Merry Christmas!

Grant survived his very first Christmas! It was a busy one, but it was my favorite one so far! It began on Christmas Eve. Aunt Mandy and Uncle Josh stopped over and we then went to Great Aunt Michelle and Uncle Bobby's house for the Woyak celebration. Unfortunately, we could only stay for 2 hours and then we went to Great Grandma and Grandpa Hahn's house for the remainder of the night. Grant got to open up lots of presents, and he loved them all! He ended up falling asleep and we had to wake him up to bring him home on time for Santa to visit! We woke up Christmas morning and had breakfast with Grandma Jenny. Grant then opened up even more presents, and we were off to Grandma and Grandpa Gestl's house! Grandma Gestl made a wonderful meal, and Grant enjoyed some baby applesauce. Then, Grant opened up even more presents and we were off to our next stop! Next, we went to Great Aunt Diane and Uncle Tom's house for dinner and then on to the Lindner's house! Aunt Mandy and Uncle Josh bought Grant lots of great presents along with everyone else in Grant's life! His favorites were all the toys that made lots of wonderful noices! However, the festivities did not stop there...

Saturday night we headed back to Grandma and Grandpa Gestl's house for another celebration, and we celebrated with Grandpa P, Grandma Wendy, Aunt Rachel and Uncle Randy on Sunday afternoon. Grant was then completely done opening up his presents this Christmas! Grandpa P and Grandma Wendy bought him a talking Elmo which stole the show! Grant absolutely loved it!

Even though there was a lot of mention regarding presents in this Christmas posting, I want to take this time to thank God for everything that I have and to not forget the true meaning for this season. He has blessed me with such an incredible life. I feel so wonderful that we had so many family and friends to celebrate this season with, and I love you all.

Eight months old

Our little Munch is already 8 months old! He had a very busy month, too! We celebrated Grant's very first Thanksgiving this month. We began the day at his Grandma & Grandpa Gestl's house for lunch, and then ended the day at his Great Grandma & Grandpa Hahn's house for dinner. We then also celebrated Thanksgiving the next day with the Petre Family. Also this month, we celebrated Great Grandma Hahn's 70th birthday, Grant attended his first Christmas party that Aunt Mandy throws every year and he attended his first Woyak Christmas cookie decorating extravaganza at Cassie & Jim's house. We even decorated a cookie with Grant's initials on it, in which he decided to bite into immediately. : )

My favorite milestone of Grant's so far happened this month!!...Grant said his first word, and it was "Mama". Well, it started off as "Mamamamama...", and now it has shortened up a bit. It is honestly music to my ears. I can listen to him ramble in those words every second of the day.

Grant is also still a little rolling machine! He hasn't crawled yet, but he has done absolutely everything else. He will get on all fours and rock. He will even move backwards. He just doesn't know how to get the transmission out of reverse. He will even see something across the room that he wants and position himself just right in order to barrel roll over to it.

Family Time!

JC Penny's has a special event on the last Sunday of every month, and you can bring your dog in! We had Oscar's first professional picture taken and then took advantage of the event and had our first family picture taken (minus Shelby, of course). Oscar was a natural. : )

Photo Shoot

I wanted some nice pictures of Grant for Christmas time so I asked my friend, TJ, to come over and snap a few for us. Grant was ready to go down for a nap right when TJ got to our I knew it was going to make for some interesting pictures. Enjoy!

Santa Claus is coming to town

My best friend, Kristin, and I decided that we needed a little "retail therapy" the other day and we (with Grant in tow) hit up Brookfield Square. As we were walking through the mall we saw that there wasn't a line to get your picture taken with Santa. I rememebered hearing from friends that this is something rare and that there is normally an annoying long we decided to take advantage of this and plopped Grant on the jolly old man's lap. As Grant handles most situations, he kind of just went with the flow. I thought he would at least have a reaction to the jingle bells, but he kind of just looked at them and smiled. He must have known that this jolly old man brings him presents every year and he didn't want to act up.

"Baby, it's cold outside."

