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It's a PEANUT!!!!

We had our third ultrasound yesterday (October 25) -- a big long one that took almost an hour!I was hoping we'd be able to find out what kind of a Peanut we've got in there (even though Daddy doesn't really want to know). However, someone was being very fidgity and not cooperating particularly well, so the technician would only guess that IT'S A BOY!!!! Of course we really won't be sure until Peanut's big debut in March, but I've always felt it was a boy, so I'm pretty confident.

It was awesome to see him moving around in there -- with such big arms and legs! I could have looked all night long, but for some reason the tech wouldn't let us. Go figure. She did give us a parting gift though -- the photo you see below. If you look closely at the bottom centre of the photo you can see Peanut's little hand...which appears to be flipping us the bird. Cheeky monkey!!! Sandy thinks it's his knee, but I prefer to think it's a wee little cheeky gesture from within.

I can't wait to meet Peanut "for real" in March!

It's a PEANUT!!!!
 
A few things for Peanut...

These are from Grandma Fitzgerald who can't contain herself when she's out shopping and would pick up everything in sight if there wasn't someone there to reign her in! I can understand though -- I find it hard to control myself too (first child and first grandchild and all). We went shopping on Thursday, October 28th and she bought Peanut his bassinette -- as well as some other very cute things. The little outfit and blankies you see below are from a shopping trip about a month ago. I think we'll bring Peanut home in this cozy teddy coat/sleeper from Grandma!

A few things for Peanut...
 
Daddy giving Peanut's new blankie a trial run...

Daddy giving Peanut's new blankie a trial run...

I made Peanut this fleece duckie blanket -- but Sandy was the first to use it! Thanks so much to Abby for the easy, no-sew instructions! It turned out a little big (my fault) but I think it'll make a great floor blanket!

 
November 24, 2004

Wow -- Peanut sure can kick! Because I have an anterior placenta I supposedly shouldn't be feeling too much movement but I can't imagine feeling any more than this! He successfully located my bladder a few weeks ago and always manages to drop-kick it when I REALLY have to go. Clever boy.

But I love feeling him moving about and poking at me. It reminds me that he's in there and that I'm never, ever alone. Granted, our conversations are one-sided right now, but at least I always have someone to talk to no matter what time of day or night!

I can't believe I'm almost 6 months pregnant -- I'm 23 weeks today. I really thought this would never happen for us after the losses we had and I'm so grateful that we've been given this gift. If you're reading this and have any spare prayers, please say one or two for Peanut -- we want nothing more than to hold our healthy little baby in our arms in March.

 
December 1, 2004

It's December -- and I'm 6 months pregnant today! I can't believe it. It's still so surreal, even though I'm feeling bigger (especially at the end of the day), and Peanut's kicking is getting MUCH stronger.

Speaking of kicking, last night Sandy FINALLY felt Peanut moving! He's been trying for a few weeks, but every time I'd tell him to come and feel, Peanut would stop moving. Sneaky, sneaky Peanut. But last night Sandy finally caught him! I was so happy!

We bought Peanut's crib bedding on Saturday. Every new little thing we buy makes it more and more real -- and it gets more and more exciting! Don't get me wrong, I'm still terrified of actually giving birth, but I can't wait until he's finally, finally here.

 
Happy New Year's Eve!

I can't believe it's already December 31st and in just a few hours it will be 2005 -- the year of the Peanut! I can't wait for what this new year will bring and I can't wait for what Peanut will bring to everyone who already loves him.

He's been a very good boy lately. I had my 28 week check-up on Wednesday and everything was perfect! I'm so used to bad news (or news that's not all good -- like elevated blood pressure) I was stunned. So I came home and ate chocolate.

In the meantime Daddy has been painting Peanut's room (pictures to follow soon) and we ordered his crib and dresser/change table. Every little step makes it more real and each day brings us closer to meeting our little one. We just can't wait! Happy New Year Peanut!

 
Heading into the home stretch...

Peanut had an AMAZING check-up yesterday (January 20th)! I had a growth ultrasound to make sure everything was humming along as it should be, and Peanut passed with flying colours! He is about 4.1 pounds, he scored an 8/8 on the tests they use to measure fetal health (including breathing rate, heart rate, movement and strength of movement) and he's measuring perfectly for his gestational age. He's in the 50th percentile, which means 50% of babies are bigger than he is and 50% are smaller. Ah, my perfect, average baby!

