These little angels give us all purpose and hope for a better tomorrow. Babies bring out the best in everyone.

Mick is smaller than Jude was at birth, but he is doing great. He is filling out now at 2 months old and starting to focus in on us and smile that little grin that melts my heart.

How can I find more room in my heart for another angel to love? Not a problem. I watch him with anticipation marking each day with a new milestone.

Mia is happy, Mia is blessed. Poppa and Mia love you baby Mick, beyond your imagination.

Sarah's shower holding Mick

“Mia”

“Mia”

It happened organically. My daughter-in-law and daughter always asked me what I wanted to be called when the grand-babies came. I never had an issue with being called “GrandMa” like many of my friends did. I told them whatever the kids called me was fine with me. But, I didn’t like “Grand-MAW” though. I like “Grammie” just fine. They called me “Grandma” and that was fine with me too.

But, one day something amazing happened. Around the age of 18 months Jude began to talk. He started showing an interest in family photos. Lindsay would drill him on who was in the photo hanging on the wall. Samantha, Lindsay’s longtime friend created a small book where each page was a family member. Jude quickly caught on. One day, he called me “Mia”. We all loved it.

His other Grandmother is “Mimi”, so maybe “Mia” is a shortened version of that. We don’t know, but it sure is fitting.

The other Grandchildren were not sure if they wanted to change my name. But, soon everyone was calling me Mia.

The other day when Jude was reluctant to take his afternoon nap he called from his crib…”Momma”…”Mia”….”Momma”…”Mia”. Lindsay and I just laughed. This was the perfect thing for a one quarter Italian baby to call out.

Today our angel turns 2! God blessed us with this little carrot to make it through the tough times.  We thank God for him every day.

Today our angel turns 2! God blessed us with this little carrot to make it through the tough times.
We thank God for him every day.

Meet Jack Fisher Genre

Meet Jack Fisher Genre
Looking into his Mommy's eyes for the very first time.

Looking into his Mommy’s eyes for the very first time.

You have no idea how much we have prayed and waited for you to be here with us little Jack. We are amazed by God’s grace and His greatest gift of life showered on Stephanie and John. You will be loved and cared for by two parents who will put you above all else except their God.

As for your Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, Cousins and Great Grandparents, Great Aunts and Uncles, you will be loved beyond words. We promise to encourage you, to watch over you, to share in your life experiences like your first word, your first steps and your ball games.

We continue to pray for you through all of these things and beyond.

You are loved.

Great- Aunt Judi introduces Jack to his doggie sister Ellie

Great- Aunt Judi introduces Jack to his doggie sister Ellie

"It was a rough couple of days....I think I'll take a little snooze."

“It was a rough couple of days….I think I’ll take a little snooze.”

Goodbye baby – hello toddler…

Goodbye baby – hello toddler…
Lindsay, Matthew and Jude. The Garrity's celebrate ONE

Lindsay, Matthew and Jude. The Garrity’s celebrate ONE

Today I washed and put away baby bottles, cleared the counter of the bottle warmer, pacifiers. No more bottles for our little Jude….he is ONE! The pediatrician said he doesn’t need to take a bottle any longer. He weighed 21.5 lbs. and is in the 85 percentile in height. He is thriving and performing all of the usual behaviors of a 12 month old. He is eating table food, most of the time organic, prepared by his Momma or Grammie or Mimi. He loves the smoothies Momma makes him. He is drinking out of a sippie-cup.

In the past few months we have packed away his Momma-Roo, his doorway bouncer, his wheeled walker and many of the infant “must haves” to await the next angel God sends us. We washed and packed his newborn, 3-6 mos. 9 mos. and even some 12 mos. outfits in a big plastic bin. Could this be possible?

No longer will he lay on my chest to sleep, when I can smell the fine hairs on his soft little head as I listen for his gentle and steady breathing. No longer will he lift his wobbly head off the floor during tummy time and stare up at me in curiosity. No longer will he crawl around on the floor or sit quietly shaking his rattle while he hones his motor skills. He is a toddler.

He loves to go on a wagon ride and play with his riding fire truck, pushing the buttons warning his dogs Duffy and Finn to get out of the way.