When we all woke up on the morning of November 24, 2008, we could not believe our eyes! There was snow covering the ground! We quickly ate breakfast, changed into our winter clothes and went outside to play. Grant’s cousin, Samantha, gave him her old blue sled and Matt and I pulled him around the backyard. We even tied the sled up to Oscar’s leash and had Oscar pull him around a little bit (until we pictured Oscar taking off after a squirrel or something and taking poor Grant and a wild goose chase)…so we unlatched them.

Seven months old

Grant is 7 months old already! This month was filled with lots of fun things for Grant to do! He was very busy celebrating his Grandma Gestl, Aunt Rachel and friend, Logan’s birthdays, trick-or-treating, voting in the presidential election, swimming with Aunt Mary Kay and watching lots of Packer’s games! He even went down to Gurnee, IL to visit Aunt Rachel and Uncle Jon in their new apartment. He loves to travel.

This month also brought on his first diaper rash experience which was brought on by the wonderful teething stage. That resulted in a few days of pure hell for Matt and me, but thanks to Grandma Gestl (and triple paste)…we had some much needed help!

Michael Phelps in the making...

It was a cold Monday morning, and since Matt and I both have off of work on Mondays…we decided to take Grant swimming with his Great Aunt Mary Kay at the YMCA. He absolutely loved it! He kind of just “goes with the flow” with pretty much everything that we make him do, and this was no exception. Great Aunt Mary Kay taught him how to kick in the water and he even went completely under twice! I’m signing him up for “Little Dipper” classes that start in January…so we’ll see if his excitement for the water continues! : )


As it becomes increasingly apparent as Grant gets older that he looks like an identical mini-image of Matt…I sometimes find myself starring at him hoping to see a glimpse of a trait that resembles something from my side of the gene pool. Then, just as I took the above picture…it hit me like a ton of bricks. The lucky little guy inherited my wonderful “one eye closes more than the other when smiling hard” characteristic. As if that wasn’t one of the sole characteristics of mine that I always tried to ignore/pretend didn’t exist…there it is smiling right back at me! Somehow he makes it look so cute, though.

My Little Cowboy

So, I was at a loss for a “cute” outfit for Grant’s six month pictures (that I get taken at JC Pennys), and I think my solution is going to cost me counseling dollars down the road. Instead of wasting time trying to put an outfit together, I just took everything off of him except his overalls and magically a little cowboy appeared. Yee haw!

Election Day

Well, Grant survived his very first presidential election day. We woke up bright and early in order to walk to the polls before I had to go to work for the day. It was a beautiful morning, and everyone working at the polls fell in love with Grant. He went into the booth with me to help me vote, however, Barack Obama/Joe Biden won the election. Though I don’t believe in the same ideologies as Obama, I am very pleased that America has elected our first African American for President. He has big shoes to fill, and I hope he does a wonderful job. After all, it is my baby’s future!

Happy Halloween!

Grant celebrated his very first Halloween! : ) He went trick-or-treating at our next door neighbor’s house and his grandparent’s houses. He was the cutest little pumpkin ever, and he scored lots of squash! We also took him to a Halloween party at the Lindner’s, and he had a blast in his pea pod costume. He kept trying to eat the “peas” off of his “pod”!

Six months old

Happy 6 Month Birthday, Grant! Well, our Chunky Monkey isn’t the chunkiest one on the block anymore! At Grant’s 6 month check-up he weighed 19 lbs. 8 oz. which only put him in the 80th percentile this time! No more upper 97th percentile for him! He was 28 in. long which put his height in the 90th percentile, and his doctor said that everything else looked great! She was surprised by how good he sits up all by himself, and she had him cracking up in the exam room…all up until the nurse came in to give him his routine shots. He didn’t like those at all, but thankfully it was nap time immediately following and he just crashed on the car ride home.

This month was very exciting for Grant because his future BFF was born! Evan Cole Henderson was born on September 30th. Though they are both still too young to play together, I can see the beginnings of a great friendship!

Grant also went on his second road trip this month! We went and visited Great Grandma and Grandpa Woyak up north. While up there, we took him to a Pumpkin Fest and he loved playing in the leaves outside and singing in church.

Grant also really enjoyed visiting Grandpa P at work for his birthday. Who knows?...Maybe we have a little letter carrier in him!