I asked the tech to see if she could confirm the sex, and just like the tech in October, she said she thought she saw something and thinks it's a boy. That's good enough for me! Two techs have called it and my intuition says it's so -- so I'm going with it! I even went out and bought VERY obviously boy clothes today!

In about 8 weeks or so he'll actually be able to wear some of them. I can't believe it. I know I keep saying that, but I STILL can't believe it. My poor battered bladder (which Peanut still uses as a punching bag) can believe it -- but I can't!

Oh, he's also head down! But he's stubborn like his Mommy, because he's not QUITE in the right position just yet. His head is down...but so are his feet (hence the bladder kicking). He's in a "U" shape with his bum up near my ribs. Silly Peanut! But he's still got lots of time to figure it out -- and he better!!

Ooooh, I can't wait!!!

 
January 31, 2005

Peanut and I were guests of honour at a WONDERFUL baby shower on Saturday! Kathy hosted it at Mom & Dad's house -- and it was amazing! The food was delicious (particularly the orange scones and the super-fresh mini sandwiches!) the decorations were adorable and the guests were extremely generous! We got some really, reallynice gifts for Thomas which I know he's going to love! I know I'm going to love dressing him in the sleepers and outfits he got too! YAY!!

Thank you so much to everyone for coming and sharing in such a magical time in my life -- and for being so incredibly generous! Thanks especially to Mom and Kathy for all the hard work!!

As for Thomas, all is still well! A recent mini ultrasounds (last week) revealed that he hassnuck back up to the breech position, but the OB isn't worried because apparently once they find the right position (which he did...once) they often go back to it. Here's hoping!! I'm getting kind of uncomfortable with a head in my ribs. It's quite amazing how hard that makes it to breathe...

Anyway, I'm having another mini ultrasound on Wednesday February 2nd, so we'll see what he's up to then. I know I seem to be having ultrasounds every 5 seconds (believe me, that's what it feels like to me too!) but I guess this is standard when you're considered high risk, and I'm happy they're taking such good care of Thomas and me! Plus any chance I get to see him is just fine with me! You can now actually "see" the flesh and fat on his little arms and legs -- it's too cute!!

Just weeks to go now!

 
February 17, 2005

Well, just 34 days to go! Less if Thomas decides to make his grand entrance at 38 weeks (which I'd be quite happy with!).

We're almost ready for his arrival now. We went out last night to get a car seat and a few other things we needed (like a diaper bag and crib sheets). Now all we have to do is get a rocking chair and we're good to go! I can't believe one tiny little person requires so much stuff -- but its SO much fun getting it all I don't mind!

Mom is coming over tomorrow to help me wash all his clothes and blankets and set up the nursery. Grandma did it with her so it's now a tradition! Hopefully Sandy will get the crib up this weekend (we got sidetracked by the flu) and then the room will be virtually complete.
And as for Thomas, at my last appointment he was back in the head down position. Yay! He's doing just fine and getting all cute and fat in there -- you can actually see the pudge on his little cheeks! I had a second growth ultrasound on the 7th of February and at that point he was approximately 5lbs 9 oz, so he must be approaching (or over) 6 pounds by now. It's hard to believe he started off the size of a pin head and now he's 6 pounds!

We had our hospital tour on Monday and Sandy's now feeling much more confident about the delivery. I'm glad one of us is! I'm sure we'll all be just fine -- but it's still a little scary to me. I'm hoping that adrenaline will kick in and I'll be able to just push through (no pun intended). I know the prize will be well worth the effort, so I'll just focus on seeing those fat little cheeks for the very first time and that'll get me through.

I can't believe he's almost here...

 
Gone too soon, but always in our hearts

Thomas' obituary


ZITA, Thomas Joseph - Perfect and beautiful son of Sandy and Kristin Zita (nee Fitzgerald), was born on March 9, 2005 and slipped peacefully back to heaven after much too short a time in our arms on March 10, 2005. Thomas leaves us with hearts full of love for him and each other, and sweet memories we will cherish always.

First time grandparents Bob and Donna Fitzgerald and grandparents Philip and Linda Zita will cradle our Thomas in their hearts forever. In addition to keeping an eye on Mommy and Daddy and his grandparents, we know Thomas will also be watching over Aunties Kathy, Loretta and Anna, Uncles Frank, David and Vern and cousins Lilly, Jacob and Nathan from heaven.

Our thanks to Dr. Smith and the staff at the Credit Valley Hospital High Risk Clinic, as well as all the Labour and Delivery and Obstetrics staff at Credit Valley Hospital, particularly nurses Lise and Nadine. Your caring and compassion know no bounds and we are eternally grateful.