If he sees the stairs are not blocked, he hurries and climbs up checking behind to see if we have discovered his shenanigans. (He doesn’t know how to go down….just up.)

He walks everywhere but does occasionally come to us with arms outstretched to be picked up and carried. But, he is on the move and we guard him closely.

He loves to sit on your lap and look at this books as we read each page. After, he will mimmic us babbling in his own words what he heard us say and pointing just as we did. He is the supreme copycat.

His vocabulary is expanding. He knows many words we speak. This can be proven if we give him a command to bring us his teddy bear or ball. He knows “no”, “hot”, “bye bye” and much more. He is forming his language right on target. (We think he is brilliant of course.)

He is obsessed with buttons of any sort. Momma doesn’t want him to use cell phones, but I admit, he grabs mine whenever possible and knows how to talk to Siri and how to scan the apps and photos. It is amazing how they pick this up. Every remote is exciting because he can see on the television how the buttons react.

He seldom cries when he is laid down to sleep. He truly enjoys his alone time. He loves his teddy bear and “silly monkey” lovey who usually accompany him to bed. You can hear him talking in a high pitched voice to them just like Grammie does when he is put in his crib for a nap.

He is a really good baby. I remind his parents, they all are not like this.

Could the difference be that this baby is loved beyond belief by his parents, both sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. He is loved by his parents friends and more. He gets loads of quality attention and all else he requires. Jude is blessed, and so are we.

So, welcome little toddler. We can’t wait to see what year number two will be like. We know you will soon able to tell us exactly what you are thinking.

We love you over the moon. We thank God for you every day. What a gift He gave us to get through this difficult year.
God’s most important request of us…..”love one another…as I have loved you.” John 15:12.

Jude & Grammie pic

There are days you capture something priceless

There are days you capture something priceless

Out for a spring stroll, Grandpa and Jude. Click on the video below...

Out for a spring stroll, Grandpa and Jude.
Click on the video link below… “This is what love looks like ” said one of my friends.

Grandpa Lugi & Jude 3/5/15

Grandpa Lugi had left chilly Cleveland just after the holidays to winter with his Florida family in warm sunshine. Well, if you were to ask him, he would tell you “it wasn’t so sunny, and it wasn’t warm.” It was one of our coldest and dreariest winters, yet Tom found a few days he could convince Grandpa to play a few holes of golf. Grandpa took a couple of Advil and off he went grumbling about the cold all the way. But, he always related some good golf stories when he returned as he tried to warm himself by the fire.

My radiation and chemo treatments ended December 24th, so there were limited Mayo visits, and my strength was slowly returning day by day. We had committed to watching baby Jude two or three days per week and I welcomed the help Grandpa Lugi provided in carrying him around the house and helping fetch items from the nursery upstairs when I needed them. He was a huge help.

We have not had a baby in the family for 13 years. Tommy & Olivia were the last. When they were born they lived in Palm Harbor, Fl. four hours away, so our visits were limited. We never really got to enjoy the day to day experience of watching them as they learned new things about the world and their milestones of crawling, walking and talking. So, when Lindsay and Matt, Lindsay being our youngest and only daughter presented us with Jude just a week after my DX of PC, it was as if God had sent this little bundle of joy to keep us focused on the positive. What a little carrot he turned out to be for everyone in the family, including Grandpa Lugi.

Grandpa Lugi called Jude many different names since the time he heard Lindsay was carrying a boy. When Jude was born he settled on “Ricky Bobby” and that was the name he called him by most of the time.

As time flew by, I became stronger and in March, Grandpa Lugi returned to Cleveland missing his daughters and his buddies from the gym who would come by the house to play cards once in awhile. He missed his old routine.
It was time for him to go back.

This video was captured thru the window the day before he left. I wish I could hear what he was saying to him. But, I know he is up in Cleveland thinking about him right now. Little “Ricky Bobby” stole Grandpa Lugis’ heart.

He will return for TPC and I know he will be showing him all about what happens during that magical week here in Ponte Vedra during The Players.
First time in pvic pool

I love technology……almost as much as I love my Jude.