My Wittle Weepublican

Though, still too young to vote, Grant is already showing very promising signs. He has watched all the political debates and has made the very intelligent decision to throw his support behind McCain/Palin. Let’s hope they win!!

My lil Pumpkin

Grant and his buddy, Oliver, went to Swan's Pumpkin Farm to pick out their pumpkins together for this fall. They were super cute, and I think they had a really great time!


So, cereal twice a day just wasn’t enough for Grant anymore. We decided to start actual baby food, and it has been a real adventure! His first feeding was the very scrumptious squash. The facial expressions that were coming from Grant were absolutely priceless while he tried to swallow the disgusting slime down. However, since eating is his favorite pastime, he changed his opinion on squash fairly quickly. He went from basically choking it down…to mad at me for doing this to him…to absolutely loving it. By the third day, Grant could down an entire jar in under 5 minutes. He’s so impressive. Hahaha…

Sit happens...

My little guy is growing up so fast! He now sits up all on his own!…Well, ok…he tips over fairly often, but give me a break!...He can at least sit up for a little bit all on his own, and that is pretty much our most exciting thing to happen to us lately. : )

Five months old

The love of my life turned 5 months old today, and I can't believe it. This month has been filled with tons of smiles, giggles and full blown laughter. Just days after I was busy bragging about how Grant has been sleeping completely through the night ever since he was 8 weeks old...Grant decided to start waking up a few times a night! We realized that our chunky monkey needed more food! So, I called his doctor to ask what she recommended we do, and we have now started feeding Grant 8 ounces in every bottle AND cereal twice a day! He's my growing little man. : )

He is also my rolling little man! Grant has been rolling all over the place now. He has been able to "skootch" himself off of the blanket that we laid on the ground for him, too, so we can't wait for him to start crawling! Well, actually he is probably a lot easier right now! : )

Grandpa Grant

Our little guy is growing up so quickly, but we can't help but call him Grandpa Grant when we see this picture. He's my little old man! : )

"People, let me tell you 'bout my best friend."

Big brother, Oscar, allows Grant to pretty much do whatever he wants to him! What a great best friend!!

Four months old

Happy 4th Month, Grant! Well, Grant is 4 months old now and he is officially in the upper 97th percentile for his weight and his height. Haha…he now weighs 17 pounds, 6 ounces and is 26 inches long! He’s my chunky monkey and I love every little roll on his body. : )
This month was a very fun month for Grant. While Matt and I had to work, he would go and hang out with his Great Aunt Kim! Aunt Kim played with him all day long and she even took him to school to help with her classroom before the school year begins. Grant also attended his first bachelorette party this month! I threw Mandy's bachelorette party at my house and Grandma Jenny came over to watch him…so he was passed around for a little bit until he couldn’t take it anymore and went to bed. Then, the very next weekend our friend, Nekisa, came to meet him all the way from California and took Grant to Hooters for the very first time. He even got his picture taken with one of the very pretty waitresses. : ) The weekend after that, Grant got to watch his Godparents get married! He sat in the back of the church with Grandma Jenny and quietly talked throughout the entire ceremony and then he even posed for a few pictures.
The rest of the month was spent talking, laughing and rolling over. He's such a happy baby. Matt and I are extremely blessed.

And the mess begins...

In order to keep up with my Muncher, we have begun to feed him rice cereal on a spoon. This has been the most fun adventure so far! I'm pretty sure that only half of each feeding actually makes it to his belly, but he will get the hang of it soon enough. In the mean time, this calls for lots of funny pictures (like this one provided by Aunt Kim)!


Grant is beginning to get a bit sassy nowadays!
*Note his finger placement. : )

My Baby Lifeguard

Grant is sad that the summer is almost coming to a close. He wishes he was on Hermosa Beach with his Uncle Randy and Aunt Sherri.