Donations to The Credit Valley Hospital Foundation in Thomas' name would be much appreciated. Donations can be made online at www.chv.on.ca or by calling 905-813-4123.

Even the shortest life has a purpose and every soul makes an impact. In Thomas' memory, be kind to each other, love each other and do something good every day - no matter how small. We think Thomas would like that a lot.

Gone too soon, but always in our hearts
 
Look what our sweet boy has done! August 24, 2005


BOOK ANGELS SEEK THEIR WINGS - 2,000 volumes collected but how do you get them to northern schools?

JOE FIORITO - The Toronto Star

Two women approached the side door of a grade school in Mississauga on a weekday afternoon. They were cautious. The grounds were deserted. There were no kids, no teachers and the custodian was working somewhere deep inside.

"Uh-oh," said Katherine Fitzgerald. The side door looked as if it was locked. The women were on a mission. They'd come to get some books.

If the door was locked ...

Kristin Zita held her breath. Katherine tried the handle. "Oh, no, I'm good," said Katherine, smiling easily as the door swung open; she'd foiled the lock earlier, aptly and deftly, with a cardboard bookmark.

Shh, don't tell.

The women made their way along the quiet hallways of the school over the polished floors, past the stacks of chairs, and across from the bulletin boards, empty of bulletins at this time of year until they came to a small classroom where the books were stored.

The women are sisters. Katherine teaches at St. Edmund, and Kristin is a freelance writer. The books they'd come to get some 2,000 volumes belong, in a way, to Kristin's son Thomas.

Thomas died earlier this year.

Kristin said, "He lived for 20 hours. He died March 10. Rough? I've lost other people, but this was different." She blinked hard and she swallowed hard. "My husband and I were thinking of a scholarship, a way to make something good out of what happened. Then I remembered reading about the need for books in northern communities."

Kristin and her sister told me the rest of the story as we sat in the empty classroom. Katherine said, "I thought it was a great idea. The principal was all for it." The poster they printed read, "Bring your old books to the St. Edmund Book Drive. Win a visit from the Metro Toronto Zoo for your class." Kristin said, "We didn't announce that it was for Thomas. I don't think anyone knew that but us."

Katherine said, "Grainne Maddison is the Grade 6 teacher. One of the themes in her religion class is stewardship. Her class won. Her kids collected a third of the books." And every morning, as the books poured in, Ms. Maddison's class chanted, "Social justice!"

Speaking of which, you might be forgiven for wondering why it's even necessary to collect books for schools. But that's the world, and this is the province, we live in.

Let it pass.

The books were piled up in a small storage room in the back of the classroom; at least 30 boxes, tubs and bins of novels for young adults, picture books for younger kids, how-to books, and so on. My favourite: Godzilla Ate My Homework.

Kristin said, "At the end of June, when the book drive was over, there was a presentation from the Toronto Zoo; it was called `Skins and Skulls,' that was the prize." She also brought in a big cake for the kids.

Nice story huh?

The kids of St. Edmund get a lesson in stewardship and social justice; the kids in the north get much-needed books; and all this, very quietly, was done in the name of Thomas.

Good story? Read on.

Kristin said, "I got the name of someone in Sioux Lookout who said she'd love to have the books. She said she'd get them sent to schools in her district. She said she'd pick them up from the train if I could get them there on VIA." And there's the rub, or part of it.

Kristin has had no response from VIA. On top of which, Sioux Lookout is a small town. It no longer has a station agent; it's just a drop-off point for passengers.

Hmm.

Kristin sent a note to the office of Lieutenant Governor James Bartleman. As you know, the Honourable Bartleman spearheaded a program that resulted in the collection and distribution of some 1.2 million books to northern communities. Kristin got a written response from his office recently: alas, said the reply, the program ended in February and is not accepting any more donations; perhaps she might consider donating the books to the Salvation Army, or the IODE, or Goodwill.

Hmm, again.

Kristin is stumped, for the moment. She has her heart set on the books going north. She and her sister have now moved the boxes into Katherine's garage, where they'll stay dry for the time being; and Katherine will park outside until the sisters figure out what to do.

There is a further problem:

Even if they do manage to get the boxes shipped north, the resource centre in Sioux Lookout would still have to figure out how to find the money to fly the books to other schools in the district; it's a big district, reaching as far north as Fort Severn. And, as you might guess, freight rates are high up north.

If you have any bright ideas, let me know.

Joe Fiorito usually appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Email: jfiorito@thestar.ca

 
 

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