I love technology……almost as much as I love my Jude.

Our Little Gondolier

Our little Gondolier

Our little Gondolier

Jude Video Hey Mom……
Click on the above colored words and this is sure to cheer you up after reading all of the sad things.
Lindsay sings to baby Jude
Seems my Blog has become a bit morbid with all of this PC stuff! Thought I would lighten things up a bit with some great shots and videos of the greatest gift God gave us to help us during our journey.
Jumpin myself to sleep.....

Jumpin myself to sleep…..


Grandpa is babysitting......

Grandpa is babysitting……


Lookin like Shrek

Lookin like Shrek

5 mos and 8 days...

5 mos and 8 days…


Wedding Attire.....

Wedding Attire…..

My first Halloween Costume

My first Halloween Costume

Each morning Lindsay captures a cute shot of Jude and sends it over to start our day with a smile. We have grown to expect them and if one doesn’t arrive we are slightly disappointed. Here are a few to share.

The birth…….

The birth…….

photo

“Our baby is having a baby! Lindsay, our youngest and only daughter is due to deliver our angel baby on May 5th.”

We shared this fact with our surgical team who told us “….this is perfect….go home, take a week and enjoy this miraculous life changing event with your family.” Dr. Asbun explained the tumor had been there growing for probably 15 years. Delaying the surgery one week more would not be a problem. So, we scheduled the surgery for May 12th and began to pray our little angel would arrive during TPC week on schedule…or close to it.

When Lindsay shared our great news last October, we could not have been happier. Louis had moved out so I immediately went to work on transforming his room into a nursery. Both Grandma’s would share daycare for the angel so Lindsay could go back to work. It was so much fun picking the baby furniture and painting a day bed and putting it all together in anticipation of May 5th, the due date.

Both Lindsay’s and our nursery were completed by April. We were all set.

When the news of my diagnosis on April 29th was shared with the family everything changed. It was a very difficult time for everyone, but especially for Lindsay. She was already hormonal and uncomfortable and anxious about giving birth for the first time. She amazed us with her strength. On her next weekly doctor visit she explained the situation. Her doctor agreed she should deliver by the due date and assured her the baby was completely ready to face the outside world. They made plans for inducement and we knew we would have a baby by May 5th.

Grandpa Lugi had arrived a few days before ready to relax and enjoy the golf tournament. This week was our 21st Player Championship week in our home. While I must say this week eclipsed all years prior…it was a roller coaster of emotions. Grandpa handled all of this extremely well.

We had begun a backyard project in October that felt similar to what Lindsay was experiencing in knitting the baby in her womb. The project seemed to go on and on and of course, the deadline was TPC week. The back yard was filled with carpenters, plumbers, stone workers and more. The street in front of the house was lined with trucks and trailers. It was coming together, but we were not really positive it would all come together in time.

So much going on…..

Matt told us they were at the hospital early in the morning hours of May 5th. The inducement was not necessary…little guy was ready and God was in control!

Tom and I rested alongside one another praying for a smooth birth for Lindsay and a perfect little baby boy. We got up early and prepared to spend the day at the hospital. When we arrived at the hospital, we sat in the waiting room. The Garrity’s were there, all of Matt’s sisters, and of course the Zitiello’s. It was a full house!

Lindsay and Matt requested to be alone in the delivery room …..their own family unit. We all honored the decision but waited in anticipation to hear that the baby was delivered and healthy.

Suddenly over the loud speaker was a doorbell sort of sound playing “lullaby and goodnight“. We asked the nurse if that meant a baby had been born…. Could it have been the Garrity baby? “Yes”, she confirmed. Within a few minutes, Matt emerged from the double doors to announce the baby was very healthy in fact almost 9 pounds!

He asked Phyllis and I, the Grandma’s to come in to see him first. We quickly followed Matt to the room and instantly fell in love with our perfect angel. God had blessed us, He had brought us a symbol of life, of hope and of His love. He blessed us all with this perfect child on this day, amidst this uncertain trial, to show us that life is precious and perfectly timed.

Then Lindsay announced…….”Come and meet Jude“…..It might have been the happiest day of my life.