State Fair 2008

Well, it was the final day of the State Fair but the Gestl family finally made it out there! Along with Kristin and Matt Schaefer, we all walked around the fair looking for different things to eat. Of course a trip to the state fair is not complete without eating a cream puff, and Grant ate one for the first time! (Ok, or we just put cream on his mouth and watched him lick it off.) Regardless, it was reason for a few laughs and a super cute picture. : )

A Baptism Celebration

On Sunday, July 6th Grant was baptized at 11:30 am with the help from his Godparents, Josh and Mandy. Deacon David Backes performed the celebration at Divine Mercy Church (which is the same church that I received my confirmation at!). Grant wore a super cute white satin baptismal outfit but had the baptismal gown from the Gestl family drapped over the top of him during the blessing. It was a beautiful day outside, and there were over 50 of Grant's family and friends that came to celebrate with him! Grant is so blessed to have so many wonderful people in his life, and he wants to thank everyone for all the help they gave his mom to put on such a party. Also, he absolutely loves all the gifts he received, and I love the fact that he has a college fund already started!

Three months old

Grant is THREE MONTHS OLD already! I can't believe it. Well, Grant really started to get into a nice routine this past month. No lie, we were putting him down for bed around 8:00 pm and he would sleep until around 10:00 the next morning! I would actually go in and try to pretend like I was cleaning or something just so he would wake up so I could play with him! Also this month, Grant found his vocal cords and started rolling over! Now we're in for it. Stay tuned for his first word!

Three months old was not only a big milestone for Grant, but it was also a big milestone for me...I had to go back to work. : ( Though, I can't complain...I took a little over 12 weeks off to be with him! : ) However, it was still extremely hard to get back into corporate America! Matt and I are very fortunate to have Grant's Great Aunt Kim volunteer to watch him until her school year starts back up again, but I'm sure she was regretting her decision when I couldn't even make it until 10:00 am without calling her to see how Grant was doing on the first day. Hahaha...

Intense Competition

Do not challenge Grant in a stare will lose!
You actually won't even stand a chance. I've seen him go many minutes without a single blink!
I tried telling that to Oscar, but he had to see it for himself.
: )

Happy 4th of July!

Grant celebrated his very first 4th of July, and he absolutely loved it! We took him to the Oak Creek parade first thing in the morning where we met up with a lot of Grant's friends. He was even able to wave (with help) to Grandpa P. and Grandma Wendy who were in it! We then took Grant up to the legion where Grandpa P. showed him off to his friends. It was then off to Uncle Jim and Aunt Carol's house for a pig roast, and we ended the night at Randy and Leah's house to watch the Franklin fireworks from their backyard. Grant slept for approximately 12 hours straight that night! : )

Grant's First Trip to the Zoo

As Grant gets a little older, I've been getting a little more brave to take him out into the world. My best friend, Kristin, and I went to the zoo today, and Grant absolutely loved it! He was a natural with the animals, and I pushed his stroller up to the edge of all the cages so he could have his picture taken with all his new friends. As we left, I thought to myself "this was probably my last cheap trip to the zoo because from here on out Grant is probably going to talk Matt and I into buying him everything that he sees at this place"...and it was then that I appreciated him still being a baby! : )

Dreaming of milk...

I have never had my heart melt so much than how it melts when Grant smiles.
This makes everything that I went through with my pregnancy absolutely worth it.
I am so in love.

Two months old

This has officially been the fastest two months of my entire life. I can not believe that Grant is already two months old! What else I can't believe is that he already weighs 14 pounds 6 ounces! He is in the 97th percentile for his weight, 75th percentile for his length and 90th percentile for his head. His doctor was very pleased with his progress and said that he is a very healthy little boy!

This last month was very fun filled with firsts for Grant. Besides going on his first picnic, Grant also went on his very first getaway! The three of us drove up north in order to attend my Grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary party. He was such a good passenger, and it even took five hours to get home because of detours due to flooding. It was a little nice to get home after the weekend and get back to our routine, but I think Grant had fun visiting with all his family members. Also this month, Grant attended his first wedding! My best friend, Kristin, got married and Grant was a perfect guest in church...staying quiet through the entire ceremony. He even made a quick appearance at the reception and I'm pretty sure he wanted to stay to dance the night away like his parents!

The remainder of his second month was spent eating and watching Brewer's games. : )

Grant's First Picnic

Since Grant was basically named after Grant Park in South Milwaukee where Matt and I went on one of our first dates, we thought it was only fitting to take him there for his very first picnic. It was a beautiful Tuesday afternoon and we took full advantage of it. Matt and I grabbed a blanket and some subs and found a perfect private patch of grass in the park for the four of us (Oscar joined, too!).
*NOTE: Grant was not harmed while taking this photo. He was only in the sun for as long as it took to take this picture and then went right back in the shade.

One month old

Even though it is Grant's one month birthday, he spent this past week celebrating both mine and Matt's birthdays with us. He even slept for 5 hours straight the night before my birthday, and that was all I wanted! Also this week, Grant went to his very first bridal shower (even if it was only for a few minutes right at the end just so Matt could come and eat some of the leftovers!). This week Matt and I took Grant for his one month check up which was when we found out that he already weighs 11 pounds! I'm completely not joking when I say that I feel like all he does is eat! His doctor said that everything else looked absolutely wonderful with him. However, because he was a breach is routine for him to get an ultrasound to check on his hips. A lot of breach babies have hip problems from laying in that position while inside the womb, but after taking him for an ultrasound...they said his hips were fine. : )

Oh...and how could I forget?!...Grant had his first and second trip to the mall this past week! He was a natural there...just like his mom.

Three weeks old

This was one of Grant's most busy weeks so far! He has decided that he likes to stay awake instead of sleep which has made it extremely fun for me while Matt is at work during the day. Grant and I have had many conversations about sleep and how he should take advantage of it now, but he just doesn't want to listen to his mother. New this week is that Grant's godmother, Mandy, babysat him for a few hours while Matt and I ran some errands. He slept the entire time and it was just enough to make a liar out of me when I tell people that he never wants to sleep for me during the day! Grant also went to his first Chuck'E'Cheese birthday party! His cousin, Savanna, turned two years old and (again!)...he pretty much slept through the entire birthday party (even while being passed around from person to person!). Also, Grant was extremely busy this week making sure that I had the most wonderful Mother's Day EVER. He talked Dad into making my favorite breakfast for me that morning which was delicious! Then, Grant also got me a very touching card, beautiful flowers, a picture frame of the two of us and a necklace with his initial on it. What a great kid! : )

Two weeks old

Grant is two weeks old, and we still have no idea where the time has gone! New this week is that Matt went back to work and it's just me and Grant during the day now. On Matt's first day back at work, Grant was awake from 7:00 am until 9:00 pm! I have no idea how he stayed awake for that long, but I'm pretty sure he did it because he was looking for his daddy. : ) We have also now taken Grant on his first walk! Matt and I have taken him and Oscar on a few walks this week when the weather was nice outside, and Grant absolutely loved the bumps of the sidewalk. They put him to sleep immediately. Also new this week was that Grandma and Grandpa Gestl babysat him for the first time. Matt and I went to a wedding, and it was my first time away from Grant since he was conceived! I cried a little as we drove away, thought about him all night long and only stayed at the wedding for a few hours...but it was really nice to have a night away with Matt and our friends. I just don't think we want to go away again anytime real soon! : )

One week old

Well, Grant is already one week old and we don't even know where this last week has gone!! This has probably been the fastest week of our entire lives, but it was also the most wonderful. Grant had over 40 visitors come to meet him while in the hospital and even more people came to the house once he was home! He slept through most of the "passing around", but I know that he was happy to meet everyone. : ) He especially liked meeting his brother and sister (Oscar and Shelby). They were really great with him when we brought him home which set mine and Matt's minds at ease a lot! A few days ago Matt and I gave Grant a bath for the first time since the nurses gave him one in the hospital, and that was an unforgettable experience! He was actually grabbing my hands and pushing them away! Other than that, Grant hasn't done too much but eat, sleep, go to the bathroom and get millions of kisses.

He's Here!

Almost an entire week early, but Grant decided that he would take things into his own little hands in order to come into this world. It was April 22nd and I left work early to go to my weekly doctor's appointment. While there, my doctor told me that my body was severly "stressed" and so was the baby's. Therefore, she ordered an ultrasound immediately and that was when we found out that the little guy was 100% breach. Due to his position and the state of my body, my doctor ordered that I immediately go to the hospital. Being the good listener that I am, I went home so Matt could drive me in. When we got there, the nurses began monitoring me and the baby and we realized that we were going to have to have a c-section that night. However, I ate lunch at noon and we could not start the surgery until 8 hours passed of not eating. Once the time passed, we were clear for surgery and Grant was born at exactly 9:00 pm. It was the most scared and exciting thing that we have ever gone through. Grant came out weighing 7 pounds 12 ounces and he was 21 inches long. He was the most beautiful thing that we have ever seen!

And we will call him...

So, as most of you know, Matt and I have had a very difficult time trying to pick out a name that we both agree on. I have loved the name Grant from the very beginning, but Matt’s mind has changed about a hundred times. While vacationing in Jamaica (and with the help of our friend, Krysten) we believe we decided to call him Nolan James. However, while still in Jamaica, Matt slipped and called him Grant…TWICE! That was when I knew that I still had a glimmer of hope to have my way with the name. I never said another word until all of a sudden one day, Matt turned to me and said, “I think Grant is my favorite name.”…And we haven’t discussed any other names every since! Therefore, (for the time being, and as long as he comes out a boy!) we are settled on the name Grant Thomas Gestl. I can’t wait for you all to meet him!

Where our prince will sleep...

We have finally (kind of) finished the baby’s room! (And by “we”…I mean my mom and Matt.) My mom spent an entire weekend at our house working with Matt and making sure that everything in that room was painted perfectly. It turned out absolutely wonderful and it looks exactly like what I pictured it looking like. Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed that the ultrasound tech was correct when she told us he is a boy!

A shower to remember...

I have said it before, but I will say it again…I am truly blessed. On February 9, 2008, my “moms” threw me a baby shower. It was the most wonderful shower that I have ever seen. It took place at my favorite Italian restaurant in Oak Creek, diCarlo’s, and it included 60 of my closest friends and relatives. Everyone was a bit too generous with their gifts, but Matt & I greatly appreciate everything and everyone for being there for us. I especially appreciate my “moms” for throwing such a wonderful event, Mandy for absolutely everything (all the time she put in to making & sending out the invites, keeping up with the RSVPs, buying balloons, writing the gift list out, etc.), Ashleigh for making the super cute favors and centerpieces, Aunt Kathy for making the amazing cake, Anna for taking the millions of pictures, Kristin for organizing and helping with all the gifts, Melissa for her beautiful handwriting, Katie for always making sure my hair looks appropriate, Sandi and Aunt Cassie for helping with the “activities” (not games!) and last but certainly not least…the guys for showing up only to eat but making sure to come back to transport all the gifts at the end. It is honestly a day that I will never ever forget and it is because of all the wonderful people in my life.

What did she say?!

Ever since Matt and I started dating, I always pictured that our first child was going to be a little girl. It seems as if his generation in his family only produces far there are 8 children in the next generation and all 8 are girls! Now, fast forward to November 27, 2007, and Matt and I are sitting in the ultrasound room with my belly exposed studying images on the screen to the right of us. She then asked us if we wanted to know the sex of the baby and without question we both answered, "yes". We asummed that the ultrasound tech was going to tell us that we were having a girl (just like everyone else), and we didn't even know it but we were in for a huge shock. She looked at the image moving around and around and finally said that we were going to have a little BOY! As the tears began rolling down both mine and Matt's cheeks, all of the dreams of dancing and make-up quickly changed to cars and sports. We could not be happier, and we can not wait to see what he does with his life.

And it all hit me at once...

I will remember it clear as day for the rest of my life. It was September 4, 2007 and I woke up feeling like a truck hit me overnight. I had a case of the worst "morning sickness" that I could possibly dream up. Now you're probably thinking, "get over it, Christine", but it didn't leave until after 4 entire months! It was the longest 4 months of my life, but I know that it will all be worth it when I see the little one that my body did not originally agree with.

How it all started...

Well, I'm sure you can figure out how this whole thing started, but here is our story...

Matt and I decided to join our good friends Ashleigh and Aaron on a short trip to New York for the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. It was August 23, 2007 and I decided (or was forced by Ashleigh) to take my third pregnancy test in the hotel room right before the concert and it FINALLY came back positive! That day quickly became one of the best days of our entire lives, and we will never think of anything else whenever we hear Free Bird. : )